Legendary US photographer Eric Johnson, whose work includes photos of Biggie Smalls, Lauryn Hill and the late Aaliyah, has won the ‘Icon’ award for the inaugural Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards.
His work truly lives up to the name of the award he’s won, capturing an iconic (there really is no other word) period of 90s and early 2000s music culture. More recently, Johnson has also shot the likes of Lady Gage, Shygirl and Doja Cat.
Speaking about winning the award, Eric says: “It’s super surreal being the first recipient of the Abbey Road Studios Music Photography ICON Award. I’m super low-key by nature and through all of these years it never dawned on me that after taking all of these pics that ultimately it would all come back to me. That people would be curious about me.”
His work, which, let’s not kid ourselves, is what you’re really here to see, is below.
“I kinda knew that my photos would stand the test of time but being considered an ICON wasn’t anything I really thought about. Wow!!! I’m into it. Having such a diverse group of talented artists recognise my work is really what it’s all about. This is a curious industry we’re in.
“It’s been like a rollercoaster ride & this acknowledgement is such a high. It makes me feel like ‘Wow, I’ve really been right & onto something from the beginning & people are really recognising this. It’s AWESOME & inspires me to keep pushing even more.
“I wanna keep creating imagery that the culture really feels. I hope this all inspires emerging talents to try & stay as true to yourself as possible. There’s potentially something great just around the corner. Don’t sweat the industry like that. Keep working on your craft.”
This is the innaugural year of these awards, which remarkably are the first ever awards to focus on the art of music photography.
Their judging panel consists of Rankin, who is also its co-founder. He is joined by Jill Furmanovsky, one of Britain’s finest rock photographers; Ghanian-American singer-songwriter Moses Sumney; East London’s multidisciplinary artist Shygirl; and Brookly-based photographer, Dana Scruggs.
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