Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards 2023: In Focus

Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards 2023: In Focus

31st October 2023

They came. They saw. They captured.

14,000 images from 30 countries. Six open & four invited categories.10,000 public votes for the Music Moment of the Year category. A nine-day exhibition at Outernet, London, visited by more than 1.5 million people.

All culminating in one very special night at Abbey Road Studios celebrating the art of music photography AND the photographers behind the lens.


In Feb 2022 we launched the Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards, the first awards to celebrate the art of music photography.

A global music photography platform created to elevate, showcase & celebrate music photography AND the photographers behind the lens. MPAs Project Manager, Jacquie Lindsay explains more:

"Music and photography go hand in hand. Audio and visual. It’s hard to imagine that music photography had not been celebrated or showcased in such a way, until the creation of the MPAs which recognises & supports established, emerging and undiscovered photographers.

The competition is free to enter giving all photographers the same chance. The judging panel is helmed by co-founder Rankin,* platinum-selling singer-songwriter Cat Burns, street culture photographer Vicky Grout, pop sensation Mae Muller, singer-songwriter, broadcaster and presenter Sophie Ellis-Bextor, creative director, fashion consultant & Wizkid’s stylist Karen Binns, photographer Eric Johnson, who was the recipient of the 2022 Icon Award, fashion stylist Matthew Josephs and The New York Times Deputy Photo Editor Nakyung Han. Guest judge for the Underground Scenes category was acclaimed documentary photographer Simon Wheatley.

Fast forward 20 months and the demand and need for the competition is apparent. The competition witnessed a 480% increase in entries since 2022, with over 14,000 images from 30 countries submitted for consideration into six open categories. Music Moment of the Year a new category open to the public vote garnered 10,000 votes in just over a week.

At the heart of the MPAs lies our desire to create new opportunities for photographers to be seen and heard. This is at the front and centre of what we do. Year two of the MPAs saw us expand with:

• our first nine-day exhibition at Outernet, London to showcase the shortlisted entries. To see the beauty of each image in this wonderful space invited visitors to view the photographs like art. Over 1.5 million visitors each week!

• a dedicated free Amplify festival offering free advice and insights to aspiring photographers with panellists including Rankin, Ashley Verse, Vicky Grout, Dean Chalkley and more, with 100 in the room and over 1,200 watching the live stream

• creation of an online Skills Hub offering essential advice, tips and knowledge from our judges, alumni and network

The culmination of the MPAs is an awards ceremony at Abbey Road Studios, which took place last Thursday (21 September). As well as a celebration of the shortlisted and winning imagery, hosted by Lauren Laverne, the evening saw a series of fantastic live performances from The Clockworks, LoneLady and Somadina. The energy in the room was electrifying, from artists, nominees, soon to be winners and the creative community. There was one thread that bound the evening together: the creative community coming together to celebrate each other. Seeing ICON winner Henry Diltz’s lifetime of work alongside nominees and winners told the story of what the MPAs is about: emerging, established and undiscovered photographers all coming together to celebrate the art of music photography.

To have been selected from 14,000 photographs to the final 30, they are all winners in our eyes.

Who better to sum up the MPAs than our nominees and winners...

“After 18 long years of chasing my passion, I’ve had the opportunity to attend over 1000+ concerts, travelled over 16% of the world, blah blah blah. I could keep yapping about my accomplishments. But I just want to say that nothing, absolutely nothing I’ve ever done or experienced or accomplished in this journey has ever exhilarated me the way hearing my name being called last night did. What an amazing experience it is to be a part of this amazing event. I’m full of so much gratitude and so much inspiration after last night.”

Chris Allmeid - Winner, Undiscovered Photographer of the Year

‘Tonight is like the Grammy Awards, but in an intimate way. Incredible!’

Lorenzo Reali – Nominee, Music Moment of the Year

‘All praise to Abbey Road Studios for creating an awards that recognises the silly niche job that me and many others do. Beyond grateful to be surrounded by such great photographers in such an iconic place and infinitely grateful to win.’

Carlo Cavaluzzi – Winner, Live Music

‘The growth that the MPAs has already achieved in only its second year is testament to the overall quality of the awards and the way in which it has been embraced and celebrated across the artistic landscape. Recognising and promoting talent in this important field is something that we are committed to and we are already looking forward to 2024!’

Sally Davies - Managing Director, Abbey Road Studios


Guess what? You might not believe it, but the countdown has already begun for 2024!

You have just over two months of shooting left for your images to be eligible for next year’s awards.


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