British photographer Mark Benham was last night crowned Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2016, landing the £5,000 top prize.

[© Mark Benham]

Mark’s photograph ‘Flour Fenzy’ triumphed over more than 7,000 images and films to make him the second Briton to take the Food Photographer of the Year title in the competition’s five-year history.

His winning photo also topped The Philip Harben Award for Food in Action category.

This is Mark’s second success in the competition since he won the Food for Celebration category last year. Mark says he uses natural light where he can.

Restaurant critic Jay Rayner who chaired the judging panel said Mark’s shot of a baker kneading dough has ‘a lovely structural element to it’.

He added: ‘In the end, it normally comes down to three or four photos which particularly arouse opinion.

‘It’s down to the content – do they speak to the question of food?

‘And how well do they tell their own stories?’

Mark, who switched to photography after a career as a graphic designer, received his award at a ceremony held at the Mall Galleries in London attended by 400 guests.

This year’s judging panel included Amateur Photographer Editor Nigel Atherton and photography dealer Chris Beetles.

isaac_callis_planets_hi_res copy.web[© Isaac Callis]

During his previous life as a graphic designer, Mark worked with studio-based photographers where he art-directed and sometimes styled shoots.

On his website Mark adds: ‘I search for images that tell engaging stories and capture the essence of what I see, whether it’s documenting the work of the charity People Against Poverty, olive harvesting in Tuscany or covering events in the UK and abroad.’

Food Photographer of the Year was launched in 2011 by Caroline Kenyon after two decades of commissioning photography and a desire to see ‘this wonderful and vibrant sector of photography given the recognition it deserves’.

For further details visit pinkladyfoodphotographeroftheyear.com

robin_goodlad_wild_garlic_carpet_hi_res copy.web[© Robin Goodlad]

janelle_bonifield_press_hi_res copy.web[© Janelle Bonifield]

Processed with VSCOcam with lv03 preset[© Lucy Pope]

Maysara Winery, WIllamette Valley, Oregon[© Robert Holmes]

ooze[© Will Jenkins]


Category Winners:

10 Years and Under: Isaac Callis (UK) Planets

11-14 Years: Will Jenkins (UK) Bear’s Delight

15-17 Years: Emma Franklin (UK) The Beauty of Fruit

Cream of the Crop: Petra Novotna (Czech Republic) Octopus on Ice

Food in the Field: Robin Goodlad (UK) The Carpet of Wild Garlic

Partridges Food for Sale: Paula Watts (USA) Floating Vegetable Market

Food Bloggers (supported by Aspire Photography Training): Olimpia Davies (UK) Treasure of the Sea

The Philip Harben Award for Food in Action: Mark Benham (UK) Flour Frenzy

Food for Celebration, sponsored by Champagne Taittinger: Shoeb Faruquee (Bangladesh) The Grand Kitchen

Marks & Spencer Food Portraiture: Jean Cazals (UK) Chicken Cheese Toasty

Marks & Spencer Food Adventures: Robert Holmes (USA) Puno, Lake Titicaca

Food for the Family: Maja Danica Pecanic (Croatia) Picnic

Pink Lady® Apple a Day: Polina Plotnikova (UK) Unstill Life

Production Paradise Food off the Press: Susan Bell (UK) Salmon Tail Still Life

Bring Home the Harvest: Viktoriia Moskalenko (Ukraine) Go Home

Food Sn-apping: Lucy Pope (UK) Kid’s Table

unearthed® Food in Film – Documentary: Carl Pendle (UK) Chilli Festival

unearthed® Food in Film – Non-Documentary: Mandy Mortimer (Ireland) Carrot Cake From Scratch

unearthed® Food in Film Overall Winner: Carl Pendle (UK) Chilli Festival

Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year (Produce):
Jenelle Bonifeld (USA) Press 2

Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year (People): Matt Wilson (Chile) Skin Contact

Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year (Places): Robert Holmes (USA) Mayasara Winery

Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year Overall Winner: Robert Holmes (USA) Mayasara Winery

People’s Choice – Food Photography: Alejandro Osses Saenz (UK) The Local Friendly Store

People’s Choice – unearthed® Food in Film: Jignesh Jhaveri (India) The Chocolatier

People’s Choice – Errazuriz Wine Photography: Anne Watson (USA) Flight in the Kitchen

Politics of Food: Marcin Jucha (UK) Appreciate Every Piece

Lifetime Achievement Award: Pat Llewellyn