The Hero of your photo is the food you are featuring. In the food styling and photography industry this is the food which gets “Star” treatment and the food that gets pampered and primped to take the starring role in your photograph. It’s important that a majority of the attention is on the “Star” of your photo. You may be selling this food for an advertisement or featuring this food as a recipe. Either way, it is extremely important to keep the attention on this food.

There are many ways to make your hero the “Star” of your photograph. Here are just some possibilities:
– Have props or other food in your photo be a contrasting color to your “Star”.
– Have the light be spotlighted on your “Star” food creation.
– Use textures that contrast the texture of your “Star”.
– Have your “Star” front and center in the photo.
– Have your “Star” in focus and other areas in soft focus.

Let’s look at a few photos and see if you can tell what technique(s) were used to make the hero food a “STAR”


chicken soup with vegetables


sandwich with beet,cheese,avocado and arugula


Guacamole on wooden table. Selective focus
Did you guess color? Yes! Contrasting color is the predominate mode of capturing the viewers attention on the food in these three photos. But we can also see contracting textures at play too with the smoothness of the guacamole and the very textured herb garnish or the roughness of the rye bread with the smooth leaves of the watercress. Those are secondary contrasts abut just as important. It’s fun to explore each of these potential scenarios with different set ups. Some will work and some will not, depending on your scenario. The idea is to play with these and see which works best for your food. Have some contrasting options near your photo set to try if you feel that something is missing. Usually a pop of contrast will be just the thing to make your photo go from average to awesome!

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