Abbey Road Studios Brings us the Music Photography Awards: Joined by guest judge Simon Wheatley

Hennessy is joining forces with the world-prestigious Abbey Road recording studios to announce the launch of the inaugral Music Photography Awards. A first of its kind, the MPAs strive to recognise the art of music photography, opening an avenue for the amplification of creativity across the UK. 

As we continue to contend with unrelenting shifts in the world around us and in how we receive media Hennessy and Abbey Road have brought us a timeless partnership for culture. The event aims to spotlight the legacy of photographers while reporting on musical subcultures around the world. The judges on the panel are nothing but phenomenal in their contribution to creative scenes, with renowned names including Rankin, Moses Sumney, Shygirl, Jill Furmanovsky, Dana Scruggs, Sacha Lecca and Isabel Garvey.

Not only will the evening be in the presence of some remarkable pioneers, they will be joined by a guest judge for the ‘Championing Scene’s’ category. Simon Wheatley is the resident photographer at Abbey Road and known for being a integral player in capturing subcultures in music. Most notably in this case via his documentation of grime for his 2010 book Don’t Call Me Urban! And two upcoming publications documenting “the social realities of a confrontational sound”, a thought-provoking timeline in the evolution of grime.

Hennessy will award the Championing Scenes category winner with a package of support, including the opportunity to collaborate on an international project with the brand in 2023. The iconic Cognac has been revered in contemporary culture from Jazz through to hip-hop and grime and probably the most name-checked spirit in the modern music.

Abbey Road Studios has served as a hub and homing ground for countless icons who went on to define music history and shaped popular culture. This includes perhaps the most iconic album cover in music history – four men walking on a zebra crossing.

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In addition to the Championing Scenes category, the MPAs is inviting emerging and established photographers from across the globe to enter three further open-entry categories–the Studio Photography Award will celebrate images that capture the magic when musicians work together creatively, a Live Music Photography Award for images documenting live music moments in 2021 and the Undiscovered Photographer of the Year recognising the best emerging, unsung talent.

The winners of all nine categories will be unveiled and commemorated at an official ceremony on Saturday May 14, hosted at Abbey Road Studios. You can enter your submissions for the awards here. (Entries for the Music Photography Awards are now open and can be entered by photographers at all stages of their career via the official MPAs website until March 21, 2022 at 23:59 GMT). 

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