What makes an egg-cellent photograph?


The humble egg has been a popular subject matter for photographs submitted to the competition over the years. We’ve seen it cooked, created, cracked and captured in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways.

For our latest blog, we chose a selection of eggs-traordinary images from the archive and found out more from some of the photographers that captured them.


‘Broken Egg’ by Michael Hedge, Winner, MPB Award for Innovation, 2019

I shot this image for the RSA journal a couple of years back, the styling was done by Kerry Hughes and art direction by Johan Shufiyan. We did the image for the RSA journal in order to illustrate the fragility of farming. The popped balloons were used to illustrate this idea. I remember this particular image coming together very quickly on the day, it just worked from the beginning and was done in a couple of minutes. I’ve often found that the best images often come together like this.


‘Devilled Eggs’ by Mowie Kay, 2nd, Marks and Spencer Food Portraiture, 2023



‘Portrait of Eggs’ by Roger Kolomlocki, 3rd, Hotel Art Group Cream of the Crop, 2020

Mostly I start creating when I have an idea in my head but I don't stop at one shot. I experiment with focal length and with light. I photograph a subject until I think I have exhausted all my creative resources. It happens that after some time I return to photographing the same thing, and this is the case with eggs. ‘Portrait of Eggs’ is a photo taken with a single strobe light set slightly behind the subject. The frame was created after taking many shots of eggs with different settings to a satisfying effect.


‘Eggstra all’ by Matilda Lindeblad, styled by Ylva Bergqvist, Shortlisted, Food Stylist Award, 2023

I made this picture with my dear friend, food photographer Matilda Lindeblad. We had a creative day in the studio with eggs and fooled around with food colour, fleeing eggs and eggs in odd situations. This one came out nicely. I wanted to create an egg that was eye-catching. The trick is that it is actually two egg whites that I strained before steaming them in a non-stick pan. I think it was my lucky day because this was the first attempt.


‘Township Egg Shop’ by Richard Humphries, Shortlisted, unearthed® Food for Sale, 2021

I shot this image while I was in South Africa for FIFA World Cup coverage. I was in Johannesburg at the time and the photo was shot in Diepsloot township. Diepsloot is one of the country's most notorious townships, and I had gone there to photograph a local amateur football team during their morning training session. After the training session I decided I wanted to explore the Township more. I met people getting off to work and children heading off to school. I found this small shop selling eggs opposite a small bus stop where children caught their bus to school.


‘Fabergé Egg’ by Victoria Dim, Shortlisted, Marks and Spencer Food Portraiture, 2021

This Fabergé egg is an allusion for a legendary jewelled egg created by House of Fabergé by chef Igor Grishechkin (Satoshi restaurant, Bali). Extremely thin meringue crust filled with an egg cream and topped with black caviar and gold leaf inside the hand crafted case. We wanted to show different dimensions of the dish. The challenge was to keep the case opened during the shooting, so firstly we tightened the closing mechanism with a tiny screwdriver. Besides, the smooth and shiny surface of the case keeps the fingerprints. We used special cotton gloves to set up the composition. The meringue was getting wet fast, it was impossible to move it after it got to the box. In general, we had about five cases and about a dozen of Fabergé eggs to make a perfect shot.


‘Runny egg’ by Beata Lubas, Shortlisted, Marks and Spencer Food Portraiture, 2018



‘Evil Eggs’ by Joe Giacomet, Highly Commended, MPB Award for Innovation, 2021

'Evil Eggs' was shot for a magazine called ’Not Nice’. The concept of the shot was created by creative Mark Denton and given to me to shoot.

I wanted to create a strong compositional image with dynamic lighting. We used duck eggs as they were larger and whiter, which were then sorted into sizes. Smaller eggs being favoured to the front and back and the largest eggs in the middle, which enhanced the depth and scale of the shot. A lot of the image's ‘feel' comes from this careful selection and placement of Eggs.

The lighting was tricky, I want strong directional lighting but also very soft. It meant using lots of indirect light and shaping it with flags and nets. After shooting it was passed over to the CG artists ‘A Large Evil Corporation’ who added in the CGi foot breaking out of the egg.


‘Eggs of all sizes’ by Georgia Glynn Smith, Highly Commended, Hotel Art Group Cream of the Crop, 2022

I have always had a slight obsession with eggs - they are a stunning shape, often stunning colours, each and everyone is unique and of course the whole chicken and egg story. This was a dream commission by Clarence Court to showcase their fine produce.


