Food Stylist Visits West Photo Students

Food Stylist Gives West Photo Students Taste of Non-Traditional Art Career
Posted on 10/27/2021
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Woman stands between two seated students pointing at one of the sketches they are working on.. Ever wonder why that sandwich on the billboard or that plate of spaghetti in the magazine looks so tasty? After a recent visit from a professional food stylist, photography students at Lakota West High School aren’t wondering anymore - and have yet another real world application to the concepts they’re learning in art class. 

On the heels of a food photography unit, art teacher Jodi Kessler invited food stylist Mary Seguin to be a guest in her Still Photo 1 classes. Seguin, who has prepared food for photo shoots with companies such as Kellogg’s, LaRosa’s and Penn Station, is as conscious of the shapes, proportions and textures making up the featured food as the person photographing the food.

“Mary works as a food stylist. She is not the photographer on the sets. In this class, the students are both, the stylist and photographer, “ Kessler said. “I wanted them to see that there are career options that don't involve being the person taking the pictures. Stylists set up the shots that the photographers capture. Students who enjoy food and enjoy cooking can use their knowledge of art in a variety of ways.”

Seguin led Kessler’s students in a hands-on lesson in which they traced different food items on a brown paper bag. The exercise set up an entire discussion about everything from shapes and proportions to textures and focal points to elicit different feelings by those viewing the items. She also brought carrots, pretzels and blueberries as props, challenging each student to take what they’d learned and arrange the items in a visually appealing way. 

Seguin went on to share real career experiences and the different workspaces she’s been handed over the years, including a video shoot that had her doing her work on a dirty warehouse floor and cleaning her dirty dishes in a bathtub. She went on to offer Kessler’s students the chance to tap into her professional network to visit a photo or video set and talk to others who have landed in different types of art-related careers. 

“If you live your life by the word curious, you never know where you’ll end up, but you’ll know that you explored all options,” Seguin said.