Meet the winner of Metro’s first-ever ‘Food Porn Photo Contest’

This sandwich, from Queens Kickshaw, is so much more than just a grilled cheese, says photographer Bradley Hawks.

Earlier this month, Metro asked our readers to submit their most drool-worthy food porn snapshots.

Astoria resident Bradley Hawks’ grilled cheese masterpiece, above, has been deemed the best.
   
Hawks will receive two prizes: The first, a cheese plate valued at $125, featuring a wedge of Jarlsberg, plus goat cheeses, honey creme and wild hibiscus flowers in syrup.
   
And that’s not all: Hawks will also get a free Nikon D5100 16.2 megapixel digital camera, compliments of Adorama.

We sat down with Astoria resident and freelance writer Bradley Hawks to find out what makes a food porn contest winner.

Tell us about yourself.

A New York City transplant from Indiana eight years ago, I have lived or worked in each of the five boroughs and love that this whole city feels very much like home. I taught fifth grade in the Bronx for four years, but took a break to focus on my writing career. Now a regular contributor to a few publications in the world of food writing, picking up a camera has just been a natural progression. I hope my photos are at least half as much fun as I have had living them in person.

What are your interests?

Food, food, food: Enjoying it, as well as learning and sharing the stories behind it. A friend once said to me, “Food is just the vehicle by which we feed one another in much deeper, meaningful ways,” and I believe that. I am also a fan of live theater, day trips, cheese, anything related to Japan, seafood and anything that makes me laugh.

In your opinion, what are the best shooting locations in the city?

I don’t think there’s a single place unworthy of a camera in New York City, but restaurants are some of my favorite — this city treats food like art. Great shots can also always be found on the Staten Island Ferry.

Do you have any photo tips for shooting food?
Always use natural light, indirect sunlight and no flash. Learn to manipulate the settings on the camera.

What do you look for when photographing food?

I want people to see the food the same way I see it. So Photoshop is not used in any of my pictures.

Do you have a favorite subject?

Eggs. Pictures of eggs are always the most popular and fun to photograph as well.

What’s your favorite city in the world?

New York City, no question. It is where you live if you want to live everywhere in the world all at the same time. A five-minute walk can take you into an entirely different universe.

What’s your hometown?

Indianapolis, Indiana, is my hometown and will forever be my foundation. It taught me compassion, hospitality and the true value of community and family.


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