One thing that unites us all is food. It is a key element not only for survival, but also for tradition, celebration and community. This year’s winners of the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year awards showcase the customs and stories woven into the way we cook, eat and play with our food.
About the contest
Inaugurated in 2011, the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year awards recognize excellence in food photography and filmmaking. From submissions reminiscent of the glossy pages of cookbooks and magazines to documentary-style photos of festivals, harvests and street vendors, the winners take you on a journey around the world while introducing you to food through the eyes of the people who create and share it. .
Since its inception, the competition has received over 80,000 submissions from 96 countries. The Royal Photographic Society presents the winners’ work in a public exhibition in Bristol from November to December. Prizes vary by category and range from cash rewards to gear giveaways and gift certificates. Each category winner also receives a trophy.
Below are our favorites of the 27 award-winning works in the category. You can see all the winners and finalists here.
Bring home the harvest
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Taken in Fujian province, Chinese photographer Chang Jiangbin offers a glimpse into the world of noodles, a regional favorite. The way the photograph is framed by the cooling strands gives it a clandestine feeling as the viewer watches.
Food for the party
The repeated use of the color red adds dynamism to the task at hand: folding the dumplings.
“A family gets together to make rice or mung bean dumplings. They use a wooden seal to stamp the word ‘fortune’ or ‘happiness’ on the red dough, and steam the dumplings in a large steamer,” says winner Chen Ying. “This tradition means the New Year will be greeted with reunion and the year ahead will be prosperous.”
Food wedding photographer
The range of emotions and the expert framing of the cake make for a gripping (and potentially humorous) story, filmed by Isabelle Hattink from the Netherlands.
Women Photographers Awards
“Celebrating African heritage, fused with a touch of inspiration from French post-Impressionist artist Henri Matisse,” is how winner Marguerite Oelofse describes her work. “The painter-like aesthetic in my photography creates a three-dimensional feel by using bold colors, shapes and textures. These elements originate from our diverse South African culture.
Wine Photographer of the Year – People
Jon Wyand, representing the UK, captures an early morning worker in a Burgundy vineyard, gathering newspaper clippings against a stark, sunny landscape.
Wine Photographer of the Year – Locations
There’s a lot going on in this photo: the leading lines draw attention to the still desolate vineyard – probably captured in winter or early spring – and the human shadow adds an element of mystery and liveliness to the scene.
Wine Photographer of the Year – Products
To prevent the onset of fermentation, freshly picked grapes are packed with dry ice which swirls around and creates an otherworldly effect as the fruit falls into a vat. Suzanne Becker Bronk, representing the United States, captured this one at Caldwell Vineyard in Napa, California.
food for the family
“During the Spring Festival, the Tujia people of western Hunan will prepare tuansa, a special local specialty made from glutinous rice with a light and sweet taste,” said winner Weining Lin. “Most locals take the tuansa as a gift or offering.”
Paolo Crocetta from Italy took this abstract photo on a snowy day.
“After a heavy snowfall, I raised the drone to take some pictures of my country covered by the whiteness of the white coat; after a few minutes of flying, I noticed the peculiar shapes the apple trees created in contrast to the snow on the ground,” Crocetta shares.
Food Stylist Award
Carolin Strothe’s series of five photographs won first prize in the styling category. From misleading pumpkin brioche to Proust madeleines and a summery vegetable pie that looks like a painting, the collection is a real treat for the eyes.
Fujifilm Award for Innovation
Closer inspection reveals that this isn’t actually Central Park, but rather a clever recreation with broccoli and graters. “The image is part of my ongoing project called ‘Foodtopia’, a miniature world created with food,” shares winner Yuliy Vasilev.
Marks & Spencer Culinary portraits
This photograph just screams with joy with the multitude of fruits of all colors. It’s like the melon Tetris.
MPB Food Influencer
Photographer Elisa De Cecchi adds character, perspective and history to Italy’s beloved dish, capturing a gloomy day made a little more comforting by the prospect of a hot bowl of pasta.
“Draining pasta by the window sink on a dark day, humidity fills the air, condensation forms on the windows and droplets slide off the glass,” says De Cecchi. “It’s an activity that seems quite mundane, but I find it evocative.”
On the phone
Both amusing and shocking, Kasia Ciesielska-Faber captures the spirit of the region by framing a cluster of bright red buildings with fish drying with their mouths open.
“In the Lofoten archipelago, stockfish traps have become part of the landscape,” notes Ciesielska-Faber. “Cod is preserved by drying on large racks without salt or smoke as the temperatures are just below freezing. The climate is perfect for the production of free-range stockfish.
One Vision Imaging Crème de la crème
Forget the Beatles and their endless fields of strawberries. With this winning image, Paolo Grinza and Silvia Vaulà invite you to stroll through the carrot field.
Of all the winning images, it’s this smoky street scene, taken by Debdatta Chakraborty in Sri Nagar, India, that makes us the most hungry. You can almost smell those perfectly charred skewers.
How to participate next year
Keep up to date with contest events here. The deadline to enter the 2023 competition is February 6. For participants aged 18 and over, the entry fee is GBP 30 ($37.50) to submit five photos or one film. Each additional image costs GBP 6 ($7.50). Under 18s can submit up to five images for free.