How I Work: Food stylist Lucy-Ruth Hathaway

Food styling can be a messy, fun and physically demanding job. Lucy-Ruth Hathaway, who has worked on shoots for Kinfolk and the Sunday Times Magazine, talks us through her creative process

Lucy-Ruth Hathaway’s website is a feast for the eyes. Her portfolio is filled with rich, colourful images of sweet and savoury treats, from mini chocolate puddings with oozing centres to crispy fries dripping in ketchup. Hathaway started out in film before working as a food stylist, and has since worked on editorial shoots and ad campaigns alongside personal projects. Below, we spoke to her about creating mouth-watering images, the importance of cooking skills and changing trends in food photography.

On combining technical expertise with creative thinking It’s a really unusual combination of skills that you have to bring together to do this job. One on the one hand, you’re a technician – you’re looking at how to achieve something with food, either as a product or as something you’re creatively working with, so you need to have a level of technical ability – but then you also need a lot of food knowledge. Different types of food stylists will have different areas of expertise … but you have to have culinary confidence and a knowledge of different ingredients and cooking skills, and then there’s the taste aspect of it, not in a culinary sense but an art and design sense. You’re bringing together all three of those things all the time.