Recently I got the opportunity to work on a project that required me to make soft serve ice cream recipes come to life. Using real product is always ideal but sometimes it just doesn’t make sense. If I was using real soft serve ice cream, I would have seconds not even minutes to get the shot without the whole thing melting into a little bit of a hot mess. Hot mess and photography just don’t mix. Whatever we are shooting, involves many eyes of scrutiny and limited time is never ideal in that situation. On set, I need something that will sit and stay sexy so that if I need to move some caramel, or a nut, I can do so without much concern for every other element in my shot.
Fake ice cream recipes can be found all over the Internet but the only real way for them to work for you is to test them and create your own. Studio temperature, your hand temperature, your piping technique, all contribute to the look and feel of your fake ice cream. My recipe has evolved over the years and will continue to do so throughout my career I’m sure. Sometimes you arrive on set, and your no fail recipe, fails! You need to be quick on your feet and come up with a way to fix it, or have enough product to start it over on the day (not ideal at all!). I always feel a bit like MacGyver on set. You have two tooth picks, some paper towel and some glue….make it work!
If you do go out and venture into the world of fake ice cream, the one thing I suggest you do, is to test, test, and test. Also make sure to have fun….this job can be stressful and intense but remember, at the end of the day, you get paid to play with food! Make sure you enjoy yourself as it is totally reflected in your work. You can tell when you were stressed on a shot so take a deep breath and let it go. Good luck!