Aotearoa Music Photography Award – Winners Announced !!!


The Auckland Festival of Photography and
Auckland UNESCO City of Music Aotearoa Music Photography Award
| Whakaahua Puoro Toa

The competition is proud to announce the award-winning picture of Kiwi musician Delaney Davidson by photographer 2021
Veronica McLaughlin, With Doug Peters second place with his image of the British musician Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine).

Veronica McLaughlin, a native of New York, moved to Auckland in 1994 and made Aotearoa her home. A freelance photographer, writer, and co-owner / editor of the 13th floor Website, Veronica began her career as a professional photographer with an Elvis Costello concert at the Civic in 2013 in tiny K’Rd clubs. She found that she preferred the smaller venues;

“… The intimacy with the artists, coming directly onto the stage, immersing yourself in the show. Of course, the light is always terrible in these places, and I found myself increasing the ISO higher and higher to keep my speed going. Then try to process the photos into “real” concert photos – impossible. That’s how I discovered my photographic voice. Music, art, life is not beautiful, clean and clear. It is often dark, dirty, gloomy and mysterious. I accepted that. The filming of the Delaney Davidson show was a perfect fit – it brought the dark, somber moment and I was there to capture it. Kismet! “

Two-time Aotearoa Music Award winner
Delaney Davidson is pleased that the picture from his appearance at The Wine Cellar, Auckland helped Veronica win first prize of $ 1,500 for the first Music Photography Award, although he adds that he will no longer practice burning sage when he considers that it is a rite of the indigenous people (of the Americas) to burn it in traditional ceremonies, and due to the exhaustive commercial harvest by non-locals, the sacred herb is now endangered.

The runner-up of the Master & Dynamic 0.95 MW65 Leica Edition Wireless Headphones (MSRP $ 769) went to the photographer Doug Peters. Doug has been shooting live music for over 20 years and is the founder of the music website Ambient light where he also works part time as an editor and sometimes a photographer for some of the biggest names in the music industry including Elton John, U2, Billie Eilish, Iron Maiden, Coldplay and the Foo Fighters to name a few.

During the day he works in the television industry and in his free time he does fashion photography and shoots for the website Doug is a staunch Canon DSLR user of various lenses for his live music photography and has just invested in Leica’s digital medium format system for his portrait and fashion work.

Judges Mark Roach & Maryanne Bilham said “We were overwhelmed by the outstanding quality of the photographs submitted. Putting over 600 entries into one long list, let alone choosing a winner, was no easy task, and we’d like to praise everyone who took part. After much deliberation and discussion, we decided on the incredibly atmospheric recording of
Delaney Davidson by Veronica McLaughlin. Both her winning shot and the runner-up from Florence Welch by
Doug Peters, were chosen for the stories they weave. The photographs also have a high degree of manual skill and perfectly assessed craftsmanship.

The shots are, so to speak, two sides of the same coin. Both shows shown are in Auckland, with Davidson at the popular venue The Wine Cellar; Which in the by far cave-like Spark Arena. The Welch show plays in an international touring world before Covid, while Davidson’s show shows up after the initial lockdown. Yet despite the differences in time and scale, there is an innate resemblance here; by artists, trapped in a sacred space, apparently conjuring up the muse, lost in magic. Our warmest congratulations to Veronica for winning the first Aotearoa Music Photography Award and we look forward to seeing more of her work in the future. “

The competition was open to all New Zealand-based professional and community music-themed photographers and the event is part of the 2021 Public Projects Auckland Festival of Photography Program that is visited free of charge and held in various locations in the area
Auckland June 3rd – 20th.

At the end of New Zealand Music Month, the awards ceremony took place on Friday May 28th. held in Auckland STUDY ROOM (STUDIO 58) / Scott Lawrie Gallery (thanks to Stephen Tilley, Caroline Brown, and Scott Lawrie) with refreshments thanks to Parrotdog and Paritua. Special thanks go to the main sponsors, Auckland UNESCO City of Music and AudioCulture,
Event partners and contributors (details below) and to everyone who attended.

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