Creative Lives Podcast — Jules Young discusses the rise of food styling and her role as an agent
This week we meet Jules Young, who works at the intersection of the food and creative industries. As an agent and office manager for agency HERS, she has become specialised in a particularly niche field: food styling. We hear about the evolution of the craft, along with her own, non-traditional route to representing talent, and the wide-ranging projects she works on.
Head Agent to Food Stylists and Prop Stylists, HERS Agency (2013–present)
Wagamama, Harrods, Wallpaper*, The Guardian, Waitrose, Vogue, Burberry, John Lewis, National Theatre, IKEA, Boots, Molton Brown, Haagen Dazs, McDonald’s, Sainsburys, The Gourmand, Elle, BBC, Channel 4, Esquire
With the rise of food start-ups, the continual cycle of new restaurants, pop-ups, dining trends and ongoing product marketing, food photography is booming, with food photographers and stylists finding their work more in demand than ever before. One company feeling this spike in activity is HERS, the agency where Jules has worked for the past 4.5 years, which represents prop and food stylists.
Based outside of London, HERS matches clients such as IKEA, Waitrose, The Gourmand, Deliveroo or the BBC with their creatives, to work on everything from major campaigns, to experimental editorial features. She begins by telling us more about the agency, its small team, and what her work looks like day to day.
“There are so many different ways you can end up in a creative role. Remember that you can bring something useful from whatever path you’ve taken.”
While the apparent boom in food imagery might make food styling seem like a relatively new role, it actually dates back to the ’50s. With agency HERS founded not long after, Jules fills us in on the company’s history, and how it’s changed over time. Plus, we hear how varied the professional backgrounds of the roster of stylist can be – including writing and cooking backgrounds.
Before overseeing the day to day running of the HERS office and representing stylists, Jules had an unlikely route into the industry. As a young mum, she tells us how her working journey began in non-creative admin positions, and slowly progressed to something that really captured her imagination. She shares her favourite part of the job, her thoughts on getting into a similar role and her tips to anyone considering going into food styling.
Right: styled by Seiko Hatfield, photographed by Chris Turner, for Molton Brown; Right: styled by Tanya Sadourian, photographed by Kulbir Thandi
Styled by Lucy Ruth Hathaway, photographed by Aaron Tilley, for Kinfolk
See more work at hersagency.co.uk