How to create a perfect (fake) burger for a photo shoot
You probably already know why burgers look delicious in ads, yet they usually look pretty sad when you unwrap them. It’s because food photographers often use some dirty tricks to make food look appetizing. In this video from Well Done, food stylist Rishon Hanners transforms a sad, drive-through cheeseburger into a delicious-looking Whopper. She will show you how to create a perfect burger for your photo shoot – well, at least a picture-perfect one.
Rishon first deconstructs an unappetizing cheeseburger to use a bun for her Franken-burger. She takes the patty out and cleans it from condiments and sad, soggy vegetables. She sprays it with cooking spray, and it’s almost ready.
She then picks out a nice looking round bun and places the patty onto it. The patty sticks out over the bun so it looks larger. And then, Rishon adds some grill marks onto the patty with shoe polish. It’s yucky, but it’s a well-known trick.
Next, it’s time for cheese. Rishon adds a few pieces of American cheese, making it hang over the bun. It’s time to arrange the veggies: she adds drained and dried pickles, onions, tomatoes, and lettuce – and sticks a toothpick in the middle so everything stays in place.
Rishon then makes the top of the bun glisten with cooking spray and a brush. She adds it on top and adds a skewer in the back so the bun stays in place. The fake burger is almost done, now it’s time for the final details. After all, we need condiments. Rishon adds some mayonnaise and ketchup, carefully placing them with pipettes. She melts the cheese with a heat gun and sprays some water onto the lettuce to make it look fresh.
Finally, it’s time to take the photo. The burger looks really delicious, but it needs to look as if it was just made. A tampon soaked in steaming hot water comes to the scene here. Rishon puts it behind the burger to create fake steam, which is another commonly known trick in commercial food photography.
And there you have it, a perfect, delicious burger that you can’t wait to eat! Knowing these tricks will certainly make you feel less disappointed the next time you buy a burger at a fast food chain. But they’ll also help you create your own food photos that look appetizing. If you want to learn a few more food photography tricks, check out this article. If you want to make your food fly in photos, then this is the article for you.
Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.