Class: Food Styling with Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers


We're on a cooking and food class kick over here at ToFoodies! Last week, we sent trusted ToFoodies photographer Chris Bull to #SpringInToFlavour at a food styling class to learn more about making food photo magic. Who better to work with than Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers (OGVG), the not-for-profit organization that represents nearly 220 tomato, cucumber and pepper farmers over 2,500 acres in Ontario? What better backdrop to learn in than THP Agency? Match made in heaven.

With two recipes to make, everyone got down right down to business. Our props and products to work with were so beautiful with seedless cucumbers, mini cumbers, cocktail cucumbers; red, yellow, orange and specialty peppers; tomatoes on the vine, beefsteak and specialty tomatoes - you name it, we had it! Making the process a little easier was the fact that OGVG’s farmers are less than one day’s drive from most markets they serve in Canada and the US.


By Chris Bull

The classic, stand-on-a-chair-to-get-the-shot is the easiest to capture in photos, but there are a few more tips that we picked up along the way!

Food Styling Tips: How To Get The Shot 

  1. In general, small plates are better! They make things look bountiful.
  2. For photos, undercook foods to help showcase their colour, shape and natural beauty.
  3. Have an oil spray on hand for meats.
  4. Have a glycerin water on hand for refreshing.
  5. Always think about the colour composition and how you can bring the right colours to the right table.
  6. For an iPhone: take advantage of the gridlines! Using the rule of thirds is very important.
  7. For phone editing: boost saturation, sharpening and shadows.
  8. Invest in white and black pieces of card stock so you can do your own reflecting and blocking.
  9. Use natural lighting as much as possible (sometimes, it just needs a little guidance).
  10. You can use a shower curtain for diffusing light.
  11. And most importantly, tell a story with your food styling! Every prop, angle, etc. counts so use it to your advantage.

Grocery Story Tips: How to Pick The Best Veggies 

  1. Tomatoes - Look for tomatoes that are round, full, and feel heavy for their size. The skin should be taut, with no bruises, shrivelled bits or blemishes.
  2. Peppers - Spot the peppers that are most vibrant in colour. The skins should be firm, no dark spots. Again, they should have a nice, weighty feel for their size.
  3. Cucumbers -  Find seedless cucumbers that have a bright, even colour of skin without any "sweating". Avoid seedless cucumbers with soft spots, dark & dull spots and yellowing. If you're still not sure, cop a feel and make sure your cucumber is not easy to bend.

And we did alright, did we not?!


This blog post was sponsored by the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers, but the opinions are all my own.