Fresh Food Photography Talent
A unique new scholarship in 2017, the BBC Good Food Fresh Talent Award was an opportunity for an emerging photographic talent to work for one of the world’s top food media brands. The award was designed to nurture and develop new talent by giving the winner an unparalleled, funded opportunity to work at the heart of BBC Good Food’s creative hub.
The winner would have a 6-month paid placement with BBC Worldwide where they would have the chance to cover a wide range of subject matter in conjunction with being mentored by the Brand Creative Director. Their content to be published on all BBC Good Food’s media platforms and as part of a monthly blog for Pink Lady® apples.
The winner was Emma Boyns who submitted a series of images, a glimpse inside the UK's first zero waste restaurant, Silo, including shots from the kitchen and restaurant space.
Technical: Canon 5d Mk II
Please tell us more about capturing your Finalist images. For example, what was happening around you, what inspired the shots, what time of day, challenges you had in capturing them.
I captured the five images at different times of the day as I wanted to communicate how much time goes into preparing the food that is sold and served at Silo. The two baking/breadmaking images were taken when I arrived in the morning. I wanted 'The Baker' shot to show the physical exertion that goes into making the loaves, and the 'Sourdough Shaping' photo to add some personality to the series. The 'Plating' shot was taken during the evening in the open kitchen; I wanted to show the detail and effort that goes into creating just one of Silo's beautiful dishes, and I felt the 'Service' image followed on from this by showing two finished plates the way that the diners would receive them. Finally, with 'Anarchy,' I wanted the scene to contribute to the word on the board, so used a slow shutter speed to communicate the fast pace that the full restaurant had that evening. I felt that showing this movement prevented the restaurant seeming too still or formal, which would have contradicted the word.
What was it about the images that you feel fitted the category so well?
The brief asked for five images 'exploring and telling the story of the work, passion and depth and breadth of knowledge that goes into making a successful restaurant,' and I wanted to submit images that worked both on their own and as part of a series. I chose to shoot different elements of the restaurant (bread making, plating, finished dishes, dining) to show how diverse the skills behind the scenes of the restaurant are, from the physical skills required to knead the dough through to the intricate attention to detail when it comes to plating the food and the fast-paced work of the waiting staff in the dining area. I feel the expression and movement in 'The Baker' image, as well as the team effort shown in 'Plating' really helps to show the passion that the staff at Silo have about food, cooking and excellent service.
How does it feel to be a Finalist for the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2017?
Brilliant, I feel like my two passions - food and photography - have been recognised by industry experts that I admire and look up to. It's such an amazing opportunity and I'm both surprised and grateful to have made it as a finalist.
What would you say attracts you most to the photography of food?
I've always loved cooking and baking from a young age and photography has been part of my life for as long as I can remember, so it just seemed natural to combine the two. I spend so much time cooking, baking and eating that I probably wouldn't have time to photograph anything else!
What are your thoughts on the cultural impacts of new smartphone apps on the photography sector? Positive, negative, no impact? Why?
I have mixed thoughts. I think it's brilliant that they are encouraging people to notice and share visual details and pleasing compositions that they might not have considered before, and I also find some apps fantastic for finding motivation and inspiration through viewing others' posts. However, having access to so many images online and the ability to 'screenshot' and share others' work does concern me with relation to copyright, and I often come across images that have no mention of the original author or photographer.
Which photographers, if any, have most influenced your work?
Jean Cazals was the first food photographer whose work I recognised and admired. Since then my work has been influenced by Jonathan Gregson, David Loftus and Mowie Kay, as well as food bloggers Linda Lomelino and Beth Kirby. This particular series of images was inspired by Bob Carlos Clarke's 'White Heat.' I also love the graphic work of Catherine Losing and Louise Hagger.
Please tell us a little about where you live and if, at all, how it influences your photography.
I come from a fairly rural part of West Sussex, with both the South Downs and the sea on my doorstep. I feel like my love for local food and nature developed due to growing up in this environment; the first things I would photograph when I was younger were plants as there were always an abundance of varieties in the woodland, fields and gardens nearby my house. Past photography projects have focused on the food grown in my village and local producers and restaurants. I feel that moving to London has helped my more graphic bodies of work, as I have the chance to see and snap the architecture as I’m walking around London, which can have a really geometrical and graphic result and provide inspiration for shoots.
Please tell us about your work at the BBC so far!
I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I started on the first day of June, but five months later and I can say that I am absolutely loving my time at BBC Good Food and the responsibility given to me has far exceeded my expectations. I started by shooting single images for use on the website and social media, primarily working with the brand’s Food Editors and Cookery team, however over the last few months I have been given more independence and opportunity to work with the rest of the team, becoming part of the Design subteam and contributing to the magazine as well as online platforms. I’ve found the brand really supportive and welcoming, and the feedback I’ve been given, as well as receiving regular shoots for the magazine with food writers and chefs like Emma Freud and John Torode, has helped my confidence greatly. Look out for my sweet-filled Christmassy images in this month’s magazine!
What other projects have you been working on?
I’ve recently started shooting dishes for local restaurants’ profiles on Deliveroo and have another bright and graphic project underway that focuses on the exotic fresh produce that is available around the Shepherd’s Bush area, utilizing African fabrics to introduce some really bold and energetic shapes and colours. I’ve also had a little ongoing project that’s called ‘For the Taking,’where I just snap the random objects that people dump on the streets on my phone; it’s totally random but makes repetitive walks a little more interesting and helps me notice details which I may have otherwise miss, which I think is a really important part of being a photographer.
If you would like to connect with Emma visit:
If you are an upcoming young food photographer studying at the moment why not consider our NEW Student Food Photographer of the Year category for 2018!