The 20 best food photographers in 2018 you probably didn’t know yet

Meet 20 of the best-hidden food photographers of 2018

Pictures of food should immediately make your mouth water! That’s the true art of food photography. In recent times the term food photography has moved from a serious profession more into a buzz-word corner. With everyone able to snatch a decent shot of a plate with their phone now in a restaurant the lines between true professional food photographers and talented amateurs are getting more and more blurred. Some amateur bloggers move up the ranks and can make a living now off their hobby, while professional food photographers still work with a team of cooks and food stylists to land that one perfect shot. I figured this out the hard way myself when I had to teach myself food photography while writing my first and second cookbook.

While food photography was a sub-genre in the past there are countless photo competitions now purely dedicated to finding the most amazing food photographers around. Contest winners can truly earn the big bucks. Last year 500px underwhelmed you and me with their nominations of the 500px best food photographers of 2017, that’s what actually encouraged me to scroll through hundreds of food photographers to find the true 2017 gems among them.

This year you had a contest from Foodelia, the PDN’s annual TASTE food photography competition, and even BBC News reported on the “Pink Lady” Food Photography competition – one of the most talked about photo awards of the year. Wait, “Pink Lady”, isn’t that the apple with the stupid sticker on it? Exactly!

Especially the competition from “Pink Lady” made me furious. Once you scroll through the contest you can already smell the stench of commercialism. It’s a competition tainted by brands, marketing, big manufacturers and their budgets. Sub-categories by InterContinental, Marks & Spencer, and Errazuriz Wine? Yeah, that sounds totally unbiased to me.

After almost 40,000 entries from more than 60 countries, Noor Ahmed Gelal, from Bangladesh, was declared this year’s winner with this image of people preparing to break their daylong fast in a Hindu temple.

Noor Ahmed Gelal – Praying with Food – The “Pink Lady” winning photo


Oliver Hauser with his ‘Schnitzelberg’ – a pile of schnitzels – Winner in the “Pink Lady” ‘Food off the Press’ category


Spinning the Chardonnay – Victor Pugatschew, Australia, “Pink Lady” Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year – Produce 1st place

Victor Pugatschew was celebrated as the overall wine photographer of the year for his photo of chardonnay running down the drains in the Champagne region of France. Art may be in the eye of the beholder – but sorry, I don’t get it… I guess Errazuriz needed to get rid of some more bottles of expensive chardonnay before the end of the year. I’d rather give the award to the 3rd price than the 1st one.

Morning Dew, Sonoma County, George Rose, United States, Errazuriz Wine Photographer of the Year – Produce 3r place

There is a lot of talent that went into the competition. In my opinion, the chosen winners don’t necessarily reflect that. Nonetheless, if you are interested in all Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year finalists of 2018, you can find them here.

If 40.000 submissions in a professional photo contest result in these winners, then I’m lucky we have the free internet and Instagram to provide us with some actual inspiration. The style of certain food photographers just stirs up so many positive emotions in you while you are admiring their piece of art on a plate. For example, I simply can’t get enough of the photos of Bea Lubas, Half Baked Harvest, and Dennis the Prescott.

Dessert by Bea Lubas


Soup by Tieghan Gerard // Half Baked Harvest


Sandwich by Dennis the Prescott

But then again, if you found your way here, you are probably more than familiar with these three names already. You are looking for fresh talent among the best food photographers in the world? Here you go – I wanted to feature lesser known talent that deserves a place in the spotlight!

Underneath I have curated the photos from the 20 most talented amateurs and professional food photographers from around the globe. At the time of writing, all of them have less than 50K followers on Instagram. Let’s see that change in real time, shall we? I chose photos that I saw as characterizing for the photographer’s style. All of the pictures have been shot and published in 2018, and all of them will make your mouth water instantly!

The posts are shown in alphabetical order. You will also a link to their Instagram profile, so you can check out all their other works or simply follow them. Who’s your pick for the most talented among these inspiring photographers?

The 20 best food photographers from around the world that you probably didn’t know yet!

Abhishek Dekate, CA


Alena, RU


Amanda Michetti. AU


Andrew Scrivani, US


Anisa Sabet, AU


Cait Bensel, US


David Charbit, UK


Giulia Scarpaleggia, IT


Issy Crooker, UK


Jena Carlin, US


Jenny Huang, US


Lucie de Bock Beck, NL


Noah Fecks, US


Rakhee Yadav, NL


Sarah Owens, US


Shaheen, IN


Sonja Lazukic, RS


Stephen DeVries, US


Stephen Hamilton, US


Tim Grey, AU


Did you find your personal hidden gems? Do you agree that this is the best of Instagram food photography, or are you missing names on the list? Share your feedback with us in the comment section below! Of course, there are countless other photo competitions out there. You can check out the most important ones including their submission deadlines here.


In order to feature more young talent, I chose to use mostly pictures from the community in my second book. But while all the pictures up there are totally royalty-free even for commercial use, I found it only more than appropriate to credit every single photographer featured. In case I used multiple pictures of a photographer I even supplied them with a free copy of the book.

If you want to learn more about flavors and how to combine them (or just want to check out the food pictures), check out my second book “Flavor Math” which is available as print or digitally (PDF)! 

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