Food Friday #8

Ana Kelly

1. How did you get into styling?

I come from a French/Brazilian/Italian background. I’am currently living in Pittsburgh. I graduated with a marketing degree. Had a bunch of jobs, for example Filipacchi Hachette Publishing, Euro Disney. My 2nd degree was in culinary. I attended Bidwell Training Center and fell in love with food. Background in advertising and culinary experience together along with apprenticing for 2 years with a food stylist helped. Also a lot of cold calling. It was a hard time in PA to find work and got more work out of town.

2. I see you have a good number of sauces/dips in your styling, is it hard to get the right consistency? Any tricks to making it stick right?

It depends on the product. An example; red pepper hummus. What makes it appealing, must place with movement that shows texture. The hero object in the shoot is the red pepper. You don’t want to use a lot of garnish. I like the food to speak for itself. At the same time some food garnish might be needed.

3. Have you ever styled drinks? If so what kind? Was it difficult?

Everything is difficult. Even then it depends if client likes it or not. If it’s cold you have to show it’s cold without it actually being cold. With smoothie shoots you must have same consistency as what client uses. They can’t send you their 20,000 dollar machine to make the actual smoothie either.

4. Where do you find yourself working mostly?

Mostly in PA and Ohio. I work where ever anyone calls me though. Started coming to Philadelphia recently.

5. Do you work with photographers directly or do you get hired more through art directors?

50/50 with both. Depends on company, art directors come to me to get my real rate. It’s always a bidding war.

6. Have you always done still photography styling or did you start out in t.v. styling?

I started doing movies here and there. I did a party scene on Wonder Boys with wine and cheese. Whatever passes through the scene. Also prop master might hire me. Once I had to cook food to be eaten that had to be served cold. It was a rack of lamb. I was Frenching tons of bones for the rack of lamb. High end looking meal for “rich” family for movie. Love and Other Drugs was another movie. With still images there is more attention to still. Motion it’s more forgiving.

7. Now that social media is growing do you find yourself using it more as a marketing tool?

Yes. Facebook I have my fan page. Ana The Uncensored Chef is my RAW Facebook page. Clients are my friends on Facebook. Personality has a lot to do with it. I have a fan page, Ana Kelly Food Styling.

8. What is your favorite tool you use on set? Why?

Vaseline, crazy glue, tweezers, Q-tips, Windex, and blue sticky. Without any of these things it’s not worth showing up. You must invest in business, it takes a lot of money. Especially to get larger clients. You have to front a lot of work out of pocket.

9. Who was your first big client?

First big client was All-Clad, then Campbell's. I did a Art institute commercial. All-Clad selling pots and pans. Moved onto Smuckers company. Also worked with Emeril, Giant Eagle (grocery chain), Market district.

10. What is your favorite thing to style?

I use food to style. I like to use food to make other things. I have used Jell-O to insinuate a butt jiggling. There is no one favorite thing I enjoy to style, I just like to use food to create other things that aren't necessarily meant to be food or eaten.