› Wed, 03 May 2017
It’s taken me just over a week to write this post, as I needed that time to let the news feel real. Last Tuesday I attended the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Awards at the Mall Galleries in London, where five of my images of Silo Brighton were exhibited alongside two other finalists’ in the BBC Good Food Fresh Talent Award category.
After eight days of repeating my memory of Jay Rayner announcing my name and introducing me to the editor-in-chief of BBC Good Food, Christine Hayes, it’s finally sinking in that I won. Yes. I won. It’s amazing to see that in writing. Today I popped into the BBC Television Centre to see where I’ll be spending some time from June as, alongside a fetching glass trophy, two bottles of booze and a quality chorizo sausage(?), the prize is a six month paid internship as BBC Good Food’s House Photographer. Being interviewed by the Brand Creative Director and Brand Executive at the shortlisted-stage of the competition was honour enough considering I’ve admired the brand for years now; the website is my go-to for recipe inspiration and a flick through the magazine never fails to prompt a baking session or photoshoot. So having the opportunity to contribute to the magazine, website, social media channels, etc. is amazing, very exciting and a little overwhelming.
Being chosen as the winner felt like my work was being recognised, not just by friends and family, or clients, but by industry professionals whose opinion I truly respect. Hearing the judges’ feedback has helped my confidence in my work and my abilities enormously:
“Emma was the complete package. She was brilliant at food styling, worked really creatively with colour and light, plus her work was fresh and exciting.”
After the stress of last week (the award was the penultimate to be announced; cue internal panic/shaking/looking like a beetroot by the time I arrived on stage), I’m finally getting my head around what’s to come and I’m so ready to give it my all. Bring on June 1st!
› Fri, 14 Apr 2017
It’s officially Easter weekend, and I’ll take any excuse to make a cute layer cake! Following on from last year’s unicorn cake and my reindeer chocolate cake at Christmas, here’s my take on the Easter Bunny in cake form! Underneath the lemon buttercream is lemon sponge, sandwiched together with lemon curd; the ears, nose and eyes are made from fondant icing.
› Sat, 11 Feb 2017
With blood oranges in season at the moment, tiger lemons making an appearance in Marks and Spencer’s food halls and pink/red grapefruits readily available, I’ve selected and photographed three recipes that are perfect Valentines (or Galentines) drinks.
The alcoholic option – Blood Orange and Bourbon Cocktails – comes from Love and Lemon’s beautiful blog – one I’d definitely recommend heading over to, as their clean and bright aesthetic works really well with the beautiful photography, featuring mostly vegetarian recipes.
Tending the Table’s Rosemary, Honey and Grapefruit Spritzer is a great non-alcoholic option and uses honey as a natural sweetener to balance the citrus flavour, with the added twist of infusing the honey with rosemary.
The third drink also involves a herb, although this one includes thyme, from The Little Epicurean’s Spring Thyme Lemonade recipe. I used tiger lemons for this drink as they are a very pale pink on the inside which makes a lovely coloured drink to share on Valentine’s Day.
› Tue, 03 Jan 2017
A new year means a new blog post and involves looking back on some of my favourite images from 2016, those that I personally like the most due to the food or prop styling, the memories that that image reminds me of, or the photography itself.
I have captioned each image with a brief description, however I wanted to go into more detail about some of the content to give you an insight into the thought processes behind the concept and production of the images.
Starting at the top..I have always loved the form and structure of citrus fruits; the pimpled skin which comes in a variety of thicknesses and colours, the protective pith that lies beneath and, of course, the hidden flesh that has been conveniently segmented by nature itself, the cresent-moon shaped sections each surrounded and divided by a translucent membrane. The dramatic colour difference between the familiar orange and the more unusual blood orange fascinates me and the latter are one of my favourite fruits to work with. In these images, I paired the citrus with thyme to create an unusual flavour of cake, which I covered with a layer of frosting that was coloured to both compliment the orange slices and create a subtle ombre effect.
The two chocolate-covered cakes featured here (Halloween and Reindeer themed) are hands-down the best cakes I’ve ever made based on their quality of flavours and their moist and varied textures (this opinion is based on tasters’ reviews and not just my own bias!). The Halloween cake was adapted from a Spiced Pumpkin Cake recipe from La Pêche Fraîche, with adorable little meringue ghosts based on the Meringue Girls recipe, and a perfect consistency of chocolate ganache for the drip border that I managed to achieve after some experimentation. The reindeer cake (cousin to Rudolph and affectionately named Rosa) was created from Linda Lomelino’s brilliant Orange and Ginger Cake recipe, then covered in a sturdy chocolate buttercream, the recipe for which I’ve finally perfected, sprinkled with chocolate chips and cranberries and finished with antlers made from chocolate-covered marzipan, and of course a shiny red nose. Rosa came about as a festive take on my Unicorn Funfetti Cake, which was made from a plain sponge mix to which I added multi-coloured sugar strands to create the ‘funfetti’ effect. Covered in a white buttercream with some added pastel piping details, mini meringue kisses and icing eyelids/lashes, Una the unicorn was starting to take shape, and became rather convincing once the cute icing ears and twisted, shimmer-dust-covered horn was added.
