2014 Minnesota State Fair Photography Contest Results

Kate N.G. Sommers / Heavy Table

Kate N.G. Sommers / Heavy Table

The Fair may be done for the year, but we’ve got one more duty to fulfill in order to end the season right: awarding the prizes for our 2014 Minnesota State Fair Food Photography contest.

We sifted through about 150 entries for this contest, and while food was a common theme, the photos ranged from portraits, to beauty shots of food, to crowd shots, to even a few architectural shots.

Before we unveil the results, a quick thanks to our judges, Becca Dilley (Heavy Table photographer, photographer of Lake Superior Flavors and The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin), Heather Porter Engwall of the WMMB, producer Arthur Ircink of Wisconsin Foodie, and Mette Nielsen (photographer of The Spoonriver Cookbook and Minnesota’s Bounty).

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board underwrote this contest and provided our array of dairy-related prizes including a great deal of fine Wisconsin cheese. Sartori provided a full-on 20-pound wheel of parmesan for our grand prize.

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for — the 2014 State Fair Food Photography Contest Winners are …

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

Dairy, 3rd Place — Rachel Ibes (A glass Wisconsin cheese cutting board)

One of our judges praised this shot’s lighting, composition, and angle, while another said: “LOVE the bubbles on edge of cookie, the textural light coming across, and the shallow depth of field.”

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

Dairy, 2nd Place — Lisa MN (A drafted blade ULTEM cheese knife and three great Wisconsin cheeses)

“Love the curds! Looks delicious!” wrote one judge, while another concurred: “Cheese curds! Nice use of background here — good, subtle color making this plate of cheese curds more of a still life.”

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

Dairy, 1st Place — stcroixgirl (An assortment of six great Wisconsin cheeses, 1 pound of artisan bacon, and The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin)

One judge wrote that this shot “captures a feeling of abundance,” and liked the “nice lighting on a difficult-to-photograph food.” Another cited three positive things about it: “color, lighting, spoons attacking.”

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

General, 3rd Place — Krainaldo (A glass Wisconsin cheese cutting board)

One judge thought a good title for this shot would be “Giant Cotton Candy Devours Little Girl.” Another said, “the glint in the girl’s eye as she peeks around the cotton candy is nice — lost in her sugary world.”

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

General, 2nd Place Cooking Club (A drafted blade ULTEM cheese knife and three great Wisconsin cheeses)

“This photo just says ‘Fair time!’” said one of our judges. Another said: “Good composition, great color choices, looks like State Fair food, but also appealing.”

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

General, 1st Place — Wendy Lee (An assortment of six great Wisconsin cheeses, 1 pound of artisan bacon, and The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin)

“The tired and serious faces of servers speak volume here — they are ready to go home,” said one of our judges. Another said, “The kids just look so serious about their corn.” A third added, “I like the repetition, the different expressions, and the absurdity of holding corn in a row.”

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

2014 Heavy Table State Fair Photo Contest

Grand Prize Winner Cooking Club (A magnificent, delicious, 20-pound wheel of SarVecchio Parmesan Cheese by Sartori of Wisconsin)

For our judges, this was the photo that said it all: milk and cookies together in their natural habitat. One praised the photo as “quirky,” and admired the “great expression and sense of being there.” “I like the precariousness of the cookie placement,” the judge added. Another wrote that the “stack of cookies under chin is fun — love her expression and the crowds in the back.” And another added that “Her expression and the animation of the cookies is eye catching.”

We’re proud to send Cooking Club a 20-pound wheel of SarVecchio. We just hope they’ll give us a shout (and a photo) when it arrives!

Courtesy of Sartori

Courtesy of Sartori

Thank you everyone who submitted photos for the contest!

If you’re one of the prize winners, please drop us a note at editor@heavytable.com, and we’ll figure out a good mailing address. If we don’t hear from you in a few days, we’ll also be sure to reach out to you.

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The Heavy Table team of writers, editors, and photographers has been documenting food and drink in the Upper Midwest since 2009.

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3 Comments

  1. Bridget 09/08/2014

    Oh my, that looks like Dole Whip! So good.

  2. IndyR 09/08/2014

    The “Dairy, 1st place” winner isn’t a photo of non-dairy Dole Whip, is it?

  3. That is most assuredly Dole Whip. As the error in classification was entirely my fault – and there was no deception intended (see: the “Dole Whip” tag on the photo) we’re going to let it ride. I do apologize for the oversight, however.

    — James Norton, Editor