Food photography has become increasingly popular worldwide, and the Sultanate of Oman is no exception. The scope of food photography in Oman is quite promising, as the country offers a rich and diverse culinary heritage that is sure to attract food lovers and photographers alike.
Oman’s cuisine is a fusion of flavours from the Arabian Gulf, East Africa, and the Indian subcontinent, which makes it unique and exciting to capture through the lens.
Recently, Rachel Eapen, a lifestyle expatriate photographer residing in Oman, won the Foodelia International Food Award for its 90th collection, becoming the only one from Oman to receive this honour.
Foodelia Awards is the home of the best food photographs from all over the world. Here most talented creators showcase their works and compete with each other for a place in a monthly competition.
Rachel’s photography style leans towards dramatic visual storytelling, and for her Foodelia Awards entry, she created a red-themed photograph with vibrant and contrasting colours.
She focused on product, food, and beverage photography creating a red colour theme with a fun, dark and vibrant capture.
Says Rachel, “Since my style is dark mood photography, I kept the background dark but emphasised more on the food and textures through vibrant colours as bold colours always brings power in the frame.”
With no exact preparations, she decided to shoot at home using her Nikon D850 and with what was available around. As she preferred to use bold colours, the best way was to use elements that had red colour. So, it was natural that her composition had to be on point by making sure there is no overdose of red. Therefore, she used a can of fizz which is red in colour, a book (Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’) with a pop of red and turquoise for contrast.
Says an elated Rachel, “I am humbled and happy to have won this award in the 90th collection among other prestigious and well-known food photographers around the world. Thank you so much for the support and being part of my journey.”
Though being a part of food photographers’ community, she never thought of participating in the Foodelia Award. “But for some reason I thought of taking part this time and I managed to submit my entry on the last day,” she explains.
She dedicates her award to all the passionate photographers around the world, especially photographers who celebrate food and storytelling through food photography, because according to her, “food binds people together and nothing brings in more joy than food.”
A blogger-cum-baker, Rachel likes to dedicate it to her family and close friends who believed and pushed her to pursue photography and is happy she could represent the Sultanate of Oman in the contest.
Rachel now has set her sights on Foodelia annual competition which will be held by the end of the year.
Foodelia received a whopping 2,752 photographs of which 129 photographs were selected.
Two food photographers whom Rachel has been inspired greatly are Rakhee Yadav (@boxofspice) and UK’s Bea Lubas (@bealubas).
While Rakhee is great in dark and moody photography, Rachel says her images are unique, crisp and soft with an element of storytelling. “Each one of her frames are mind-blowing and adds an impact,” she adds.
The work of Bea also greatly influenced Rachel especially with styling philosophy. She highlights her eye for textures, colours and the way she uses light influenced Rachel immensely.
Winner of Foodelia trophies in 2021, 2022, Ariyani Tedjo (@miel.fotograaf) from Indonesia says “Being recognised in Foodelia promotes Indonesian cuisine as the main subject of my photography. Getting recognition is exciting and motivating and a rewarding experience.”
A serious amateur food photographer with professional background, Ariyani’s photography of Tempe (Soybean cake), a healthy traditional Indonesian vegan food that sees increasing popularity, was chosen the best photograph. Her first winning photograph was the Bubur Biji Salak, popularly called the Indonesian dessert.