First winner of the Claire Aho Award for Women Photographers
I am hugely honoured to announce that one of my images from the series Female Butchers of Panzano won the Claire Aho Award for Women Photographers as part of the 10th edition of the prestigious Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year.
The winning image was shot in the autumn 2020 as part of a project about Dario Cecchini, the world-famous butcher from Panzano in Chianti, and his team of female butchers. For some time now, Dario has been training a team of young female butchers, who come to Tuscany from all over the world to learn the art of deboning.
The Claire Aho Award was introduced this year in memory of Finland's greatest woman photographer (1925-2015). Claire Aho was trailblazer in many ways - as a woman working as a commercial photographer from the late 1940s at a time when almost no women were working in this filed, in her use of colour photography, in her unique blend of style, wit and vitality. Being the first winner of this award makes me incredibly happy and proud, as a woman and as a photographer.
More good news: my image of winemaker Federico Ceretto portrayed inside the "Cube" in Castiglione Falletto was awarded 3rd prize in the Places sub- category of the Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year. This picture was part of a long-term job I did over most of 2020 for the Ceretto family, documenting their wineries and estates. Furthermore, six more of my images made it to the last stage of the judging process and were shortlisted in several categories (Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year, Food for Celebrations, Bring Home the Harvest). I cannot ask for more, really.
In a record year for the competition, over 10,000 images were submitted from over 70 countries around the world. The standard of entries was incredible, being among such talented photographers is a very big achievement to me.
The winning images of this year's Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year will be exhibited from November 20 to December 12 at the Royal Photographic Society in Bristol – one of the world's oldest photographic societies (patron HRH The Duchess of Cambridge). I cannot think of a better way to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the competition and I am already looking forward to the event, especially after all the lockdowns and restrictions of this past year.