Food Stylist: Carrie Purcell

1. How did you get into styling?
I have a bachelors degree in English and always wanted to write for a travel, music or food magazine. I  worked for a magazine for a bit and when it folded I went back to school. I'd always been interested in food so I went to culinary school and wanted to be a pastry chef. After a few years in professional kitchens I realized it wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life either and I found a stylist to assist. Thought it was a perfect combination between all of the fields I was interested and drawn to!

2. What do you enjoy styling more sweets or savory dishes?

I really enjoy both equally and love that I'm able to cook something different every day! It keeps things fresh and exciting. I do have a huge sweet tooth though and a pastry background so I lean a bit towards sweets.

3. Where do you look for your inspirations?
Magazines, other stylists, photographers and blogs for visual inspiration and just a trip to the farmers market or my favorite restaraunts for new food inspiration!

4. How long have you been represented by Big Leo? How has that helped your career?
I've been represented by Big Leo since I moved to NYC 3 years ago. I started my career in Los Angeles so when I moved to NYC I didn't really have many contacts and felt an agency could really help get my name out there. I also had a rep in CA as well and for me personally it works well. Self promotion is not my strong point or favorite thing to do and an agent is a huge help. As I get busier they do lots of little things, juggle my calendar, etc that help me be able to simply focus on being on set and making pretty food.

5. Who are your dream clients you want to work for?
Gourmet was a dream client so I was so to see them go.

6. Do you have a culinary background or is it something you picked up yourself?
Answered above a bit. I do have a culinary degree and worked in restaurants for a few years. I believe it's important to have some sort of formal training before assisting and getting into styling because your basic culinary knowledge is constantly being tested and pulled from with the random things I'm styling and cooking.

7.What do you enjoy more your editorial work or commercial work?
They are both fun for different reasons - advertising clients are beginning to want a looser more editorial feel so there's less difference between the actual styling of the two.

8. What made you start your blog Pictures and Pancakes?
The blog was a way for my husband and I to shoot together and create the images we wanted to create, no agenda or art directors telling us what to do, simply a creative outlet for us when we were inspired.  We only wish we had more time to do that!
** Here's the link:

9. Must have tool on set
Sharp knife, tweezers and a spray bottle!