Dramatic shot of Greta Van Fleet star wins top music photography award

Annual awards ceremony recognises photographers who capture the power of live music

Roisin O'Connor
Wednesday 27 March 2024 09:07 GMT
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Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet in the winning image by Fearghal McGlinchey
Josh Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet in the winning image by Fearghal McGlinchey (Fearghal McGlinchey)

A dramatic photograph of Greta Van Fleet frontman Josh Kiszka mid-performance has won the top prize at the So.Co Image of Music Awards.

The annual awards, launched last year by music storytelling platform So.Co, took place at a ceremony in central London and saw prizes handed out for a number of categories, incuding Legend of the Year, Venue of the Year, and Young Photographer of the Year.

The shot of Kiszka by Fearghal McGlinchey, which is aligned carefully to give the appearance that the onstage fire pyrotechnics are emitting from the musician's raised hand during his concert at Wembley in London, won the Image of Music prize, which was voted for by the public.

London-based McGlinchey was also named music photographer of the year at the ceremony, which was held on Tuesday 26 March.

Reflecting on his process to capture the winning photo, McGlinchey said: “I decided to watch some of their recent live performances on YouTube, to get a gist for the stage design.

“As soon as I saw their pyros go off, I thought to myself, 'I have to be in the perfect position for these later on.’ Josh's harmonica even looks like it could be a lighter.”

The winning Image of Music 2024 photo
The winning Image of Music 2024 photo (Fearghal McGlinchey)

Last year, the prize went to Belinda Enthoven for her snap of McFly singer Tom Fletcher mid-concert, showing him arching backwards on stage and stretching out his hand to the audience while performing at the O2 in London.

The winning 2023 entry: Tom Fletcher of McFly performing at the O2 Arena, by Belinda Enthoven
The winning 2023 entry: Tom Fletcher of McFly performing at the O2 Arena, by Belinda Enthoven (Belinda Enthoven)

Elsewhere during this year’s ceremony, New York-based Grace Prachthauser received the inaugural Young Photographer of the Year prize, which aims to shine a light on emerging talent under the age of 23.

The judges were impressed by her creative entries that included live shots of US rapper Ashnikko and Eurovision stars Maneskin.

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Victoria De Angelis of Maneskin in a photograph by Grace Prachthauser
Victoria De Angelis of Maneskin in a photograph by Grace Prachthauser (Grace Prachthauser)
Pop star DYLAN photographed by Grace Prachthauser
Pop star DYLAN photographed by Grace Prachthauser (Grace Prachthauser)

Ahead of the ceremony, it had been announced that Jill Furmanovsky had been awarded the Legend of the Year award for her long-standing career in the music industry.

Over a career spanning more than 50 years, Furmanovsky has captured defining moments in music history including Oasis at Knebworth and Pink Floyd at Live 8 in 2005, while also shooting up-close-and-personal portraits of artists such as Amy Winehouse, Sinead O’Connor and Charlie Watts.

Madness in New York by Jill Furmanovsky
Madness in New York by Jill Furmanovsky (JILL FURMANOVSKY ARCHIVE)
Jill Furmanovsky’s shot of Liam Gallagher at rehearsals for Oasis’s Knebworth shows , 1996
Jill Furmanovsky’s shot of Liam Gallagher at rehearsals for Oasis’s Knebworth shows , 1996 (JILL FURMANOVSKY ARCHIVE)
Charlie Watts at the Halcyon, 1991
Charlie Watts at the Halcyon, 1991 (JILL FURMANOVSKY ARCHIVE)

Venue of the Year was awarded to the Hackney-based Paper Dress Vintage, which operates as a vintage clothing store in the daytime before transforming into a music venue at night, hosting artists such as Arlo Parks and Sam Fender.

Meanwhile, Mercury Prize-nominated rock duo Nova Twins took home the Must-See Artist of the Year, voted for by the public, and Innovation of the Year went to the Canon EOS R50, selected by judges for its ability “to squeeze high-end tech gear into an entry-level camera”.

Vince Bannon, So.Co chief executive and co-founder, said: “We are thrilled again to highlight and honour the great work done by music photographers throughout the year.

“As you can see from the quality of the entries, the standard just keeps getting better.”

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