I recently did a “Food Photography” clinic with Rich Legg and mentioned one of my favorite books on food styling. The book, Food Styling for Photographers by Linda Bellingham and Jean Ann Bybee, is exactly what you would expect. It explains food styling for someone who is a photographer but doesn’t have much (or any) experience styling the food.
The reason I really like this book is, because it is primarily written from the perspective of a food stylist, it focuses more on the actual styling of the food, so it has very little information on technique and lighting for photography. (If you need a book about photographing food then I would recommend a book such as Digital Food Photography by Lou Manna.) It’s also written very well and has a lot of photos to illustrate the methods described in the book, and while it does describe ways to style specific meals most of the methods you learn can be applied to many other food items.
Ideally it’s best to have a professional food stylist at the photo-shoot, especially if you are hired to photograph food for commercial purposes for an organization that has the budget for it, but when you do what I do (micro-stock) or just want to photograph food for your blog or for fun then there really isn’t the budget to spend $500+ on a professional stylist. I find that this book is more than helpful and I highly recommend it for photographers who want to give food photography a try.