In 2015 the Italian Chapter of the Royal Photographic Society (CIRPS) joined forces with the World Union of Wholesale Markets (WUWM) to promote an international photographic competition which aimed to pictorially express the importance and love people have for their local food markets all over the globe.

The competition entitled: “I love my food market” drew attention to the role these food markets play in improving the availability of healthy and nutritious food to consumers, as well as the way markets enhance food security, and revitalize local communities.

The competition offers two main prizes – one award for the ‘WUWM Photographer of the Year’ and a second award for the ‘WUWM Young Photographer of the Year’ – a category open to budding young photographers (under 27 years of age).

In announcing the competition winners today, WUWM Secretary General, Maria Cavit, notes the quality of the submissions received.

“The response to the competition is heart-warming. We have received submissions from people of all ages, and from many diverse countries, all over the world. Clearly the economic, cultural, social, environmental and entrepreneurial benefits of wholesale and retail food markets spans the globe!” she said “We thank all those photographers, both amateur and professional, who contributed to this project.”

The Competition Results

– WUWM Photographer of the Year, 2016

Ben Chung Kim-pan is 33 years old and lives in Hong Kong. He is not a professional photographer – though he might dream to one day in the future become a professional, he does not imagine this is a realistic option for the coming years. His motivation to pursue photography is simple: “Taking photos makes me happy.” In this competition he has won both an award photo as well as a ‘highly commended’ photo and now carries the title of ‘WUWM Photographer of the Year, 2016.’

Being a hobbyist photographer, Ben is pleased not to need to consider a client’s opinion or fulfil any expectations. He finds that Hong Kong offers a wealth of photographic opportunities: festival events, beautiful night scenes, special buildings, birds, and beautiful landscapes. “Due to the high population density I have never been bored with street photography”, he says. “The emotions, the rhythm, and the colour of the city show up clearly and beautifully.”

Regarding the subject of his winning photos he explains:
“As a child twenty years ago, I could see the live big fish and chickens awaiting slaughter in the open kitchens in the wet market. I was so scared of this – well that’s what my mother tells me anyway! When I saw that this photo competition held by WUWM aims to promote food security and nutrition I found it an interesting topic to photographically depict here in Hong Kong. In the past there has been occasion for the public to have low confidence in food safety matters, and so I am glad that WUWM is helping to globally promote food safety, nutrition and market management – these are also very important issues in China and Hong Kong. I am glad to see that the western style of market is becoming more popular!”

The highly commended photo contributed by Ben Chung Kim-pan
The highly commended photo contributed by Ben Chung Kim-pan


– WUWM Young Photographer of the Year, 2016

Eetu Ahanen is a 25 year old self-taught freelancer event and lifestyle photographer from Helsinki, Finland. Mr Ahanen is interested in urban culture, communality, and grassroots cultural activism. In his work he focusses on people and capturing brief moments. “I like taking photos at events which are trying to make a permanent change to everyday urban life, events that create the dream of more vibrant and joyful cities”, he says.

Mr Ahanen took the winning photo at Helsinki Night Market whilst working for Teurastamo, the old abattoir of Helsinki which is nowadays a food and urban culture centre. Helsinki Night Market 2015 was the third edition of the event, which took its inspiration from Asian food markets. “I wanted to take a photo of the whole area just after sunset, so we brought a scissor lift into the centre of the area. It was a weird feeling being in the middle of the crowd and lifting up towards the sky”, he tells. You can see more of Eetu’s work on his webpage:

Mr Ahanen winning photo at Helsinki Night Market
Mr Ahanen winning photo at Helsinki Night Market

Four photos were also highlighted for special commendation in the competition. Those winning photographers and pictures were as follows:

– Highly Commended’ Photo Winners:

Squall Kwok Hei Chu was born in Hong Kong and works in administration support in the city. His love of photography goes back to the age of 10 when his mother first gave him compact film and guided him on the art of photo composition. Some years later (2003) the popularity of the digital compact camera coincided with some travel abroad, reigniting his interest in photography and leading him to study it further using a variety of resources and workshops. Under the instruction of a tutor, he later expanded his thinking and vision, trying different subject matter. His tutor also encouraged participation in competitions and the exploration of various photographic styles.

Mr Chu notes that: “Food markets are very important to me in my daily life. I also enjoy walking around those markets with my mother during holidays.”  He intends to continue his photographic studies, remaining open to various subject matter. “I believe photography can heal the human soul” he says. “It helps people to release the stress of daily life and I hope on my path of development in photography that I can share this happiness with others”.
Squall Kwok Hei Chu

Yip Shiu Kuen Winnie was born in Hong Kong and is an accounts clerk and housewife. Her elder brother gave her a camera whilst still a teenager, and she started photo-taking habitually from then onwards. In order to “capture the good within every moment of life” she took to the habit of bringing her camera with her to every occasion, often taking photos of friends and family. She had a break from photography when her child was born, however on seeing beautiful photos on a blog channel some years later, decided to take up photography once again. She began a photography class to improve her skills just one year ago and has taken the opportunity with that to learn various new techniques to enhance her skills and broaden her eye.

She entered the WUWM-CIRPS market photo competition as a chance to challenge those new skills. “I am overjoyed to have received this prize” she says. “Market are a common but very important role in the daily life of everyone everywhere. Many shopkeepers are kept busy in the important work of preparing healthy and different foods for their customers… giving people access to good quality and fresh ingredients for cooking delicious meals for their family.”
Yip Shiu Kuen Winnie

Wai Yum Leung is an amateur photographer and comes from Hong Kong. He started his “digital photography journey” in 2002. He is a lover of architecture with architectural photography usually his main focus being involved in the Facebook page: ‘Hong Kong Estate Gallery’ which is a page related to public housing estates in Hong Kong. His photo “Green Tea Leaf” was captured when recently travelling for sightseeing to Japan.

The market is located in the city of Tokyo, where many stallholders work on market stalls along two sides of a narrow street. The street was bustling with noise and very busy with pedestrians.
He explains: “I saw a long queue in front of a green tea leaf stall, so I decided to walk up to it and look more closely. I found the seller dressed in green, with a full smile on his face. It seemed to me that he was very much enjoying his job even though the workload was very high. I captured this moment in order to show just how much he enjoyed the moment!”

The competition judging panel included the following persons:

1. Olivio Argenti FRPS, President of CIRPS, Rome, Italy (President of the Jury)
2. Luciano Corvaglia, post-production and printing specialist, Rome, Italy;
3. Carlo Dianzani, WUWM Honorary Chairman, Florence, Italy;
4. Clare Harris, Editor of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) Journal, in the UK;
5. Carla Magrelli, CEO of Sie Photography in Rome, Italy; and
6. Simon Roberts HonFRPS, Photographer & Member of the RPS Distinction Panels, in the UK.

The winners will all receive cash prizes from WUWM, medals and books from the RPS and some tuition support from the CIRPS.