Food styling tips from Shivesh Bhatia

While the rest of us wasted our childhoods in jungle gyms and sandpits, Shivesh Bhatia played in heaped-high spoonfuls of sugar. When we first met Bhatia a couple of years ago he was a student at Delhi’s Hindu college by day, and baking wunderkind by night (and other hours), whipping up confections as gorgeous as they were delicious. He might now have graduated, but we’re still on his Instagram feed for hours of mid-afternoon yearn-scrolling (guilty).

He apprenticed under Pooja Dhingra of Mumbai’s Le15 Patisserie (Ed note: around the corner from our store in Kala Ghoda, should you find yourself in that neighbourhood), but Shivesh’s baking journey began with something rather more relatable: with failed Betty Crocker cake mix experiments with cousins over the weekend. Been there, still doing that.

Food styling tips from Shivesh Bhatia

Shivesh told us how, growing up, his grandmother’s stories seamlessly blended in with recipes and lessons on how to whip up decadent chocolate cakes. His Instagram feed sits somewhere between Christmas, the Faraway tree, and a Wonka Factory, and we got a little peek at how to #BakeWithShivesh (always with dollops of cream cheese frosting and fresh blueberries).

Want your feed to look a little like that? Here’s the good news, it can. Bhatia gave us a little set of pointers to prettify our cake-portraits.

The right light
Always use natural light to take pictures. Artificial lights are not ideal for food photography.

The right angle
Understand the food that you are shooting and decide the angle accordingly. Experiment and shoot from various angles and decide what works the best.

The right prop
While styling, use the tools that you used during the process of baking in the picture. I very often use whisks, knives and spatulas in my pictures.

Tell a story
Narrate a story. Weave a story around your food and use the props accordingly. This helps the viewers to connect with the food in the picture.

Bhatia’s book is out on Harper Collins very soon, but in the meanwhile find him on Instagram here and his website here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *