The SAVEUR Cover Contest

It’s official. I got bitten by the contest bug. This time I’m entering SAVEUR’s Cover Contest. SAVEUR is a gourmet, food, wine, and travel magazine that specializes in essays about various world cuisines, and they’re asking

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readers to submit their best food photo for their next

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issue. Oh did I forget to mention – the photo will be the cover photo. I have to give props to SAVEUR. This is not the first time they’ve published user-sbumitted content. Their last issue was 100% written by the users. The food world is moving online – there are millions of food blogs and websites packed with valuable information, and thousands of home cooks that would absolutely die for the chance to be published. They couldn’t have honored their readers in a bigger way. It really shows that SAVEUR isn’t your mother’s stogy, chef-written food publication.

We’re proud of SAVEUR’s distinctive photography—but we know we’re not the only talented photographers out there. So, for the first time in our history, we’re inviting readers to sift through their work and send us their best images—photography that would look right at home on SAVEUR’s cover. What’s it worth to you? How does a six-piece set of Le Creuset cookware (worth $550) sound?

Uhhh…yeah…that sounds REALLY good. I can’t imagine how much it costs to ship out $550 worth of cast iron.

Here’s what they’re looking for: 1. Photographic quality 2. Creativity 3. Relevance to the SAVEUR brand 4. Quality of the accompanying caption

Again, I did my homework, and looked at previous SAVEUR magazines to get an idea of their style. Their cover photography style is very much like my own – casual, a strong focus

on contrasting textures and colors, and an appreciation for imperfection. The deadline is tomorrow. There are 717 entries so far. Some of them are really good! I have some tough competition in front of me. Now here’s the problem – I can only enter one photo. One. I did a quick mock-up of how my photos would look as a SAVEUR cover, can you guys help me figure out which one to submit?

Which Photo Should I Submit to SAVEUR's Cover Contest?

  • #4: Carrots (33%, 4 Votes)
  • #12: Watermelon (17%, 2 Votes)
  • #6: Soup Dumplings (17%, 2 Votes)
  • #9: Dolma (8%, 1 Votes)
  • #8: Grape Leaves (8%, 1 Votes)
  • #7: Onions (8%, 1 Votes)
  • #3: Apple Tart (8%, 1 Votes)
  • #5: Deep Fried Sesame Ball (0%, 0 Votes)
  • #2: Frames of Honey (0%, 0 Votes)
  • #10: Apples (0%, 0 Votes)
  • #11: Onions (0%, 0 Votes)
  • #1: Pouring Honey (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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#1: Pouring Honey From: The Art of Urban Beekeeping I think of all the photos here, this one shows the most movement. What is it about oozing honey that’s so mesmerizing? Mike’s co-worker is a beekeeper, so we were lucky enough to get a demo of the process. I quickly snapped this shot while he was pouring honey from a plastic container that the beekeeper handed him into a jar I brought. (Isn’t the jar beautiful? It’s just a rinsed out Trader Joe’s lemon curd container.)

#2: Honey From: The Art of Urban Beekeeping Here’s another shot from that same day. The beekeeper kept frames full of honey in these milk crates. I love how raw and rustic looking this photo is.

#3: Apple Tart From: Basic Apple Tart I made this tart a while ago, when I found myself with a bag of way too many apples. Is this photo a canadian pharmacy viagra little too Gourmet magazine-esque? I love the composition of this photo, but I’m afraid it looks a little too staged.

#4: Carrots From: Jap Chae (Korean Glass Noodles) I was received a bunch of beautiful carrots in my vegetable box, which I used for my korean noodles. This photo was taken in the dead of winter, but it hardly feels that way.

#5: Deep Fried Sesame Ball From: Chinatown, New York This was Mike’s deep fried sesame ball from New York. I think it looks pretty tasty, but I’m not sure how their editors will feel about food with a bite taken out of it. Is that gross?

#6: Soup Dumplings From: Chinatown, New York This was also from New York. I like how unexpected this photo feels – and the tongs in the foreground are so inviting. We waited forever for these dumplings, and god, they were good.

#7: Onions From: Not Your Grandmother’s Dolmas Can’t say I like the lighting in this one, but the composition came out pretty cool. I wish the knife looked shinier.

