Food, sex and porn – new magazine, and how it’s done

Eat Me Daily reports that Food + Sex, a new magazine (bottom) with claims to be "The New Aesthetic of Food" featuring articles about human-incubated yogurt and "Tripping Balls on the Magic Penis" about eating psychedelic mushrooms, has debuted.

Sounds like the culmination of food porn.

For those who want more than titillation, The Enthusiast reports on how it’s done:

That mouth-watering Dominos pizza pull-apart, the tumbling ice cube dive-bombing into a perfect splash of soft drink — hell, even Whiskas looks pretty damn tasty when it’s artfully forked apart on TV commercials. Just who is responsible for these flirtatious parades of food pornography?

Welcome to the unspoken world of food stylists, a niche industry responsible for producing attractive food and drink footage of almost otherworldly beauty. This critical weapon is vital in convincing you to purchase that greasy burger, which otherwise looks like a flaccid afterthought by a distracted teenage fry cook.

Robert Carmack, an Australian food stylist of 20 years experience., says, there’s a simple code of conduct when it comes to advertising the product with some honesty. “We use the actual product when we’re selling that product. I’m free to use anything else when it’s an auxiliary. In other words, selling cereal means I must use the actual corn flakes, but the sugar and milk – or white-coloured glue – can be faked.” Mmm, we always did love the taste of Clag as kids!

Robert notes that many food stylists begin their life at gourmet publications, which usually involve proving your worth with mottled lighting and suspiciously realistic props. You’ll work your way up the (ahem) food chain, to photographing products like Big Macs against white Formica without any props at all, but still generating the same appeal to appetite.

In the age of Photoshop, however, everything is usually graphically manipulated after the final shot. “It tends to make stylists lazy when it comes to wiping out marks and drops, but it’s essential,” laments Robert.