On Tuesday 24th April, I attended the awards ceremony for Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2018 at the Mall Galleries in London. Having been a finalist in 2015, I knew what an amazing exhibition the organisers put on and was excited to attend.
With over 8000 entries from 60 countries across the world, I was delighted to have been shortlisted as a finalist in three categories – Food in the Field, World Food Programme Food for Life and Fujifilm Award for Innovation. However, when Prue Leith announced my image ‘Ostrich Horizon’ as the winner of the Fujifilm Award for Innovation, I was simply blown away.
Paul Sanders, a Fujifilm X Staff Photographer who judged the Fujifilm Award for Innovation category, noted,
“The simplicity of the image and stark use of monochrome really caught my eye, I’d put it on my wall”.
The prestigious award now entitles me to a 6-month relationship with Fujifilm, free loan of Fujifilm X-series products along with support and marketing assistance for upcoming photography projects. To say it’s a dream come true is an understatement! Over the years, I’ve had such a love for photography and travel and I’ve been fortunate to have been commended in several national competitions, including Travel Photographer of the Year on 3 occasions. However, to actually win a category is another thing, especially in a competition as highly regarded as Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year. Knowing I now have the support and expertise of a company like Fujifilm to help support my career is simply amazing.
For those interested in the story behind my winning image, it all originates from a trip I crowdfunded back in March 2017 with Bristol based charity African Initiatives (see article here) to photograph a story on the Maasai women of Northern Tanzania. Our journey to reach Loliondo District at the tip of northern Tanzania started early in Arusha where we were greeted by two Maasai guides with a Land Cruiser. To my delight, they had decided our 8-hour route would take us directly across the plains of the Serengeti. After 5-hours of driving, with the light dimming and still very much in a land of endless horizons, we found ourselves navigating through a bumpy dip in the terrain where our driver stopped for a convenience break. As we got out to stretch our legs, I spotted a flock of Ostriches springing across the brow of the hill above. Fortunately, my camera with telephoto lens was in hand, and I was able to quickly capture this long range shot before the flock disappeared 30 seconds later.
Alongside my winning image, I was also shortlisted in the World Food Programme Food for Life category with another image from the trip.