‘The Egg industry, it’s not all what it’s cracked up to be’’ by Emma Sheldrake, Highly Commended, MPB Award for Innovation, 2023

In order to create this piece, I was collecting the egg shells of our blue/green coloured laying chooks for quite a while. I wanted the contrast between the yolk and the shells to come through. The real challenge with the image was to balance the yolk on these shells and not to have the broken shells pierce the yolk. The objective of this image was not only to pose a question about the industry itself on a commercial scale because of the many unfit practices that have come to the surface, but also on a more local/homegrown scale. So many people are unaware that chickens lay a variety of different coloured eggs due to the pigment they can produce. For instance, Ameraucana birds have the pigment oocyanin deposited on the egg as it travels through the oviduct. This pigment permeates the egg shell resulting in the interior and exterior of the egg being the same blue colour. Egg colour is determined by the genetics of the hens.


‘Chromatic Eggs’ by Jamie House, Shortlisted, Hotel Art Group Cream of the Crop, 2021

A long process of dying eggs using natural food colouring was employed to create this image, the resulting image shows strong vibrant colours and the erratic fractured cracks of the eggshells. I lit the image using natural light from a large window on an overcast day to achieve soft but directional lighting to give the eggs form and depth.


‘Frazzled Fried Eggs’ by Hugh Johnson, Shortlisted, On the Phone, 2023

Most professional Food Photographers work away in their studios, often becoming lost in our own little worlds. When I returned from an international Food Exhibition I felt enriched by seeing all the different photographs from around the globe, similar to viewing the wonderful winners in Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year. I was so inspired, I was itching to start shooting. After several years working every day you'd imagine you know most things about the industry but I really only understood 'my little world' but not what photographers were snapping in the US, Chile and Asia.

So, the Frazzled Fried Eggs image was born and a few more in this series. This image was entered in the On the Phone category. I love my i-phone as a camera, it is not to be underestimated and it has won me many of my top Awards. We selected a worn baking tray, then cooked lots of fried eggs over a high heat in lots of oil, so the egg white bubbled and the edges frazzled and browned. We used the midday sun as the light source, positioning the camera and angles to make the image highly reflective. I used the Portrait lens setting, hand held the i-Phone with elbows tucked in to stop any camera shake to keep the image as crisp and sharp as possible.

The background was simple enough to allow a certain symmetry between each egg. The four fried eggs had lots of interesting harsh reflections, especially on the yellow egg yolks. The execution was not a beauty shot but an ‘In yer face’ punchy reportage photograph of a fried egg still-life instead. In the food photography business, you have to keep adding the element of surprise, don’t let your clients know what they’re going to see, keep them on the edge of their seat!!

It had a very good reaction on Instagram from many photographers I respect and of course at the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year awards, who have done so much to support Food Photography.


‘Quail Egg’ by Lauren Gilholm, Shortlisted, Student Food Photographer of the Year, 2023

'Quail Egg' was an image from a series I did capturing the unique textures of different foods, with the soft ridges of the feather and the little bumps of colour on the quail egg leading me to use them as one of the texture studies. I contacted a local farm with quails and bought some of their free range quail eggs, alongside collecting some genuine quail feathers for the shot. The final image was shot in the studio, and I stacked elements of focus from three separate shots in post due to the macro nature of the image. I kept the shot simple to allow the texture of the product to be the focal point of the final image.


‘The Fallen’ by Mithail Afrige Chowdhury, Shortlisted, The Philip Harben Award for Food in Action, 2021

The photograph was taken during the Covid nationwide lockdown in 2020. After purchasing eggs from a wholesale market, an egg trader on the way to his shop was hit by a van. Early in the morning I was walking down the street to find some photographs based on Covid actually. Suddenly, I saw the moment and found it different. So I shot the photo from an overbridge.


‘Flying eggs’ by Daniel Shechter, Shortlisted, Food Stylist Award, 2020

This flying eggs image was shot as part of my flying elements series. In this series I like to create a feel of movement and depth by placing everything carefully on layers of glasses and playing with the right lighting. Like other images in this series, this one was shot in one shot without any photo manipulation. These kinds of images require a lot of patience for the small details and especially here the challenging part was to break the eggs, stage them and capture them before it all got messed up.


Has our gallery got you all egg-cited? Why not take a look at Ed Smith’s latest cookbook, ‘Good Eggs’, for over 100 recipes and ideas that make eggs the star of the show.

Taken some cracking photography? Browse the categories in our photography competition and enter today.

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