Images of rock and pop stars are enjoyed by their fans around the world, whether performing on stage or in front of a studio backdrop, and now the photographers behind these often iconic images are being recognised and celebrated in the brand new So.Co Music Photographer of the Year Awards, whose inaugural event was held last night in London.
Concert photographer Neil Lupin was named as the first ever recipient of the Music Photographer of the Year title, a category sponsored by Sony and voted for by the general public. Lupin’s impressive portfolio is a who’s who of rock and pop royalty, including the likes of U2, Oasis, Queen, Metallica, Rihanna, Cher, Madonna and Elton John. Lupin’s prize was a Sony A7R V camera presented by Sony.
‘I am honoured to have won the first So.Co Music Photographer of the Year award,’ said Neil. ‘The talent in the competition was outstanding and it shows the UK is leading the world when it comes to live music – from the grassroots to the biggest stadium tours.’
Neil’s was one of six awards given out at the event. Belinda Enthoven’s stunning picture of Tom Fletcher from McFly beat over 250 other entries to scoop the Image of the Year award, while music photography veteran David Hogan received the Legend of the Year award in recognition of his 40 years in the business photographing the likes of Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Tina Turner and the Spice Girls.
Not all of the awards went to photographers. There was a Product of the Year, decided by public vote which was won by the Nikon Z 9, the universally acclaimed pro flagship which AP chose as our own Product of the year in 2022. The Must-see Artist of the year was won by Manchester-based indie band The Lottery Winners, while the Venue of the Year was won by The Horn in St Albans, a grassroots venue that hosts around 80 live shows per month and has helped kickstart the careers of everyone from U2 to Newton Faulkner.
The event which was sponsored by Affinity Photo, was the brainchild of So.Co, a platform for music photographers to share their work and interact with the music community. Vince Bannon, So.Co CEO & Co-founder, said: “The music photography community is thriving more than ever, it’s been fantastic to see it come together for this celebration of the artform. We’ve had a blast honouring some of the best in the game with our first year and can’t wait to build the event in the years to come.”