Announcing the shortlist for this year's inaugural Music Photography Awards

6th May 2022

We're thrilled to be announcing the shortlist nominations for the inaugural Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards 2022 in association with Hennessy - the first awards to celebrate the art of music photography.


Open Categories

In the awards’ open categories, the nominees for Championing Scenes supported by Hennessy include Northern Irish photographer Megan Doherty, best known for debut book Stoned In Melanchol which documents her adolescence in Derry, as well as Above Ground, who has shot the likes of Nile Rodgers and Starrah in the past. In the Live category, supported by Philips, nominees include Gary Mather with a shot of Bristol based, post-punk musician Billy No Mates and John Lyons with an image of David Mrakpor playing with Ruben Fox. US based photographers Aysia Marotta and Jack McKain are nominated in Studio Photography, supported by Bowers & Wilkins, for their images of Pharrell and Pink Siifu respectively, while Spanish based Neelam Khan Vela makes the shortlist with a shot of all female indie outfit Hinds. Nominees in the Zeitgeist category include Chris Suspect for a live shot of heavy metal band Darkest Hour and Jason Sheldon for his work on a socially distanced Rise Up show, while New Zealand based Oscar Hetherington and Joe Puxley are nominated for their images of The Beatniks and Arlo Parks, respectively in Undiscovered, supported by adidas..

Arlo Parks by Joe Puxley

Arlo Parks by Joe Puxley

Rise Up by Jason Sheldon

Rise Up by Jason Sheldon

Darkest Hour by Chris Suspect

Darkest Hour by Chris Suspect

Megan Doherty

Megan Doherty


Invited Categories

In the invited categories, the nominees for Artist At Work include young US photographer Tyrell Hampton for his work with Dua Lipa, as well as the Nigerian, black music specialist, Greg Noire for a live shot of KennyHoopla, while Rafeal Pavarotti is nominated for his widely shared Rihanna x Dazed cover image, alongside David LaChapelle for his work with Dua Lipa x Rolling Stone and Craig McDean for his Billie Eilish x Vogue cover in the Editorial category. Ukrainian photographer Yana Yatsuk is nominated for a King Princess image in the Portrait category, while London based grime specialist Vicky Grout’s Attitude x Sherelle cover is also selected.

King Princess by Yana Yatsuk

King Princess by Yana Yatsuk

Sherelle by Vicky Grout

Sherelle by Vicky Grout


MPAs shortlist nominations:

Championing Scenes (category supported by Hennessy) -

Megan Doherty
Above Ground
Rob Jones
Chris Suspect
Cicely Ellison

Live (category supported by Philips) -

John Lyons
Anthony Harrison
Gary Mather
Jérôme Brunet

Studio (category supported by Bowers & Wilkins) -

Jack McKain
Natalie Michele
Indy Brewer
Neelam Khan Vela
Aysia Marotta

Zeitgeist -

Chris Suspect
Riccardo Piccirillo
DeShaun Craddock
Alec Castillo
Jason Sheldon

Undiscovered (category supported by adidas) -

Joe Puxley
Jada & David Parrish
Oscar Hetherington
Hana Kovacs
Thomas Weidenhuapt

Artist At Work -

Greg Noire
Jack McKain
Jennifer McCord
CJ Harvey
Dean Chalkley
Above Ground

Editorial -

Yana Yatsuk
Craig McDean
David LaChapelle
Fernando Aceves
Paul Sepuya
Samuel Trotter

Portrait -

Yana Yatsuk
Aidan Zamiri
Vicky Grout
Lucas Garrido
Nicholas O’Donnell
Josiah Rundles
Speaking about the shortlisted entries Abbey Road’s MD Isabel Garvey says:

‘2021 was a challenging year for musicians and for photographers across the world. With this year’s MPAs, we were very keen to make sure that despite the difficulties, we were still able to find a quality selection of work and I think this year’s shortlist is proof that we have. We’re all thrilled with the quality of images that were entered and the eventual shortlist.’

MPAs lead judge Rankin adds:

‘I’m very proud of where we have got to and what we have achieved with the first year of the MPAs and I’m truly excited about where this can go next. I think the quality of the shortlisted entries speaks for itself.’

Earlier this month, the MPAs announced the recipient of this year’s Icon Award as Eric Johnson. Best known for his work documenting the US music culture of the late ‘90s and early 2000s, his photos of Biggie Smalls, Nas, Missy Elliott, Lauryn Hill and the late Aaliyah defined an era of US music photography. His more recent work with the likes of Doja Cat and MPAs judge Shygirl places him at the heart of contemporary pop music culture in 2022.

The inaugural Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards 2022 judging panel is made up of world-famous photographer, publisher and film director Rankin, legendary photographer Jill Furmanovsky, groundbreaking Ghanaian-American singer, writer and multidisciplinary creative Moses Sumney and history-making American photographer and director Dana Scruggs. Rolling Stone’s Deputy Photo Director and photographer Sacha Lecca and Abbey Road Studios’ very own MD, Isabel Garvey are also on the panel, while revered music photographer and Abbey Road Studio photographer-in-residence Simon Wheatley joins the judges for the Championing Scenes category.

For more information on this year’s MPAs, please visit:

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