It’s true that food stylists – those who arranged and photograph food for those tempting photos you see in ads and in restaurants – sometimes create ingenious concoctions to stand in for the real thing under the hot lights of the studio.
Mashed potatoes are sometimes substituted for ice cream. So are recipes involving shortening and confectioners sugar. But when it comes to photos used in advertising, the Federal Trade Commission has deemed that real ice cream must be used in ice cream ads. However, if the ads are for the cone or a hot fudge topping, a phony ice cream can be used.
Food stylists also carry an impressive collection of tools to help them achieve the “perfect look” for the treat they’re photographing. “What is almost always on set are dental tools, tweezers, paint brushes, cosmetic wedges, q-tips, tacky wax, wooden skewers, rubbing alcohol, oil, and adhesives,” explains food stylist Kim Krejca.
So what’s being used in the photo below: Real ice cream or an imposter? We’re not sure, but it definitely looks good!