Abbey Road Studios announces return of its Music Photography Awards

The Abbey Road Music Photography Awards returns for its second year, with Cat Burns and Sophie Ellis-Bextor among the judging panel this time, with Rankin remaining on as lead judge.

Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards

The annual event is designed to celebrate the best in music photography, with this year’s instalment celebrating the best of 2022’s offering.

The awards are for both the established and the undiscovered, with six open-invite categories and four invited categories on offer, all of which are aimed to spotlight the most memorable music moments and the photographers who captured them. 

Among the judging panel for the four invited categories – which include a ‘Portrait Award’, ‘Editorial Award’, ‘Artist At Work Award’ and ‘Icon Award’ – are an esteemed collection of names from a combination of music, photography and styling backgrounds.

Hak Baker

Credit: Rankin

They include, BRIT Award-nominee Cat Burns; photographer Vicky Grout; leading stylist and consultant Karen Binns; kitchen disco icon Sophie Ellis-Bextor; the winner of 2022’s MPA Icon Award, Eric Johnson; stylist and creative director Matthew Josephs; and New York Times Deputy Photo Editor Nakyung Han.

Abbey Road Studios photographer-in-residence Simon Wheatley, meanwhile, joins the panel for the ‘Underground Scenes’ category.

The group is of course also joined by the award’s co-founder and leading force in British photography, Rankin.

Speaking of the awards, the seminal photographer has said: “I’m thrilled to announce the 2023 Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards is now officially open.

Caroline Polachek

Credit: Sacha Lecca

“It doesn’t matter if you’re emerging, or a celebrated professional photographer, we want you to enter because we want your photographs to be seen.

“The MPAs is close to my heart because I founded the awards together with Abbey Road. This is our opportunity to celebrate what music photography means, not just to the audience and the musicians, but to the photographers behind the lens.

“This year, I’ll be giving you the opportunity to win a day’s mentorship with me on a music shoot, so make sure to get your entry in before 18 July.”

The categories for this year’s open-invite categories, meanwhile, which are designed for those with no prior experience or acclaim, include: ‘Undiscovered Music Photographer of The Year’, ‘Music Moment of The Year Award’, ‘Live Music Award’, ‘In The Studio Award’, ‘Underground Scenes Award’, ‘Hip Hop 50’.

For more information and for ways to apply, visit the site’s website here.


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