aotearoa music photography award 2024

Image Auckland is delighted to announce the winners of 2024 Music Photography Award - Whakaahua Puoro Toa

The 2024 Award was judged by Federico Monsalve, he has worked within the photography sector to publish news stories, building an archive of written and visual editorial over many years, his career stretches across the arts sector. He was also the former editor of Urbis and Interior magazines. A writer and journalist, his work has appeared in a range of local and international media including The New Zealand Herald, Monocle (UK), Urbis, Flying Nun, ARTnews (NY) and Interior.

Music Photography Award 1st Prize: Brenna Gotje, Princess Chelsea band - Town Hall.
Judge Federico Monsalve said, "Capturing a single, fleeting moment when a musician is in an almost trance-like communion with its instrument. This photograph is delightful in its composition and its ability to contain an enigmatic burst of energy. The background light is almost heavenly both in its texture and directionality; the backdrop instruments and equipment appear as if officiating whatever primordial dance is going on in front of them while nearby, a pair of pants with fleeting butterflies add even more condensed, solidified movement to this tableau. I was instantly attracted to this raw image because, although intrinsically bound to the music it is trying to capture, it plays by its own rules to create an artwork in its own right."
Brenna Gotje, Princess Chelsea
Brenna wins $1250 in cash and her winning image will be part of future exhibitions of the 2024 AMPA.

Brenna stated, "Thanks so much!It was great just to have it on the website, its incredible validation, I just love photographing musicians… but to win… it is absolutely insane!"
2023 Music Photography Award 2nd Prize: Tom Grut - Weyes Blood, performing at Powerstation. 
Judge Federico Monsalve said, "This image’s superpower is its ability to capture a single, clear message: “ethereal.” Beyond theatrics or stage settings, a simple, mostly in-camera treatment clearly depicts the singer’s intent and gives a very clear indication as to the essence of her sound.  It is simple and minimal, restrained yet moody and it carries within it a rhythmic flow that fits the subject impeccably."

Tom Grut, Weyes Blood

Tom wins $500 in cash and his winning image will be part of future exhibitions of the 2024 AMPA.

Tom stated, "Very stoked! Her music was so angelic that I was trying to capture some of that ethereal quality by playing around with shutter speeds and the way the light was reflecting against that white dress. It was all quite dreamy. "


People's Choice prize - $250 Prezzy card (like a preloaded debit card). People's Choice Winner's announced Samantha Davies, Jonas Brothers - Spark Arena, Feb 2024 and Doug Peters, Taylor Swift at Mt Smart, Auckland 2018.

View all the 2024 entries

To date $8000 has been Awarded to support Music photography in NZ through this Award since 2021.

Music Photography Outdoor Exhibitions 2024

Image Auckland [tamaki makaurau] with thanks to Eke Panuku Development, from early May 2024 is stoked to present a curated selection and winning photographs from 2023's Music Photography Award | Whakaahua Puoro Toa.

2023 Aotearoa Music Photo Awards

2023 Queens Wharf exhibition

The outdoor Queens Wharf Fence exhibition is part of AFP's ongoing commitment to create experiences with images that inspire, connect, and educate, whilst supporting the Aotearoa NZ music photography scene.

Meanwhile from after Easter in Takapuna, the Takapuna Business Association is supporting a boutique outdoor exhibition, you can walk by, skate by, cycle by outdoors. From the city take the ferry to Devonport Wharf and bus to Takapuna for a afternoon or evening visit.

The image auckland [tamaki makaurau] exhibition will be on show during May, alongside NZ Music Month and image auckland [tamaki makaurau] lead in activities to the announcement of the 2024 Award winners which will take place in Auckland in May. Providing a diverse and inclusive platform, for the exchange of ideas, artistic expression, and engagement with photography and visual culture.

"Music photography is an art form; whether it’s a community event, a big festival highlights or a gig review, photography is always there. It’s a wonderful cultural activity. We welcome and look forwards to some great entries and offering some cool prizes, all our Awards underpin our Festival commitment to profiling NZ photographic excellence". - Julia Durkin MNZM the founder/CEO, Auckland Festival of Photography (parent brand for 'Image Auckland').

