BIMM London Music Journalism student Dani Willgress reached a career milestone recently when she won the coveted title of ‘Young photographer of The Year 2020’ from the Heavy Music Awards.
Dani beat five other talented finalists when she was selected as the winner for this striking image of Yungblud, taken at O2 Academy Brixton in November ’19.
As part of her prize Wilgress, who is in her final year of a BA (Hons) Music Journalism degree at BIMM London, will receive mentorship, advice and guidance from well established music photographer Paul Harries, who hand-picked the shortlist of finalists before a final vote was put to the public.
Dani describes how it felt to win the title:
“Being part of the competition was a brilliant experience and to win it still feels really surreal. I would like to say thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for me. It means the world and I am so grateful. I am so excited to get to work with Paul Harries. I used to cover my walls in posters as a teenager (many of which were his photographs), so getting to work with him is incredibly cool.”
Dani was vocal in her appreciation of the course at BIMM London for widening her horizons and even mentioned how the opportunity to capture her winning image can be attributed to studying at BIMM London. When asked about the most useful thing she’s taken from her course at BIMM, she said:
“Mainly the confidence it has given me when writing, as without being able to do this I wouldn’t have received the opportunity to shoot the bands I have (they often insist on having a live review as well). I believe the Yungblud shoot was one of these, so if I hadn’t been writing a live review then I wouldn’t have captured the shot I later submitted for the HMA’s.”
Paul Harries’ impressive portfolio includes big name artists such as Nirvana, Muse, Ozzy Osbourne, James Bay and Mark Ronson and with over twenty years of experience in the business, he’ll have plenty of insider tips, advice and guidance to offer Dani.
Speaking to an outside source, Harries described how the selection process for the award has been for him:
“It’s a privilege to be asked to provide a short-list for the Young Photographer of the Year competition. I’m regularly asked for advice by budding young photographers so this is a great opportunity for me to edit for the most promising 16-21-year-olds. I’m already looking forward to working with the winner on a shoot next year so I can offer advice, hopefully, inspire, and perhaps share a few trade secrets.”
We’re incredibly pleased for Dani and are certain this marks the start of an impressive career for her in Music Journalism.
If you’re interested in study a course like Dani’s, why not take a look at our newly launched BA (Hons) Music Media, Marketing and Communication Degree?
Discover Dani Wilgress’ photography via her official website.
Header photo c/o Sarah Louise Bennett
Portrait photo c/o Natalie Lloyd-Shaw