When women inspire… Spectacular food, photography and Pink Ladies

This year, Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year introduced The Claire Aho Award for Women Photographers. The Award is in memory of Claire Aho, Finland’s greatest female photographer, and is intended both to celebrate and encourage women photographers around the world, amateur or professional.

Nicola Galloway is one of New Zealand’s top women foodies - award-winning cookbook author, culinary tutor, food photographer and we are delighted for Nicola to be a judge of Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year.

After training as a chef, Nicola started her own business teaching cooking and nutrition, and eventually established her award-winning website Homegrown Kitchen (winner Best Food Website - 2019 NZ Food Media Awards).

Women of all generations have played an important part in Nicola’s career, and we wanted to ask Nicola how she has been inspired.

Photograph Credit: Kate MacPherson

Nicola, how did Homegrown Kitchen start?

‘I started my Homegrown Kitchen recipe website in 2012. I had already been sharing recipes online since 2004 on my portfolio website but wanted to define my food story so was inspired to start an online recipe journal sharing what I was cooking from the garden and seasonal produce.

When I started Homegrown Kitchen, I also became more serious about food photography and invested in a DSLR camera and a simple 50mm lens. The rest is history with my food images regularly appearing in media publications and photographing my latest cookbook.’


What, or who is your biggest inspiration?

‘My biggest inspirations are the women in my family. Many of them, my Mum and sister included, have forged their own creative career paths. It is my Nana in particular who sparked my passion for cooking at a young age. This led me to first train as a chef then create a career revolved around food and cooking education.’


What has it been like as a woman in your field developing something so unique as Homegrown Kitchen?

‘Food writing, in New Zealand in particular, is quite female dominant so I tend to be mostly working and collaborating with other women. I also know a high percentage of my readers and online community are female so I tend to spend a lot of my time communicating with women about cooking and gardening. Although in recent years I have seen a shift in my cooking workshops with more men attending and bringing a different energy (and questions) to the table.’


You have said that your garden and seasonal produce have inspired your recipes and photography. With the given pandemic across the past year, how has this grown or changed?

‘My food style is hugely influenced by my garden and seasonal produce, along with local products. We live in an area with a temperate climate and high sun hours so the produce bounty is abundant all year round. Not to mention the local cheeses, charcuterie, fresh-pressed olive oil, plus grains grown in nearby Canterbury that I mill fresh for baking sourdough. The pandemic if anything has cemented the relationships I have already built with local growers and food community. Plus, I have increased my garden output - having time at home during lockdown meant the garden got a lot more attention and it is certainly paying off!’


Why would you recommend entering The Claire Aho Award for Women Photographers, and other categories of Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year?

‘This is the only international food photography competition that pulls amazing talent from around the world. From my judging experience the quality of the images submitted is high. For those who are serious about food photography the awards are an excellent opportunity to showcase your style and gain inspiration from the other entries.’


Across our ten years, we have had some amazing entries from across the globe, including talented photographers in New Zealand. Would you share with us your favourite image?

‘I love the movement and action in this image and lighting is spot on.’

This photograph is titled 'Flour' and taken by Amber - Jayne Bain, New Zealand. 



‘Claire Aho’s achievements and legacy are an inspiration to women everywhere to express themselves through the medium of photography and it made complete sense to us to commemorate her in this way.’ – Caroline Kenyon, Director.

We are inviting women photographers around the world to submit images to this special Award, which will also be judged by Jussi Brofeldt, Claire Aho’s son and Chairman of the Aho & Soldan Photo and Film Foundation, Helsinki, Finland.

Entries may show food and how it touches our lives in any setting, from studio shots to reportage.

Channel your inspiration and inspire us with your photography!



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