MTV Australia Video Music Awards

In Music Photography, Social Photography


I photographed the MTV Australia Video Music Awards at Acer Arena on Sunday night.

Dirty Sanchez Red Carpet

It was an elaborate affair with big name attendees like Fergie, Pink, Good Charlotte, 30 Seconds to Mars, Nicole Richie and a host of Australian bands and b-grade ‘celebrities’.

30 seconds to mars jared leto

Despite the big names, taking pictures at an event like this is decidedly unfulfilling. The photographers are cordoned off into an area to take photos as people arrive. The celebrities are ushered in front of a wall of MTV logos and the scrum of dozens of paparazzi style photographers goes mental, snapping away and barking instructions to look in their direction.

Megan Gale

After everyone’s arrival on the red carpet it’s backstage to the media room where you end up waiting around for long periods of time until the talent arrives, posing with their award, the photographers shoot wildly for a burst until the talent leaves and calm and boredom sets in again.


It’s creatively unfulfilling because you’re essentially getting the exact same photo as every other snapper there and it’s all so tightly stage managed.

Despite all my complaining, it is something i’d do again. And i will be in a couple of weeks at the Jack Awards.


I was shooting the awards for Retna and you can also see some of my pictures at Defamer Australia.

You can see more of my pictures in the MTV AVMA’s photo gallery.

Good CharlotteThe VeronicasNicole RichieFergieJared Leto


  1. Am I seeing this right? Did Fergie (shudder) show up in one outfit and end the night not only in another outfit, but with different hair, as well?

  2. Question for you Dan, how does everyone else’s flashes going off effect your shooting…does it effect your shooting??

  3. Star – you see right. Her hair and outfit did change.
    Matt – it does effect it a little – i got quite a lot of dud shots because they were overexposed with someone else’s flash as well as mine. But apart from that there wasn’t much issue.

  4. Talitha – of course you’re right, it does take skill and a creative eye. But so often you have such limited time and access you have to go for the safe shot, not the more risky creative one.
    I look Kristian up…

  5. Fergie’s looking hot as ever (bluuurgghh), I’m surprised you’re not writing a blog about a cracked camera lense!
    Cool and informative as ever though Dan, I wish I’d been there to watch 30 meters from a mars bar, they’re one of my favourites…
    Need to catch up soon!

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