Part of my job as a food stylist is to play various textures of foods against one another in a way that makes the food look beautiful. It’s easy to start understanding this technique when we take a look at food very closely. The textures are amazing on some food, especially the food that nature makes!
So, when I put foods together, like in a salad for instance, there is a a dance going on between foods of different colors, shapes and textures. Every time you place a one food next to another food your eyes compare and contrast the differences or similarities in the two foods. If the foods contrast a lot, the foods will pop off the page more. But, there is also the possiblity of the photo becoming too busy and confusing. It is a fine line between accenting with differences and having too many differences so that the brain becomes confused when looking at the photo. Alternately, If the foods are similar in some way like texture the feeling is more subdued and the foods blend and may becoming boring if the colors and shapes are similar too.
This photo is an example of how the textures of the foods are similar. Notice that the contrast in shapes and color make it interesting while the smooth textures make it more calm.
This photo close up of a salad is an example of contrast in textures. The textures provide a great deal of interest along with the bright contrasts of the purple borage flower and the tangerine marigold petal.
So, when you are eating (or taking pictures of food), start to notice the different textures. How do they look? What draws your attention and makes you want to eat it? Eating AND photographing food is a tactile event. Even if you are just seeing with your eyes your brain is imagining the feel. Interesting.