#8: Grape Leaves From: Not Your Grandmother’s Dolmas Is it weird to show packaged food on the cover of a food publication? This photo came out so crisp. I remember this weekend so clearly – it was a lazy Saturday afternoon in my cottage, and I spent the whole day making a mess in the kitchen.

#9: Dolma From: Not Your Grandmother’s Dolmas This was part of a step-by-step photo series I took to show how a dolma is rolled up (that explains the giant “4”)

#10: Apples From: Farmer’s Market in a Box Look at how gorgeous those apples are! That’s the whole reason I buy local vegetables – they’re fresh, and they’re always so good.

#11: Onions From: Farmer’s Market in a Box These yellow onions also came in the same box as my apples. I like the papery texture in this one.

#12: Watermelon From: Roadtrip,
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Day 1 This was taken during Mike’s company picnic. I remember Mike’s co-worker, Eliz, furiously chopping up watermelon for the entire group. I took the photo quickly before anyone had

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a chance to straighten it up. I think I should get bonus points for getting a shot with someone in the background. This photo feels alive to me.

Update: Entries Submitted!

Sunday, February 28, 2010 That’s right, I entered more than one. Looks like they changed the rules last night to say that readers can submit more than one photo, which is a good call, considering most people would have been disqualified. I was up late last night

writing descriptions of each of the photos, since that is one of the four main judging criteria (Hey, I take these contests seriously). I tried to talk more about the experience that the photo is associated with rather than “Here’s an onion. It was pretty.”

Update: March 15, 2009 Bummer, I didn’t win the cover contest, but the winning photo is gorgeous! Can’t wait to see it on food stands.

SAVEUR’s Cover Contest »


Got something to say? Feel free, I want to hear from you! Leave a Comment

  1. spyra says:

    Hmm, great photos! I can’t decide on one I like best. I also have no idea what the photo guidelines/requirements are, but here are some comments… Sorry if they sound kinda negative, but I’m trying to be constructive!

    – 3, 4, 10, 11, 12 are also a little generic. Imagine yourself going against 10 other photos of apples and pies.
    – I don’t like the way 9, 7, and 2 are laid out–not sure if it’s the photo or if it’s the cropping… Their uniformity across the photo makes them slightly boring.
    – Paula, you have beautiful hands, but their placement in pics 1 & 5 are a little awkward. ^^;;

    – I like 1, but I don’t really like the placement of the fingers.
    – 6 has a good layout/proportions/depth of field.
    – I think 8 is the most interesting, content-wise (2 is also interesting, subject-wise, but the photo isn’t that great… too flat).
    – 11 has a lot of character, even though I can imagine 20 other onion pic entries.

    Anyhow, I think the main things to keep in mind are the content, layout, texture, colors, and contrast for your entry. Good luck!! :)

    (ps– any oxo things you guys don’t want?? XD)

  2. Kevin says:

    That was pretty hard, I really like the pouring honey one but the hand in the photo kinda kills it for me as a magazine cover. But my vote lays with the dolmas (hard to pick among 4 others!)

  3. Paula says: (Author)

    Thanks, this is great feedback! No worried about negative comments – I did go to art school :)

    You’re right, there’s probably a lot of apple and pie entries. And I totally wasn’t paying attention to the hands – but yeah, they’re kind of awkward!

  4. Paula says: (Author)

    Thanks! Yeah, I totally didn’t even notice the hands. They ARE kind of weird, haha.

  5. droobeedroo says:

    I agree with the hand comments. That was the first thing I thought about when I saw those pics (even before reading the other comments). The apple tart picture is pretty cool, perhaps its the gestalt element, like you bit a piece off the magazine (I’m no on drugs i swear).

    My two faves would have to be the grape leaves and the soup dumplings. The grape leaves are warm and inviting. And creates a nice mood. The dumplings are inviting. Its like you are asking the reader to pick up the tongs and invite themselves to some yummy goodness for the belly. I’d go with the dumplings but, I think either will be a god competitor.

    Good luck!

  6. Paula says: (Author)

    Thanks for taking a look at them. I think the dumplings are turning into my favorite because it makes me want to get some of that yummy goodness into my belly, too :) Turns out that they changed the rules so you can enter more than one – so I entered them all!

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