Tina Sturzenegger’s wink to the lavish 80s wins the Food & Drink Photography category


From a self-taught photographer to 2019 Spotlight Awards Food & Drink winner, Tina Sturzenegger‘s work demonstrates her passion for creating beautiful and memorable visual stories.

A new series by Tina Sturzenegger, a food and fine art photographer from Switzerland. This series is an ode to the lavish and wasteful 80ties. A bit tacky, sugary and dazing but all in all – you can’t take your eyes off. That’s how our life should be, over the top and fearless. Continue reading to see how the photographer utilised sweat, tears and years to become top tier with her winning work.

The winning image of the Spotlight Photo Awards 2019 Food & Drink Category. Photographer and Art Director: Tina Sturzenegger. Title: Fresh Fish


Production Paradise: Tell us about the winning image – the idea behind it, how was it shot?

Tina Sturzenegger: These days we all talk about sustainable food. But we mostly, act like we’re still in the lavish 80’s. The sky is the limit and we don’t have to change anything.

My image/series “let me take you dancing” is a nice meaningful wink to this topic.

Production Paradise: How do you feel about winning the Category Prize of Spotlight Awards 2019?

Tina Sturzenegger: First of all – it’s a great feeling and I’m super happy. It’s an honor for me to be chosen among all these great photographers.

Production Paradise: How would you describe your style?

Tina Sturzenegger: Clear, modern and structured images with a catchy light and often with a wink.

Production Paradise: Name three photographers that have inspired you.

Tina Sturzenegger: There can be only one – Gregory Crewdson. What he does is outstanding, brave and ahead of time.

My inspiration I get mostly from painters like Yoshimoto Nara, Takashi Murakami or Nobuyoshi Araki. I check out a lot of modern Chinese contemporary painters and I adore the Japanese “Superflat” style.

Production Paradise: How did you end up behind the lens? Tell us about your career path.

Tina Sturzenegger: It’s a bit of a whiny story. After I successfully completed my bachelor’s degree in business administration. My father became very ill. During this time I reflected for myself that I don’t want to end up behind a desk. So I decided to do what I like most – be creative and create pictures. But to be honest – it cost me gallons of sweat, tears and years until I became what I am today.

Spotlight Photo Awards 2019 Food & Drink Category Winner – Photographer Tina Sturzenegger

Production Paradise: What do you think is necessary to become a successful commercial photographer?

Tina Sturzenegger: Challenging yourself. Never give up and work hard. You can be happy with what you‘ve achieved to this point but you need to have a fire to do more and go bigger and be better.

Production Paradise: If you weren’t a photographer, what would be your alternate career path?

Tina Sturzenegger: There would be no alternate career path. Go hard or go home.

Production Paradise: We believe you are not resting on your laurels – what are you working on now?

Tina Sturzenegger: In addition to my work as a Food and Still Life Photographer I’m working on the new “Swiss Cheese” book with Dominik Flammer from Public History. The Book will be published in 20/21.

If I have some time off on the weekends I work on some crazy food stills or I take pictures of animals with flower crowns.

Production Paradise: The Spotlight awards had a judge’s panel composed of potential clients for commercial photographers – did that influence your choice of image(s) selected for your entry?

Tina Sturzenegger: If you take part in a competition like this, you have to be totally convinced that your work “fits the flat.” I mean you don’t go fishing with trumpet.

Production Paradise: What made you want to participate in these Awards?

Tina Sturzenegger: I always was a huge fan of the Spotlight Awards. With this special image/series (including some prayers) I thought that it would be possible to become shortlisted.


We would like to thank Tina for taking the time to share her experience with us! If you want to see more of her work, visit her member page or her website.

Production Paradise has published a special edition of the Spotlight Magazine featuring all the winners and their images. Make sure you subscribe to our blog and Spotlight Magazine so you won’t miss out!

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