FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2012 AWARD CEREMONY
We were thrilled to take part in the prestigious awards ceremony last month at London’s Mall Galleries. We were lucky to be one of the finalists for the Food Photographer of the Year international competition, the first of its kind, sponsored by Pink Lady apples. Competition was fierce, with entries coming in from all over the world and more than 3,100 images entered.
The judging panel reads like a Who’s Who of the food world – broadcasters, writers, bloggers, publishers, producers, food stylists, photographers – Radio 4’s The Food Programme presenter Sheila Dillon, Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens, Silvana de Soissons, editor of the online food magazine The Foodie Bugle, Blur’s bassist turned cheesemaker, Alex James, to name a few.
The overall prize was won by Jean Cazal for his beautiful photo of French black pigs. There were 8 category winners showing a diverse and exciting talent. We won 2
nd prize in the Philip Harben Award for Food in Action* for ‘Absorbed’ a photograph of our son, Rio, cooking. Strange really, as we initially weren’t even going to submit it! It had been taken on one of those simple family afternoons. Rio, in his grandmother’s oversized apron, so absorbed in the process of peeling the apples for the apple cobbler, he didn’t even notice me taking the photograph. The gaze is perfect, so calm and focused. Not stylized, not overworked, just a special moment.
Rio enjoyed two moments of fame. As well as starring in our entry, he was also a finalist himself, in the Children’s category, for a photograph he’d taken of his very first mince pies. He won 3rd prize. Rio describing his photograph:
“These were the first mince pies I ever made. My grandma who is 84, and my Dad helped me. I wanted to eat them straightaway but I thought they would make a good photo. I like cooking and I like taking photos. It’s a shame you didn’t get to taste them.”
Wonderful to see both entries up on the wall at the acclaimed Mall Galleries, alongside some beautiful and inspiring work. There was a fabulous turnout for the event, enjoying the photography, the ambience, not to mention the Taittinger champagne & canapés.
Food is everywhere nowadays. We’re bombarded with beautiful images of food. Chefs & food writers have become the new celebrities. Over the last seven years, we’ve enjoyed photographing food, from food in its strangest form (goose barnacles in northern Spain), to Michelin chefs to real home-cooked earthy food that you just can’t wait to get stuck into. At long last, food photography is being celebrated.
*The award was in memory of Philip Harben, the first TV chef in the UK, who also started out as a photographer. A passionate communicator of the art of cooking, he encouraged post-war Britain to regain its enthusiasm for food and cookery. The category invited images of people cooking anywhere and everywhere, whether at home, in professional kitchens, over a campfire, or in a ship’s galley.
Pili & Bry Garcia-Wilkinson