Abbey Road Studios has announced the inaugural Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards 2022 in association with Hennessy - the first ever awards to celebrate the art of music photography.
“The MPAs will recognise the year’s most unforgettable, unique and unsung music moments and the varied and talented photographers who captured them,” said the announcement. The winners will be unveiled at an official MPAs ceremony in May 2022 (date to be confirmed), hosted at Abbey Road Studios.
In celebration of Abbey Road’s 90th anniversary, the MPAs will honour the images that capture the magic of live music and the creative process, as well as music scenes and movements taking place across the world. The awards will recognise photographers at all levels - whether established, emerging or undiscovered – via open-entry categories, as well as categories chosen by a judging panel made up of artists, photographers and influential names across the global music and photography industries.
Abbey Road Studios is inviting professional and emerging photographers from all around the world to enter the four open-entry categories titled Studio, Live, Championing Scenes and the Undiscovered Photographer of the Year, while the judging panel will choose one of these entries for the Zeitgeist award. These categories can be entered by photographers at all stages of their career via the official MPAs website.
Alongside these are four invited category awards, with the nominees and winners chosen by the official judging panel - made up of photographers, artists and experts within the music and photography industries. The invited categories are titled: Icon, Portrait, Editorial and Artist at Work.
Helming the inaugural Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards 2022 judging panel is photographer, publisher and film director Rankin. Rankin’s career has seen him work across both fashion and music, directing and shooting music videos for the likes of Miley Cyrus, Rita Ora and Kelis and shooting portraits of everyone from David Bowie to The Rolling Stones and The Queen. His photography has been published globally in titles including Vogue, Esquire, GQ, Rolling Stone and exhibited in galleries globally.
Rankin said: "Throughout my career it’s always been really important for me to support emerging and undiscovered talent in photography, so the opportunity to partner with one of music’s biggest and most prestigious brands in Abbey Road Studios for this year’s inaugural Music Photographer Of The Year Awards, is massively exciting. Music photography is an art form that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, so it’s brilliant to celebrate those working in the field with these Awards. What I’m always looking for with photography is a connection with the subject matter and music has been one of my main passions for as long as I can remember, so this is a real thrill."
It’s an important category of photography that hasn’t been officially recognised before
Joining Rankin is music photographer and Rockarchive founder Jill Furmanovsky. Her 50-year career has seen her photograph many of the biggest names in rock music including Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Blondie, The Police, Led Zeppelin, The Pretenders, Bob Dylan, Oasis and many more. Furmanovsky has also directed videos for Oasis and The Pretenders, published a number of music photography books (including 2021 Sunday Times best seller Oasis At Knebworth) and worked as Abbey Road Studios’ photographer in residence from 2017 to 2018.
Ghanaian-American singer, writer and multidisciplinary creative Moses Sumney will be joining the official judging panel, along with Shygirl, a multi-disciplinary artist originating from the East London club scene.
American photographer and director Dana Scruggs will also be part of the MPAs panel this year, along with Rolling Stone’s deputy photo director and photographer Sacha Lecca, and Abbey Road Studios’ MD Isabel Garvey.
Isabel Garvey said: ‘We are thrilled to launch the first Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards. It’s an important category of photography that hasn’t been officially recognised before and I am honoured to be able to make this happen with the MPAs.
“Abbey Road’s legacy has not only come from the incredible artists and records made here, but through the iconic imagery that has captured these seminal moments and transported them around the world. I am excited to work with our panel of talented judges to find and celebrate the next generation of image makers across the globe, who are shaping the way we see music.”
ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS CATEGORIES
Championing Scenes Award (Category supported by Hennessy)
Live Music Photography Award (Category supported by Philips)
Studio Photography Award (Category supported by Bowers & Wilkins)
Undiscovered Photographer of the Year (Category supported by Adidas)
Portrait Photography Award
Editorial Photography Award
Artist at Work Photography Award