The Affinity Photo New Rock Photographer 2020 Challenge #4: Album Photography

Affinity comp
(Image credit: Various)

Louder has joined forces with with image editing software Affinity Photo to find the best new rock photographers of 2020. We're now half way through and have three winners: the live music photography heat was won by a stunning shot of Damian Wilson crowd-surfing, the Crowd & Venue Scenes heat by this great shot that captures the energy and passion of a Machine Head crowd, and the Shot On Mobile heat was won by this live shot of Manchester band Larkins.

Challenge #4 is Album Photography

For this challenge, we are looking for new, original, unpublished music shots that would make great album covers. 

The album cover can be many things: a shot of the band, an abstract shot, a live shot. It could be unrelated: an image that captures the mood of an album or artist. They can be portraits, landscapes, abstracts. Some album sleeves, like the sleeve for Black Sabbath's debut album, have become iconic – classic images that seem to define a genre. 

Albums were something that people carried around under their arms like badges of pride in the 70s. CDs saw artwork reduced in size and, recently, the age of streaming transformed the album sleeve to an icon on Spotify or Apple Music. The vinyl revival, meanwhile, has placed value in great packaging and memorable images all over again. 

The challenges remain the same for all rounds of this competition – creativity, lighting, composition, motion – with one added: these pictures have to be SQUARE.

Louder photographer Kevin Nixon has written an article with tips on how to shoot an album sleeve, with some examples of great album covers.

Affinity Photo picture-editing software is about speed, power and precision - and so is the best rock music. This photo competition is about finding new photographers who capture the spirit of rock’n’roll and helping them to get the best from their photographs.

The competition is running over six months with a series of monthly challenges based around different aspects of music photography: live shots, portraits, shooting in black and white etc. The competition is free to enter and there are monthly prizes for the winners of each category. At the end of the six months, the judges will choose one overall winner who will receive:

  • iPad Pro 11” + Apple Pencil + Affinity Photo for iPad
  • The opportunity to go on assignment with Louder/Classic Rock/Metal Hammer/Prog photographer Kevin Nixon (OR - if geography makes that impossible - doing a Skype/online workshop with Kevin).
  • The winning pictures will be published online on Louder and in our sister magazines (Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog).

Additionally, all entrants will be able to buy the award-winning photo editing software Affinity Photo, on PC or Mac, for less than half price - £23.99 instead of the usual £48.99.

Affinity’s John Atkin says: “Even the best photographers adjust their images before publication, and Affinity Photo is perfect whether you want to make quick corrections or complex, multi-layered edits.

“The low one-off price and no monthly subscription means it’s ideal for photographers on a budget, or who might not be using it all the time, while still delivering all of the editing capabilities the top pros require. And it’s all backed up with a whole load of free, easy-to-follow video tutorials that can help make you a better photographer.”


All entries must be submitted using our online entry form and received by 31 March 2020. Terms and conditions are at the bottom of the entry form. General T&Cs are here.


Louder is the ultimate resource for alternative music coverage and the home of iconic rock brands Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. With a combined reach of over five million followers across social media, we're the largest and most influential alternative music website in the world.