It takes one to know one—a good food photographer, that is. And because we most definitely are not one (but can’t help but feel slightly jealous of a guy with such a cool gig), we enlisted the help of an expert in selecting the finalists for March’s Foodie Photo Contest. That expert is Scott Suchman, whose work in our utterly delectable 100 Very Best Restaurants issue may have caused you immediate hunger pangs. In addition to The Washingtonian, Scott also shoots for the Washington Post, Baltimore magazine, and Southern Living. He selected the five finalists above, and his reasoning behind each choice follows after the jump.
'Polipetti alla Griglia' by Patrick Yuen: “You can’t miss when shooting octopus. Grilled or sautéed, it has great shape and texture. This shot is set off perfectly by the Asian-style bowl and natural-grass placemat. The composition is nicely balanced, and the focus is where it should be. Highlights on the foreground tentacle give it a very pleasing depth. The white underbelly in the upper left of the image is a bit distracting, but not enough to take away from an overall fine shot.”
'To the Heart of It' by Jennifer K. Wall Smetek: “A wonderful macro shot of a great raw ingredient. The personality of what an artichoke really is comes across here—rich color, tough texture, deep shadows. The off-center composition is exactly right, and the somewhat shallow depth of field really makes it pop.”
'Foam at Volt' by Bobby Hong: “I love this photo because it completely captures the food-blogging mania that’s sweeping the country. No one just sits and enjoys a good meal anymore—we have to blog and tweet and show the world what has just been served to us. This shot has a wonderfully warm monochromatic palette, which is set off by the white iPhone cover. (The picture would be far less interesting if the phone were black.) It’s a great shot about food that’s not really of food.”
'Cookie Man' by Floyd Yarmuth: “What fun! The minimal focus and monochromatic color scheme cause his read mouth to leap out of the frame. I can practically taste those crazy sweet, tack-sharp whips of white frosting. The unconventional composition really makes it succeed.”
'Summer Glory' by Alicia Sokol: “This is a great ‘found’ shot that jumps right out at you. Looking at it, I already know exactly how the tomatoes taste and smell and feel—the exact feelings a good food photo should invoke. It’s naturalistic and sensual, and the haphazard nature of the tomato placement makes it work.”
We may have switched it up with Scott picking the finalists, but don’t worry, reader—it’s still your job to crown the winner. Check out the full pictures in our finalists gallery, then vote for your favorite in the poll below. The photograph with the most votes as of noon on Thursday, March 31, will be published in the May issue of The Washingtonian.
Please remember to play fair! The rules allow one vote per person, and we monitor the polls closely. If we catch voting irregularities for a particular photograph, it’ll be disqualified.
*To help keep this contest fair, we’ve elected to use an IP-address-based poll. This means that if you’re voting from an office or network setting, not everybody in that setting will be able to vote. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we hope you’ll encourage coworkers to vote from their home computers.