Crickets, cicadas, flies, and live huhu grubs crawling over beautifully-styled cakes, breads, and drinks has won Auckland-based food, drink, product and lifestyle photographer Manja Wachsmuth first place in the International Photography Awards Advertising, Food and Beverage category last week.
The Bug Project is a personal project that Danish-born Manja Wachsmuth developed with food stylist Fiona Hugues, and is designed to provoke conversations about sustainable food sources. It also references the recent emergence of insect protein as a viable part of Western diets and as an alternative to meat.
Says Wachsmuth: “We are using some of the ideas behind classic Dutch still life paintings with beautiful food and botanical settings, but which always reveal a hint of repugnance and decay.
“At a first glance, the photo looks like a beautiful and delicious recipe that you wouldn’t hesitate to cook at home. A closer look reveals that insects are either part of the recipe or have come to eat your meal before you.”
The IPA is one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world, and winning her hotly-contested category was a thrill for Manja. She also picked up an honourable mention in the same category for a series focusing on prime protein, also created with food stylist Fiona Hugues.
Adds Wachsmuth: “It’s nice to be recognised and have that to show on an international scale. It’s been fantastic working on these two projects with Fiona; we work well together and create beautiful work, so it’s just as much an honour for her as well.”
This is the latest in a slew of awards for the team. The Bug Project won gold earlier this year at Le Prix de la Photographie de Paris (PX3) as well, one of the most prestigious in Europe. A few weeks ago, Wachsmuth also won Best Food Photography in both the Editorial and Commercial categories at the New Zealand Food Media Awards “the foodies”.
For more information, visit www.manjawachsmuth.com.