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Abbey Road studios announces third annual music photography awards

Submissions are now open for the free-to-enter competition celebrating the art of music photography

By Daniel Kreps

Orville Peck (Picture: Pooneh Ghana)

The third annual Abbey Road Music Photography Awards — which honours the art of music photography and highlights talent from around the globe — will take place at the legendary London studio on October 3, with submissions now open for a handful of categories.

Photographers may submit entries via MPAs’ website in six open-entry categories: Undiscovered Photographer of the Year, Music Moment of the Year, Live Music Award, Underground Scenes Award, Making Music Award, and Jazz: The Rebirth of Cool. The judging panel will determine the nominees in three more invited categories: Portrait, Editorial, and ICON.

“At Abbey Road Studios, we are dedicated to the artistry and impact of music photography,” Sally Davies, Managing Director at Abbey Road Studio, said in a statement. “Through hosting the annual Music Photography Awards, we celebrate this vibrant art form and the talented individuals behind the lens. Our mission is not only to showcase their incredible work, but also to nurture and create meaningful opportunities for emerging photographers. We are proud to support this creative community, helping to bring their unique visions and voices to the forefront of the music industry.”

This year’s panel of judges includes founding MPAs photographer Rankin, Abbey Road’s first-ever Artist in Residence Jordan Rakei, musicians like Gossip’s Beth Ditto, Sleaford Mods’ Jason Williamson, Moses Boyd, and Bimini, photographers Raven B Varona, Pooneh Ghana Ashley Verse, and Sam Rockman, and more.

“Now in our third year, I’m incredibly excited to see what we can expect from the 2024 entrants,” Rankin said in a statement. “The quality of photography from last year’s entrants was extremely impressive, and I’m sure that this year will raise the bar even higher. We want to find and recognize the emerging, undiscovered and established talent that exists in music photography, as well as shine a light on photographers of all backgrounds. Once again, I will be giving one photographer the opportunity to win a day’s mentorship with me on a shoot.”

Ahead of the judging day, a shortlist is created by a committee of photography experts, including Rolling Stone Deputy Photo Editor Sacha Lecca, photographers Charlotte Patmore, Katy Cummings, Phoebe Fox, and Anthony Pham, the winner of Music Moment Of The Year Award at the 2023 MPAs.

The MPAs is a free-to-enter competition, with submissions open now through July 18 at the MPA website. Prizes include mentoring with industry experts including Rankin and Lecca, exhibitions and practical photo shoot opportunities. The 2023 MPAs drew over 16,000 submissions from 30 countries, with an exhibit featuring some of the work attracting 1.5 million visitors to London’s Outernet. 

From Rolling Stone