How to stand out in the shortlist by Caroline Kenyon
As the entries come in from around the world, Team Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year is gearing up for close of entries and then the deep dive into shortlisting.
It’s a task I absolutely love - looking through, engaging with, considering and debating every single image. I am so looking forward to the 2024 crop.
But before we get there, I have treated myself to a nostalgic look at the 2023 shortlist. What an incredible smorgasbord of stunning images, across every category. It always takes my breath away.
So I have picked out just a very few to share with you why they speak to me, why I believe they so deserved their place in the Commended Gallery.
Apple Harvesting in Northern Michigan by Kylie Gotzfried (tenderstem® Bring Home the Harvest) is a beautiful, mysterious and atmospheric image. The shapes of it - the fluffiness of the apple trees, the geometric shapes of the ladders, the proportion of sky to earth - it all feels perfectly balanced. But alongside the muted colours, the technical skill, is the resonance created by the absence of people - where are they? Has something happened? Who knows, and it is that unanswered question which makes this picture special for me.
Cheering for the Dutch by Manola van Leeuwe (Champagne Taittinger Food for Celebration) - cheering is the word for this exuberant shot! It’s full of colour, humour and energy. I love the use of the colour orange - the national colour for the Netherlands - which runs all the way from the model’s hat, the comically oversized glasses, her t-shirt and even some of the vegetables peeping out of the burger bun. It's very hard to feel down when you look at this photo.
Dedication of Love by Boqian Cui (Food for the Family) is a tender, beautiful moment in a hospital in China as a nurse gently feeds a tiny baby with a bottle of milk. Despite the nurse’s mask and cap, one can still see so much love in her face as she bends over the tiny baby, enthusiastically sucking away. In the background, other babies snooze like little old men, another bawls. I wonder why the baby is in the hospital, where is the mother? We hope for a happy reunion.
Think by Mariyana Stoyanova (Claire Aho Award for Women Photographers) is an elegantly composed, powerful black and white image. The stunning young woman, whose features echo Audrey Hepburn, wears on her head not a designer hat, but an octopus. The startling shot marries beauty and revulsion - we imagine the slithering, slimy coldness of the octopus on her head which she wears with elan - and her expression of melancholy thoughtfulness is at odds with the shock of the contrast.
Bloody Beets III styled by Ylva Bergqvist (Food Stylist Award) is a blackly comic shot. The ‘butcher’, whose face is hidden from us, holds a magnificent bunch of beetroot, while their apron and threatening cleaver are covered with blood-like beetroot juice. A dark play on the horror film, where the victim is an innocent vegetable, it shakes me out of my comfort zone and challenges me to think about the food we eat, our food systems, meat versus plant. A very clever shot.
Do enjoy looking at the 2023 Commended Gallery - you will find it so inspiring and, undoubtedly, it will remind you of photographic treasures sitting in your archive which will be ideal to enter in 2024! Entries close Sunday 4th February 2024.
- How to stand out in the shortlist by Caroline Kenyon January 4, 2024
- Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year changed my life January 2, 2024
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