It’s always nice to feel you’ve taken a good photograph, but there’s something special (not to mention extremely humbling) about one’s work being recognised by others.
Launched in 2011, the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition celebrates the finest in food and drink imagery and film from around the world, and is aimed at all keen picture-takers – old and young, professional and amateur.
This prestigious event is the industry’s most renowned awards scheme, and the winners receive extensive press coverage of their work and generous cash prizes.
Its judges face the unenviable task of whittling down some 8,000 food-themed entries to just 600 places, giving you an idea of how keenly sought-after the final places are. A distinguished panel is chaired by globally recognised food photographer David Loftus.
I’ve submitted entries myself, and been shortlisted, each year the scheme has been run. On two occasions, I’ve been fortunate enough to make it through to the finals.
This year, I was shortlisted again for eight photographs. These include pictures from Ghana and Zanzibar, where I took shots of people waiting for the fishing catches to come in. Other images of Africa include cattle in Kenya and pineapple being sold at the roadside in Ghana. Much closer to home, an image of a polytunnel in Fife was shortlisted. Meanwhile, I also received three nods in the Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year (Produce) category, including one for a close-up of some gorgeous red grapes.
While some of the shortlisted photographs are from the stunning, far-flung places I’ve visited on my travels, you certainly don’t have to journey so far – there are plenty of incredible food photography opportunities right on your doorstep.
Whatever you shoot, think about where the food or drink items have come from, and try to include something of their provenance in your image. The internet is awash with pretty pictures of comestibles on plates, but there’s an awful lot more to food photography than that. I often do this in my own work, for example by including the beach and sea in my fish-themed photographs.
There are certainly many other things you can do to capture the best foodie shots – from getting the angle and flash perfect to putting great thought into the props and surroundings you use, and insisting on only photographing very fresh ingredients and dishes.
But do bear in mind that food photography is a highly specialised discipline, and, unless you happen to have had some training or experience in it, it’s one of those jobs that’s generally best left to the professionals, especially if your business involves food and the photographs are for public ‘consumption’.
Having extensive specialist knowledge in this area, I can create images that will help sell your food-based business. Get in touch today if you’d like more information either about my professional food photography services or about the private photography courses I run occasionally at my studio in Fife.