While the photographers’ work may be done for another year, the passing of the deadline on 5th February signalled the start of the busiest phase for the organisers of the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year Awards. Judging over 8400 images and films from 60 countries is no small task!

I met up with Caroline Kenyon, Director of Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year to help with one of the five days of preliminary judging.

During this time the entries for each category are carefully assessed and a shortlist is drawn up for the next round of judging by the prestigious panel (headed by Jay Rayner, broadcaster and food critic).

In the first phase of the judging, the judges look at the images one category at a time and each is viewed individually on-screen. Mindful of the category briefs, the judges decide which images should make it onto the ‘long list’.

Once that’s done, it’s time to whittle down the long list to produce a shortlist of around 500-600 images. This is when the judges start to get a bit more animated, extolling the virtues of one image or another.

It’s also an opportunity to compare similar images closely to determine which should go through. It’s amazing how many variants of image there can be of the same subject and a subtle difference in composition or lighting can make a huge difference.

Pink Lady Shortlist

Image: Howard Shooter

I’m not going to reveal which categories I was involved with judging, but they had lots of superb images and the initial shortlists are very strong. The judging panel is going to have a very tough time deciding 9 finalists for the Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year award, 3 finalists for the BBC Good Food Fresh Talent Award, 3 for each of the children’s awards and 7 finalists for all the remaining categories.

The overall winner will be decided at the Judges’ Dinner at the Saatchi Gallery in March.

All the finalists will be notified in the last week of March prior to the prestigious Awards Reception that will be held at the world-renowned Mall Galleries in April. The winner of each category along with the recipient of the title ‘Pink Lady® Food Photographer Food Photographer of the Year 2017’ and £5,000 cash prize. will be announced at the Reception.

The People’s Choice Award

All the shortlisted images will also be automatically entered into the People’s Choice Award and subject to public vote online – more information coming soon!

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