Food styling is a big part of our adventures in the test kitchen. We spend at least one day a week getting our recipes camera-ready so readers can see how they are supposed to turn out. Styling is a precise and nitpicky process, but when done well, it helps our photographer make beautiful photos.

But sometimes no matter how much we fuss over a dish, things don’t go right. Take the other day: We were charging ahead on the shots for our Valentine’s Day menu and had just figured out the lighting and camera angle for our Pear-Ginger Trifle when all of a sudden Chris, our photographer, let out a yelp. Concerned he had hurt himself, we threw back the curtains of his studio to discover the nose of his camera in the trifle! It was frustrating, given the time we spent to make the dish look good, but then we took it as a compliment—his camera was so tempted by our food that it had to try some for itself!

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