The doughnut and patisserie images featured here are my two favourites from the Deliveroo commission I shot last year, which you can read about in more detail in my last blog post (Images styled by Eliza Baird).
The seaside-themed cake was for my Mum’s birthday and was a joy to bake and decorate as I love the asymmetrical balance of toppings/decoration that curves around one half of the cake’s surface.
The snowflake bread was one of my favourite things to make and style this year, as I loved braiding the dough and seeing the various transformations the babka went through as the bread swelled, expanded and baked. This was a faultless recipe from Twigg Studios which utilises the classic chocolate and orange combination and creates a festive showstopper to share with family and friends at Christmas.
And if you’re wondering about the beautiful golden chocolate egg, I didn’t make that…it was a Heston for Waitrose Easter special and came with a handful of pale pink, egg-shaped truffles hidden inside, embedded in edible hay. As you’d expect, of course…
› Wed, 09 Nov 2016
Back in May I was commissioned by takeaway delivery company Deliveroo to shoot a series of images for their new online advertising campaign. The shoot in Camden lasted two days and involved shooting a variety of foods that are available from Deliveroo, including, but not limited to, Asian cuisine, doughnuts, sandwiches, salads and sushi.
Several of the images are now featured on the company’s website and I’m delighted to be able to share a few of the full images above.
For those of you who are wondering what happened to the leftover food, do not fear, we had enough donuts, patisserie and sushi to last us the rest of the month.
Photography: Emma Boyns
Photo Assistant: Magus Andersen
Food Styling: Eliza Baird
Prop Styling: Emily Blunden
Art Director: Katie McLurg
Photo Editor: Elisa Merlo
Producer: Cassie Gale (LPA)
› Mon, 09 May 2016
I’m so happy to say that my two images shown here and the film of Tuppenny Barn (http://www.emmaboyns.co.uk/moving-image) have been Highly Commended in the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Awards 2016 – a great achievement as the competition had over 7000 entries worldwide!
The two images shall be touring with the exhibition this year and are currently in Cyprus after spending a few days in London at the Mall Galleries.
› Fri, 25 Mar 2016
Happy Easter Boys and Girls!
Have a fabulous break and remember to indulge in plenty of hot cross buns and mini-eggs; it’s practically mandatory…
› Thu, 18 Feb 2016
Drying fish was a pretty big thing in Hong Kong, especially on the islands where there was a little more space and fresh air away from the city and market buzz. Here are three images I captured showing the drying of three different types of seafood, from three different angles.
› Thu, 18 Feb 2016
Back in September 2015 I took a trip out to Hong Kong partly to see a friend and also to see the brilliant culture and landscape that the Asian place has to offer.
When I returned I lost several nights’ sleep over the fact that I had lost the main memory card that I had stored photos on but, to my utter relief and happiness, this was later found under the lining of the car’s boot. And so, five months down the line, I thought I’d share some of what I experienced in Hong Kong, starting with the people. Just click on the photos (in Tumblr) to view the captions below.
› Thu, 24 Dec 2015
It’s Christmas Eve! It’s crazy how quickly this year has come and I’m actually quite astounded myself at what I’ve achieved in this timeframe; I’ve graduated from University with a first class honours degree, I’ve won several competitions including the Lisa Pritchard Student Challenges, winning me representation by the agency, and I’ve won some of my own personal battles.
Here’s a little insight into how I’ve been celebrating and why I’m feeling festive this Christmas…
› Tue, 17 Nov 2015
Three things to make with Montezuma’s Couverture Dark Chocolate…
So I thought I would invest in a bag of cooking dark chocolate from work as it’s great quality chocolate, made locally to me in West Sussex and it lasts for a year! (If I don’t eat it all in the next month that is)
But what to make with it?
Well here I have a three-chocolate guide varying in difficulty – from easy peasy coconut truffles to more complex dark chocolates;
For the coconut truffles, simply weigh an equal weight of cream and chocolate, heat the cream over a low heat in a saucepan until it starts to produce steam, and then pour it over the broken-up chocolate, mixing as you go, until it returns to a consistent chocolatey colour. Leave to set until it is hard but still shapeable, then roll into balls and roll each ball in desiccated coconut – and voila!
The oreo truffles are also quite simple; mix equal weights of cream cheese and oreos in a food processor until the oreos are crumbs and completely combined with the cheese. Then shape into balls. Meanwhile, temper the chocolate; this is the precise part. Heat two thirds of the chocolate to 50 degrees celsius, then mix in the remaining third and stir until melted. This should take the temperature down to 29 degrees. Reheat the chocolate to its using temperature (32 degrees). The oreo balls can now be rolled in the chocolate and left on greaseproof paper to set.
