A new photography competition highlighting the artistry of music photographers has emerged in the form of So.co's inaugural Music Photographer of the Year Awards 2023. So.co is a music-storytelling platform that is on a mission to unearth and celebrate the world’s best and brightest music photographers.
The competition is sponsored by Affinity Photo and completely free to enter, but the deadline is sooner than you think – with submissions and public voting both closing on March 15 2023. So get your entries in fast!
• Music Photography: What you need to know, according to the legends (opens in new tab)
Photographers of all abilities are encouraged to enter the first-ever edition of the So.co Music Photographer of the Year Awards (opens in new tab) , with two open-entry categories for photographers: the So.Co Image of Music Award (sponsored by LD Comms), and the prestigious Photographer of the Year Award (which is being sponsored by Affinity Photo (opens in new tab)).
The POTY Award category will initially begin with a public vote open until the closing deadline to generate a shortlist, which will then be judged by So.co’s chosen panel of industry experts and legends. Prizes include sponsor-donated hardware, plus the opportunity to shoot at a leading summer UK festival.(opens in new tab)
Entrants must upload at least five images when submitting to the competition, singling out and highlighting the specific image that they’d like to be considered for the So.Co Image of Music Award category. To enter, you must first make a free So.co account, and then follow the easy instructions on the platform's website.
Check out the leaderboard (opens in new tab) of those who have already entered, and cast your vote for your favorite music photographer portfolio to be part of the final shortlist.
There are also an additional four categories as part of the awards that will honor music industry insiders, including the So.co Legend Award, Independent Venue Of The Year (sponsored by Independent Venue Week), Product of the Year, and The “Must See” Artist of the Year.(opens in new tab)
"At So.co, we believe the art of music photography should be celebrated," said Vince Bannon, CEO and co-founder of So.Co. "We started So.co to do just that, I’m therefore thrilled to announce our inaugural So.co Music Photographer of the Year awards and super excited to see where the event takes our fantastic community of creators."
Adam Perry, So.Co's Head Of Partnerships (UK), added: "Shining a light on the amazing work of music photographers around the world has always been what So.co is all about."
"From tiny club gigs to the biggest festivals, these creatives work tirelessly to create the image of music, and with the So.co Photographer of the Year Awards, we want to recognize the talent, the dedication, and the relentless pursuit of the perfect image that drives the photographers that we all love."
• See our recent interview with music photography icon Denis O'Regan (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
Now the second-ever contest of its kind, following the newly created Abbey Road Studios' Music Photography Awards (opens in new tab), So.co's MPOTY was supposedly born out of a desire to champion the "often unsung" heroes behind the lens. We all love seeing images of music royalty plastered over rock magazine covers and shared on social media, but the image creators definitely deserve the limelight too.
We've covered stories before where music photographers have been wronged by artists, including how Snoop Dogg doesn't understand photography copyrizzle (opens in new tab), and a photographer who took on Dua Lipa - sued AGAIN for Instagram photo copyright (opens in new tab), and even Miley Cyrus has been caught out by copyright law (opens in new tab) fairly recently.
If you're a music photographer, put yourself on a pedestal and enter the first ever So.co MPOTY awards to be recognized for the work you do, and have your images critiqued by an industry that knows it better than anyone else.(opens in new tab)
Entries for the So.co Music Photographer of the Year Awards are now open, but you'll have to be fairly quick at selecting your entries with the deadline for submissions closing on March 15, 2023.
The winners of MPOTY will be revealed at an awards ceremony expecting to take place at 21 SOHO, London, on March 27, 2023.
• You may also want to take a look at the best camera settings for live music photography, as well as these 5 essential tips for editing live music photos, by expert Christie Goodwin (opens in new tab), our Interview with Music photographer Jennifer McCord (opens in new tab), and be sure to get your live music images ready for the Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards (opens in new tab)in 2023.