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Monday, April 28, 2008

Guest Blogger: Paul Lowe, Food & Interior Stylist

I am so excited about today’s Guest Blogger! Paul Lowe, author of the fab blog sweet paul, is a food and interior stylist in New York City. He is super creative and talented as well as a fellow chocoholic. I love his blog and am intrigued by his job…and he’s agreed to give us a sneak peek into his world!

Paul is originally from Norway and is doing some great work here in the States. He has several beautiful books, works with some amazing photographers and magazines, and even does cool things like style for Katie Lee Joel’s cookbook…and then hang out with her husband Billy during the shoot (yes, THAT Katie Lee & Billy)! Anyway, I wish Paul lived with me so he could style for my blog, but alas, I must enjoy his talent from afar. Without further ado…here’s Paul!

Guess the whole “making things pretty” gene runs in the family.

My grandmother was a great cook and my mother has always had very good taste when it comes to decorating. With this mix of genes running in my blood, it’s no wonder I became a food and prop stylist. I have been doing this for about 16 years now and am loving every minute of it.

So why not become a chef or a decorator?

I have always enjoyed being able to tell a story without having to use words. And I find that photography is the perfect media to do this with. I also think I have a different approach to my work than others in the same field. I do both the food and the props. Usually people do one or the other, not both. I really enjoy doing both. I like to be in control of the whole thing and love to mix food, interiors and craft, all in one story. I really hate putting food on an ugly plate!

I start by choosing a theme – it can be an ingredient, a color, a material. A while back I did a story for the Norwegian magazine Interiormagasinet. I wanted to make knitted tea cosys. But I can’t knit. So, I bought a white woolen sweater and made a lot of props with the sweater and a hot glue gun.

When I start on a story I decide on colors, props, etc. Then I go prophunting. New York is good for props as there are a lot of great prop rental places. You can find amazing things there. I pick out the props I want to use, then find surfaces and backgrounds.

I also usually make my own recipes. I love to go food shopping. Whole Foods is my favorite. They usually have everything I need. Farmers markets are also a great place to find stuff.

The morning of the shoot, I drag all my bags to the studio and start unpacking props and food. I always have an assistant to help me. He or she will prep all the food and I will put it together.

When I do the set up I always think about where the camera will be, what angle, etc. I don’t do too much ”˜hokus pokus’ with the food, maybe just a little extra oil or a spritz of water.

We always eat the food for lunch. Sometimes that can be quite a spread! Afterwards we pack up the props, do the dishes and go home.

It’s a great job!

I’ll leave you with a few more images* from my portfolio.

(Click here for the recipe for this lovely egg)

*Photos by Colin Cooke, Ellen Silverman and Steve Giralt.


  1. 1

    Beautiful… It sounds like a dream career – doing what you love. Thank you for sharing!

  2. 2

    i loved those pictures, especially the knitting ones! very creative.

  3. 3

    Fancy you with a guest blogger!

  4. 4

    Absolutely beautiful! What a treat to see such amazing work. Thanks for sharing!

  5. 5

    i love your art.

  6. 6
    Jessica H

    I was trying to pick my favorite image to comment on but I really just can’t pick one. They are all amazing. I especially love the pear shot and thr pink punch with the raspberries. Very inspiring and each picture certainly tells a unique story.

  7. 7

    What a job. I’m glad, though, that putting food on an ugly plate doesn’t bother me…my family would NEVER get fed! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hello, Do something to help the hungry people from Africa or India,
    I created this blog about them:

  9. I’m no good at pulling it all together, but you are inspiring me to try harder! I love the knitted dishes.

  10. 10

    You inspire me 🙂 I love photography and I love to cook! Thanks for sharing your site!

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