In an age of drizzles, sprays, crumbles and crumbs, food stylists and photographers go the extra mile to make you drool.
When Brian Preston-Campbell reflects on his job, he sometimes thinks about the hamburger scene in the Michael Douglas film Falling Down. The movie’s antihero, a beleaguered everyman on an armed rampage, has just shot up a fast-food restaurant after receiving poor service. When he finally gets his Double Whammyburger, he stares down at it sorrowfully.
“Look at that,” he orders the manager, pointing to the beautiful picture of the burger on the display behind the register. “It’s plump, it’s juicy, it’s three inches thick. Now look at this sorry, miserable, squashed thing. Can anybody tell me what’s wrong with this picture?”
This scene, says Preston-Campbell, 41, describes “what a lot of people think about what I do for a living.” A professional food stylist, it’s Preston-Campbell’s job to make food that looks—and often is—too good to be true. But if the trigger-happy hero of Falling Down had considered the time and skill that went into that hamburger photo, he might …