Rankin among Abbey Road Studios Photo Awards judges 2023 – get entries in now

Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards 2023
Lauryn H (Image credit: Abbey Road Studios / Eric Johnson)

Did you know that the world’s most famous recording studio has launched a competition exclusively for music photographers? And it's free to enter! The Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards (MPA) kicked off in February last year and is back again for 2023 with a brand new judging panel of leading industry experts. 

Photographers both established and undiscovered across the globe can enter into the awards from today until the deadline of July 18, 2023, for a chance to win one of the six open-entry categories – plus the opportunity to receive a one-to-one mentorship session with renowned photographer and awards co-founder, Rankin. 

• These are the best lenses for concert photography 

The Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards is one of the only photography competitions to celebrate the art and talent that goes into music photography. It was the first of its kind before the inaugural So.co Music Photographer of the Year Awards launched earlier this year, with judges that included legendary photographer Dave Hogan, as well as photography enthusiast-slash-McFly's bass player, Dougie Poynter. 

Bono (Image credit: Abbey Road Studios / Rankin)

This year's judging panel of industry experts for the Awards include Rankin, photographer Vicky Grout, BRIT-award winner Cat Burns, singer-songwriter Sophie Ellis-Bextor, New York Times Deputy Photo Editor Nakyung Han, stylist and consultant Karen Binns, creative director Matthew Josephs, and US photographer Eric Johnson (who was last year's MPA Icon Award Winner). 

Abbey Road Studios' own photographer-in-residence, Simon Wheatley, will also join the judging panel to provide assistance with the Underground Scenes category.

Debbie Harry (Image credit: Abbey Road Studios / Rankin)

One important thing to be aware of: The Abbey Road Studios MPA aims to recognize the previous year’s most memorable and magical live music photos, so for this reason, all submitted images must have been captured in 2022 only (more specifically between January 1st, 2022 to December 31st, 2022) and any images captured outside of this time frame won't be accepted. 

The six open categories for music photographers are Undiscovered Photographer of the Year, Music Moment of the Year Award (supported by Outernet), Underground Scenes Award (supported by Abbey Road Studios), Live Music Award (supported by Philips Ambilight TV), In The Studio Award, and Hip Hop 50 (supported by Hennessy).

For the special 2023 Hip Hop category, and on this occasion only, the MPAs will be accepting photos from the last 50 years (1st January 1973 – 31st December 2022) to serve as a vibrant homage to the 50-year Anniversary of Hip Hop photography. 

The invited categories, which are invitation-only and not open for entry, are the Portrait Award, Editorial Award, Artist at Work Award, and Icon Award. These categories were established to recognize outstanding contributions to music photography.

Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards 2023

Little Simz (Image credit: Abbey Road Studios / Vicky Grout)

Rankin has shared that "The MPAs is close to my heart because I founded the awards together with Abbey Road. This is our opportunity to celebrate what music photography means, not just to the audience and the musicians, but to the photographers behind the lens."

"This year, I'll be giving you the opportunity to win a day's mentorship with me on a music shoot, so make sure to get your entry in before 18 July...It doesn’t matter if you’re emerging, or a celebrated professional photographer, we want you to enter because we want your photographs to be seen." 

The Darkness (Image credit: Abbey Road Studios / DeShaun Craddock)

You heard Rankin... get your entries into the Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards 2023 before the 18th of July to be in with the chance of receiving global recognition for your talent and skills. Entries are free so there's really no excuse. 

 You might also be interested in our interviews with music photography legends; David Hogan, as well as Denis O'Regan, and Jennifer McCord

• See the top tips from Pro Christie Goodwin on How to get started in live music photography, plus her 5 tips for editing music photos. This is everything you need to know about music photography from the Abbey Road experts.

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.