For the dark chocolates that have a white chocolate and almond ganache, temper the dark chocolate in the same way. Meanwhile, weigh out an equal amount of cream and white chocolate and heat the cream as we did for the coconut truffles, then pour over the white chocolate and stir until fully melted and combined. Mix in a splash of almond extract, to taste. Pour the tempered dark chocolate into your mould and lay it upside down on greaseproof paper until set. Repeat, to make the shell thicker. Then half-fill the dark chocolate with the white and almond ganache. Leave to set before topping off wight he remaining dark chocolate and leaving at room temperature to harden.
Tempering the chocolate has numerous advantages; it shouldn’t bloom as easily (when white dots appear), it will ‘snap’ when broken, it will have a nice sheen to it and it will release from the moulds more easily.
Why not make these as little Christmas presents, for Secret Santa or as stocking fillers? They look great in clear cellophane with a ribbon or in a kraft coloured box with some coloured shredded paper and a nice bow.
› Mon, 26 Oct 2015
Ghostly Gourds and Spooky Squash – and the low-down on what to do with them…
Gourds are rather twisted and odd looking things so they’re great for Halloween – kids love to draw or stick spooky faces on them and they can accompany a pumpkin outside the front door to add to the decorations; BUT make sure you don’t eat them! Gourds are infact inedible ornaments.
Butternut squash and many other squash varieties make excellent soups as their flesh becomes quite sweet when roasted; Just cut in half, cover with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in a baking tray half-filled with water for around 45 minutes or until the flesh is soft. Then simply scoop the flesh out with a spoon and mix in a blender or soup maker along with some boiled carrots, rosemary, cooked red onion and vegetable stock for a lovely sweet and thick soup.
Munchkin pumpkins are great little halloween treats for children as they’re healthy, tasty and not too hard to prepare. Cut the top off of the munchkin and scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. Fill the space with leeks, ham, mozzarella, thyme and garlic and season – this is the bit that the children can help with! Then place the lids back on and roast for half an hour or until the flesh has softened. The brilliant orange flesh can be scooped out with the filling for a lovely mouthful of autumnal flavour!
› Sat, 17 Oct 2015
Today consisted of waking up super early for no apparent reason and having to entertain myself making these gorgeous little chocolate coated meringues. It’s a hard life.
› Mon, 12 Oct 2015
Being Breast Cancer Awareness Month this month, I thought I’d create some different looking cakes – this time they’re cake breasts not fake breasts!
Here are a few signs to look out for when regularly checking your breasts, including dimpling, irritation, newly inverted nipples, pain or discomfort and lumps or bumps.
Visit http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month for more information.
› Sun, 20 Sep 2015
One of the neighbours brought these juicy peppers round to the house a few days ago and I just couldn’t resist stuffing them with some cous cous, feta and breadcrumbs and having them for lunch – fast, fresh and simple – and delicious of course!
› Sun, 13 Sep 2015
We have an elderflower/berry tree hanging into our garden from next door and occasionally I like to steal a few of the lovely deep-coloured berries to make something with.
Yesterday I decided to make an elderflower mousse cake, with the recipe adapted from the beautiful version of an elderberry charlotte shown here and explained in German; http://fraeulein-klein.blogspot.de/2014/09/holunderbeeren-und-stiefmutterchen-eine.html?m=1
This is the sort of sweet treat that would make a lovely little dinner party gift or wedding favour.
› Fri, 11 Sep 2015
Tonight we had my homemade pear and plum crumble with the plum and meringue semifreddo featured on a previous post….and it was delicious, truly comforting homemade food!
These cooking pears were a purchase from our local farmshop and of course came straight from their orchards; I just love the red blush on their matte skins.
› Thu, 10 Sep 2015
The next seasonal ingredient from the village is this lovely handful of plums, which I used to make a plum and meringue semifreddo, literally meaning semi-frozen. Whipping egg whites and adding hot sugar syrup whilst whisking then pouring in plum puree and small chunks of meringue make a truly light and refreshing dessert once frozen.
Talking of plums, I had a lovely plum compote with almond crumble and cream for dessert last night at Brasserie Blanc…definitely recommended and I love the restaurant’s relationship with seasonal ingredients.
› Mon, 07 Sep 2015
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be sharing two images a day relating to an ingredient that I’ve found in the village where I live in West Sussex. One image will be a simple shot of the fruit or vegetable and another will show something that can be made using that food.
Here we have some apples from the tree in my garden and a beautiful frangipane apple tart, the recipe for which can be found in this month’s Waitrose Kitchen Magazine.
I’m a very fussy apple-eater, requiring the fruit I eat to be super juicy and crunchy, with anything slightly soft just not being worthy of eating raw. I usually stick to the Jazz variety of apples, however I will never pass on an opportunity to make use of local, seasonal fruits, and so this brilliant, elegant tart came about yesterday and is disappearing rather fast, tasting lovely warmed up with a splash of cool cream.
› Sun, 06 Sep 2015
The Chicken and The Egg
Here is a series that I created based around artist Holly Frean’s work (http://www.hollyfrean.co.uk) for Anthropology. I wanted to compose a photograph for each plate that featured her beautiful, quirky designs as well as one which complimented this but was based around the eggs alone.