A Spotlight on Student Food Photography


A really exciting opportunity for the next big name in the world of food photography – our Student Food Photographer of the Year.

We are so honoured to shine a light on those photographers who are currently attending a photography course at a recognised college of university. This special award is supported by the world famous Royal Photographic Society, whose work also nurtures students in the photography world. 

We ask our students to be inspired by the themes in any of our categories, whether classical food photography or social documentary. 


We wanted to share a spotlight on our Student Food Photographer of the Year category and discover what the category has meant to our entrants. 

We spoke to Sarah Blandford, who’s stunning image Beetroots Still Life won the category in 2021. 

Sarah shared with us her background in photography and a little more about what winning the category has meant to her. 





Student Food Photographer Inspiration 

Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year Student Winner 2021 


Tell us about yourself and your background in photography…

‘After working in various PA roles over the years and being mum to my daughter, I applied to study an undergraduate degree in Commercial Photography. I’m currently studying a postgraduate MA in Film & Photography at the University of Derby.’

Who or what is your biggest influence?

‘The chiaroscuro of Italian painter Caravaggio and the Dutch Masters. More recent influences include the poetic style of Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi and UK fine art photographer Cig Harvey.’


Tell us a little about your winning image…

‘Using a farmhouse table with a copper pan and prop rag and shot in natural light with a shallow depth of field, to showcase the beautiful colours of the beetroot.’


How did it feel to win your category?

‘I was honoured and delighted to win the student category. We were watching the live stream at home on the tv with Fred Sirieix and we were shocked and excited when my name was announced as the winner.’


What made you enter Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year? 

‘I’ve been a fan of the prestigious Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year for a number of years.’


Why would you recommend entering the awards? 

‘I would definitely recommend entering the awards, especially students.  There’s really nothing to lose, the winning images are all shown in a variety of publications, and beautifully exhibited together at a prestigious event, and you never know where your win will take you.’




Royal Photographic Society supporting Student Food Photographer of the Year

In an exciting first for the competition, the exhibition of the 2021 Finalists premiered at The Royal Photographic Society, one of the world’s oldest photographic societies, in Bristol. It was wonderful to showcase our finalists' work, and for them to join the celebrations, including Sarah.  




Be inspired by our previous Student Finalists and look at more of their incredible work featured on our finalists' gallery.




Entering Student Food Photographer of the Year 


If you are a photography student, why not submit your images? What you could receive..


The winner and two runners up of the Student Food Photographer of the Year category will receive an RPS Membership, worth £55. The winning student will have their work and an interview published in the award-winning RPS Journal.

In addition, the winner of the Student Food Photographer of the Year category will have the unique opportunity to have a 60 minute one-to-one Zoom meeting with Commercial Photography Consultant and Mentor, Zoe Whishaw. This will include:

  • Website review
  • Analysis of creative direction
  • Options and ideas to take career forwards



 Try your hand at food photography and enter our competition - Register your interest today!

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