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How I Styled Shrimp Pasta – A Time-Lapse

Watch my food styling process of this shrimp pasta dish from start to finish in a time-lapse.

Watch my food styling process of this shrimp pasta dish from start to finish in a time-lapse.

Hi guys! I finally managed to get a video of my food styling process up. For those of you who are following me on Instagram, you’ve already seen this video of me styling this delicious Shrimp Pasta. However, I wanted to explain more about the process, so stick around.

How I Start My Food Styling Process?

First things first – a concept! And a story. I think this is the most important thing in any food photography since it gives you or whoever is photographing the grounds to take a good photo. If you are not familiar with how to form a story or a concept you can get my Free Photoshoot Planning Worksheet and it’ll guide you through this process. Super easy and quick, but I can’t stress enough how important it is.

Second, I draw sketches which I also help you with, in my worksheet. In the photo below you can see a few sketches I made for this photoshoot. I try to think about angles that work for the dish I’m shooting and the compositions that will support my story.

While I sketch, I usually decide on the props, although I change them during the photoshoot if it turns out they didn’t fit the story or they don’t pair well with the dish.

Do I follow the sketches 100%?

Nope. Definitely not! The sketches I make are my starting point and my guideline for the photoshoot. They serve so I can get a great composition quicker and to focus on textures and the story. I change things up a lot during the photoshoot. I start placing the larger objects where I draw them on the sketch and then follow with the smaller ones.

A lot of the times it turns out the smaller ones need to be placed in another position for many different reasons. For example, I don’t always draw the correct size of the props and when they are placed in that position they look awkward. I either change the prop or change the composition.

How Do I work My Time Frame?

As you probably know, photographing food and styling requires a lot of time management skills. I usually make a mental note of a good old paper note about how I wanna time my process.

When does a particular part of the dish need to be cooked?

Which props and food I can place before even starting to cook or while I cook something that takes a long time and doesn’t need me to stand next to the stove?

Which foods need to wait until the very last minute to be placed on the set and how I’m going to keep it looking fresh until then?

How fast do I need to work the camera? Is my food going to melt fast? Is it gonna get cold and unappetizing? How can I fix that?

These are all questions I ask myself before even starting to cook.

So How About Styling This Shrimp Pasta?

I styled this set in three stages.

The first stage was before I even prepped food for cooking because pasta cooks quickly and needs to be served right away. And the type of sauce I used can wait, it needs to be cooked at the same time as the pasta. I only placed props on the set, no food. I set the food next to the set.

Second, was while my pasta was just before cooking. I wanted my props to look as fresh as possible so I didn’t want them to sit on the set for longer than needed.

The third was placing pasta on the set and moving quickly so it doesn’t start to look dull.

Final thoughts

I hope you enjoyed this short food styling tutorial and time-lapse. And remember, it all starts with planning!