Lucy Pope was our Food Sn-apping 2016 winner (the category is in aid of Action Against Hunger) for her image ‘Kids' Table’. She tells us, “Young children all enjoying deliciously fresh, locally sourced seafood and salad during a perfect summer's day lunch with friends by the sea. Such a happy sight - I had to capture it on my phone.”
Technical: iPhone 4. 3.9mm 1/125 sec; f/2.8; ISO 80
How does it feel to be a Finalist for the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year 2016?
It's always a good feeling when other people appreciate a picture you've taken. It's exciting to think that it might be worthy of a prize.
Image below: Lucy receiving her award from Jay Rayner and Andy Macdonald
Please tell us more about capturing your Finalist image. For example, what was happening around you, what inspired the shot, what time of day, challenges you had in capturing it?
We’d met up with a group of old friends over an incredible seafood lunch in the garden at a friend's house in Whitstable. Adults on one table, kids on the next - all enjoying the same deliciously fresh lobster, crab, razor clams and salad. Any parent will tell you how wonderful it is to see your kids enjoying good food. I got the shot by holding the camera phone way up above my head, shooting down onto the table without being in shot, and not knowing what was in frame. The main challenge was trying to stop the kids from hogging all the lobster and razor clams.
What was it about the image that you feel fitted the category so well?
It was a chance shot that has a lot going on. I like the circular plates and cups making up the main pattern. It's a spontaneous, totally un-styled image of happy kids seemingly unaware of the camera, enjoying great food outside, captured on a camera phone. If you were to set this image up it would look totally different.
What would you say attracts you most to the photography of food?
I like the variety of the work. I get to shoot behind the scenes in the kitchen, or be outdoors on my knees in the soil, photographing beautiful salad leaves. It’s a social, feel-good subject, which enables me to work with wonderful people and record real visual treats. If I’m lucky I get to eat them too!
What are your thoughts on the cultural impacts of new smartphone apps on the photography sector? Positive, negative, no impact? Why?
I think it’s changed the way we value pictures. Billions of users are snapping away daily and sharing online with such speed that we become saturated with imagery, most of which barely gets looked at for more than a few seconds. The really good ones stand out. The ability to instantly share knowledge and experiences with complete strangers on the other side of the globe is amazing. My bugbear is that I inevitably end up staring at my phone more often than I’d like.
Which photographers, if any, have most influenced your work?
Well, I would have to thank most of the photographers I've ever assisted, especially the very talented Polly Wreford. It was an invaluable experience for me as a graphic design graduate, learning a lot of essential skills about the industry, including how to behave on set and how important a perfectly timed cup of tea is, even if it doesn’t get drunk. If I had to name a few more, then Lisa Cohen, Andrew Montgomery, Nicole Franzen, Avedon, and Helmut Newton have certainly taken up a fair chunk of room on my bookshelf.
Please tell us a little about where you live and if, at all, how it influences your photography.
I live in Hackney, London, and it's a hotbed of varied cultures and creative activity. There are plenty of spaces, parks and markets on the doorstep to visit for inspiration, so it allows me to maintain a relatively spontaneous lifestyle as a mother of a three year old!
What exciting projects have you been working on since winning the category?
I’ve been to Billingsgate Market for Wentworth Club Magazine, which was a fascinating slice of London I’d not witnessed before. I’ve also been working on some brand imagery for Costa which involved shooting at their London roastery and new stores around London. I've been up to Yorkshire and Carlisle for Volvo EMEA shooting portraits of operators/owners of on site with some very impressive machinery - cold and very wet on both shoots!
Last week I finished a commission for The Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team who do incredible volunteer work along this beautiful section of Sussex coastline in all weather conditions around the clock.
It’s been a fun year travelling up and down the UK with work, and discovering the hidden gems to go back to and share on holiday with my family.
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