UK photographer Jon Enoch has been awarded the prestigious title of Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2023 (PLFPOTY) for his captivating portrait, The Candy Man. The world-renowned competition recognizes outstanding talent in the field of food photography and film covering all aspects from how it’s grown, to the ways we enjoy it and how it defines different cultures.
Enoch’s winning photograph of Pappu Jaiswul was taken on the streets of western Mumbai in India where locals regularly sell candy products at beaches and fairs. Drawn to the vibrant palette of bright pink candy floss, Enoch was taken aback by the unique way in which these sellers are marketing their goods to attract potential buyers.
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On winning the award, Enoch expressed his delight and gratitude explaining that the image was “part of a personal project – a huge amount of time and thought went into capturing it so it’s great to be recognized by such an esteemed panel of judges. Ever since I first saw the candy floss sellers I was drawn to the shapes, colors and juxtaposition of the candy and the urban environment.”
Caroline Kenyon, the founder of Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year, called the winning picture “magnificent” before drawing comparisons to Reynolds and Gainsborough who were notable portrait artists in the late 18th and early 19th century. She describes Jaiuswil as, “Dignified, confident, direct, he is anyone’s equal in a society riven with division and caste differences. This image shows us beautifully the universal truth, we are all the same.”
This year thousands of images were submitted from 65 countries to PLFPOTY which has 36 categories including The Claire Aho Award for Women Photographers, Street Food, Food Stylist, Politics of Food, and many more. A winner is selected from each category plus a second and third place plus a list of highly recommended entries.
Other stand-out photos include Catherine Falls’ Slurping Spaghetti which captures the delights of family mealtimes, a kitsch image titled Trio of Cakes, photographed by Frankie Turner and styled by professional pastry chef Keiron George plus a stunning aerial photo of bright blue fish drying out in South East Asia taken by Khanh Phan Thi.
The PLFPOTY also recognizes the impressive work of up-and-coming food photographers in the student and youth category. Broken down into three age categories, the young food photographer of the year celebrates 15-17-year-old, 11-15 year-olds, and 10 years and under which Maja Kowalczyk won for a mouth-watering photograph of ripe, juicy peaches .
Winners were announced at an awards ceremony held at BAFTA in London, UK on May 16 and presented by Nadiya Hussain MBE, an esteemed chef, author, and winner of The Great British Bake Off 2015. The competition was judged by an array of industry experts, celebrated food photographers, restauranteurs and museum curators including head judge David Loftus plus Ella Ravilious, Nik Sharma and Rein Skullerud.
To see the full list of winning images head to the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year website (opens in new tab) or scroll down to see a small selection of our favorites.