How to stand out in the shortlist. Caroline Kenyon’s favourite commended images of 2022

As Director of Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year, I have had the huge privilege of looking at every single image entered into the Awards since they began in 2011. The shortlisting process is very intense and extremely exciting. I’m often asked, How on earth do you choose from all the thousands of images?


It is, I’ll admit, very tough, Every image is properly considered in turn. Your brain has to make the infinitesimal shift from looking at one image after another, taken by a different photographer, with a different world view. You enter into a different mindset each time, and by the end of the day, your head really hurts. But it’s such a joy to look at the world through the eyes of the photographers. Sometimes, it makes you think, sometimes, it makes you flinch, sometimes, it makes you laugh. 


Above all, what I look for, is an image that makes me feel. A photograph can be technically brilliant - but leaves me cold. I call it So What Art. I need to feel a pull, a tug at my heart in some way. 


Here are just a few of the many Commended 2022 images that pulled at me this last year:


No Time to Eat by Isabella Hattink, Champagne Taittinger Wedding Food Photographer of the Year

I love this for a whole host of reasons. The composition is great, the jaunty angle of the couple and the car, the colours - the blue of the towel balanced by the blue of the groom's suit, the pink fabric under the flowers behind their heads and the pink of the towel protecting the bride’s beautiful dress from the contents of her wrap, which she is tightly clutching. I love the fact that though they are on their way to get married, at a moment of what should be great solemnity and intimacy, he is ravenously tucking into his food, and she is looking away from him, intent on her phone call. It’s witty, poignant and perfectly caught.


Baby Dinner by Guillaume Flandre, Food for the Family

This a classic scene, played out in young family homes across the world. The anxious parent trying to feed the resistant toddler. The little person is in command of the situation, the adult is the supplicant. The lighting is beautiful here, dark chiaroscuro is a great take on what could just be a domestic snap. The lighting, the mood of both father and baby, make this a memorably lovely shot. 


Simulatte: Motherhood & Sisterhood, Michiru Nakayama, The Claire Aho Award for Women Photographers 

Everything we have learned about the magnificent Claire Aho, Finland’s greatest woman photographer whom this Award celebrates, is that she adored colour and had a very mischievous wit. I think she would have loved this image., It’s saturated with colour and has a Claire Aho-esque clarity of composition and lines. There’s much to consider here. The sisters - very alike - are looking at each other very directly and their expressions are somewhat enigmatic. Is there that intense love/rivalry sister thing going on here? While their mother beams cheerfully through the hatch with her pastry sheet in front of her. Perhaps the peacemaker? Is it food that she uses to bring them together? We may not know for sure.


Labels by Stefano Berti, Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year - People

This image is startling and unsettling. Almost mummified in wine labels, the subject leans exhaustedly against the cases of wine, barely able to stand. Haunted eyes look out from behind the paper wrapping. It’s certainly disturbing but it’s darkly witty and memorable, very far away from the classic portrait of winemaker, full glass in hand and raised to their lips.. I’ll be remembering this one for a long time. 


The Felt of Sage by Kristina Kasting, One Vision Imaging Cream of the Crop

This is a sumptuous image, so lush and velvety, you long to touch it to feel the feathery silver leaves, and the cool water drops so perfectly formed and globular. It’s a Lilliputian view of a sage leaf, where we are shrunk to the size of a fly, and where a single herb leaf is an entire world. What a clever way to celebrate the ravishing planet on which we live and where we take the glory of nature so much for granted. 


I’m really looking forward to seeing another incredible cohort of images for 2023. There is still plenty of time to enter - I always say, don’t leave it until the last minute so you rush it. Give yourself time to make a considered selection - and enjoy looking at your work again!  


So make sure you Enter here by Sunday 5th February 2023


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