See previous winners below

music photography award 2023

Image Auckland is delighted to announce the winners of 2023 Music Photography Award - Whakaahua Puoro Toa

The 2023 Award was judged by Robert M Knight, NZ/Auckland based US Rock Music photographer who has a 175,000 image archive, and career stretching from 1968 to recent times. He has photographed pretty much everyone. He is an author and the subject of the documentary film Rock Prophecies. Knight has photographed Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Steve Vai, and Carlos Santana.

Music Photography Award 1st prize: Photographer - Andrew Cornaga - Ed Sheeran at Eden Park, February 10th.

Andrew Cornaga - Ed Sheeran
Judge Robert M Knight,  said, "Its been great seeing so many artists captured as they perform, tough decision, often these big international stars are more challenging to photograph well due to restrictions on the night and where a photographer gets placed. This one by Andrew Cornaga is a stand out portrait which meets all the elements of technical skill, catching the pose of Ed with his guitar held high, significant of a triumphant night of music".
Andrew wins $1250 in cash and his winning image will be part of future exhibitions of the 2023 AMPA.

2023 Music Photography Award 2nd Prize: Photographer - Amanda Hodge at Homegrown 2023, with Joe Walsh performing with Gin Wigmore. 
Amanda Hodge - Joe Walsh with Gin Wigmore
Judge Robert M Knight,  said, "shooting in the pit often is intuitive, this one shows the 'hands on' fans excitement at a well known NZ music Festival. A joyous, fun time for everyone. Joe Walsh's look is one that says "can I stay here a bit longer?"

Amanda wins $500 in cash and her winning image will be part of future exhibitions of the 2023 AMPA.

People's Choice prize - $250 Prezzy card (like a preloaded debit card). People's Choice Winner is now announced - Wellington based Nichole Davis, with her portrait of Che Fu performing at Homegrown 2021. Congratulations too. View all the 2023 entries


Music Photography Award 2022

Image Auckland is delighted to announce the winners of 2022 Music Photography Award - Whakaahua Puoro Toa

The 2022 Award was judged by Dave Simpson, of FromThePit fame, which started in 2018. 
Dave is a professional photographer covering live events for 20 years, who's images regularly appear in numerous local and international publications including The New York TimesUSA TodayThe GuardianThe Daily MailThe SunNewsweekRollingStoneBillboardForbes, Vanity Fair,  PeopleThe Huffington Post, Pitchfork and NME, and is a Getty Images contributor.

2022 Music Photography Award 1st Prize: Photographer - Dave Watson, Foo Fighters (Dave Grohl) performing at Mt Smart Stadium, 2018

Dave Watson
Judge comment: “This winner really does capture the moment beautifully despite the tricky photoing with the rain. There's a confidence and lightness in the image which matches the stance of the musician who has plenty of room to breath in the picture. The lighting and technical handling are perfect despite the rain. I know we only judged the best single image, but all the images Dave Watson's submitted are exquisitely presented, and he's a master of his craft.”

David wins $1500 cash. Dave said he's delighted and its "great this one won, as it signifies the pre pandemic years where New Zealand was a main touring country. He's looking forward to the return of these big stadium concerts with world's superstars in town to photograph"

2022 Music Photography Award 2nd Prize: Photographer - Shelley Te Haara, Julia Deans, performing at the first Songbirds in Suburbia

Judge comment: “Whilst not technically perfect, it tells a strong story. It's dark and moody, with harsh lighting and I like the graphic handling. It speaks to me about a musician performing against adversity and everything that nature is throwing against her (rain being an allegory for Covid and lockdowns?). Yet, she continues to perform sheltered under an umbrella.”

Shelley wins $750 cash. Shelley said the win had "made my day" and "thanks to the judge, who she has "stood with in the pit" on many occasions"

View all the 2022 entries

Music Photography Award 2021

Watch now on You Tube - Veronica McLaughlin, Award winner -

VeronicaMcLaughlin; Postcards

Auckland Festival of Photography are proud to present the inaugural Aotearoa Music Photography Award | Whakaahua Puoro Toa competition winners:

Veronica McLaughlin, Delaney Davidson
Winner: Veronica McLaughlin, Delaney Davidson
Doug Peters
2nd Prize: Doug Peters, Florence + The Machine

View all the 2021 entries

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