My Octopus in a Bowl image was from one of my favorite weekend shoots in 2015. I didn’t really have a plan when I went to Standard Market that Saturday morning and I definitely didn’t intend to come home with an octopus. I just couldn’t stop looking at it and knew I had to photograph those mysterious, almost eerie details.
The octopus was shot at my house using the Nikon Df, my 50mm 1.8, natural light from a window and one off camera speed light.
Fast forward to just under one year later and the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition was upon me again. It’s a competition strictly dedicated to the art of food photography and food in film. It’s open to everyone from all over the world and I get so excited for it every year. With all the amazing talent that this competition attracts, I never expect to get recognized, but it’s fun to try and it’s always exciting to see the images that get through to the finals.
I decided to submit my Octopus in a Bowl this year because it’s an image that I thought might surprise people. It definitely surprised me.
It was a normal Wednesday afternoon when I got the email that my image was selected as a finalist for 2016. I must have re-read the email ten times to be sure I read it right. Out of over 7,000 image submissions, I was a finalist?! I nearly fell off my chair and then proceeded to call my husband, Mike, my mom, and then had a solo dance party in the living room.
All finalists were invited to London for the ceremony at the end of April, but sadly I wasn’t able to attend. I never expected to get that far in the competition. I had new clients and work scheduled and although it would have been incredible to go, I had to make the tough decision not to. However, I was there in spirit, following and cheering through social media and Mike took me out for fish tacos that night to celebrate.
My image ended up winning 2nd place in the Cream of the Crop category. I still can’t believe it. It’s such an honor to have been recognized at this level. Be sure to check out all the talented finalists and winners here and see more images from the night of the ceremony here. Fingers crossed for next year, right?
I’ll be pinching myself for a while after this one.
All images © Regan Baroni 2016.