For the second year running, Asheville freelance photographer, David Simchock, has taken a top prize in the annual Independent Music Awards (IMA). Simchock’s dynamic capture of a leaping Ozomatli bassist, Wil-Dog, at the May 2013 LEAF Festival (Black Mountain, NC) was nominated earlier this year, along with another one of his concert images (John Butler at FloydFest). One other photographer had an image nominated in the same category.
A panel of industry judges recently announced the IMA winners in a diverse range of categories, with Simchock’s Wil-Dog shot coming out on top in the Artist Concert Photography group. Says Simchock, “It is very gratifying to take this award two years in a row. I knew the moment I captured the image at the LEAF Festival last year that it was worthy of attention, though with so many thousands of quality concert images being produced out there, it’s not easy to have one rise to the top. Needless to say, I’m proud to have my concert work, once again, recognized by the IMA judges.”
The award-winning shot was captured at the 2013 LEAF Festival in Black Mountain, and features a wide-angle view of a perfectly-timed “jump shot” of L.A. artist Ozomatli’s bass player. Simchock is a volunteer staff photographer for LEAF, helping out with their semi-annual festival by putting his Nikons and lenses to work in both May and October every year.
Adds David, “One of the best things about this award is that the image wasn’t only captured at my favorite festival, but I even managed to get the LEAF banners in the shot at the back of the stage. What better organization to get some intermational PR for than LEAF?” Though the formal IMA judging is now complete, there is still a chance for the public to weigh in on things as part of the IMA Vox Pop voting. Music (and photography) enthusiasts can go on line on the IMA website to cast their vote.
Time will tell if Simchock picks up another award based on public opinion, as he did in 2013 by winning both the judges and Vox Pop voting with a photo of Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews. And, of course, we’ll wait and see what he has in store for next year’s IMA submission.
About David J. Simchock:
A native of New Jersey, David has lived and traveled overseas for many years and, since returning to the States in 2002, quickly established himself as a reputable freelance photographer and artist. His images have been published in major publications around the world, and he has exhibited his work in numerous galleries and venues from New York City to Asheville. David’s efforts have been awarded many prestigious accolades, while his life story and career have been covered in several publications and TV features.
David is a regular contributor to the music publication Elmore Magazine, and is also a staff photographer for the Lake Eden Arts Festival (LEAF) based in Black Mountain, NC. He is also the founder and publisher of a new on-line music magazine, Front Row Focus (www.FrontRowFocus.com). His music imagery is used by several bands and artists for their websites and publicity materials.
David is also an educator, speaker and writer (and aspiring rock star). He enjoys being a stranger in a strange land and taking on new artistic challenges, whether abroad or nearer to his own back yard. He strives to bring a fresh approach to his craft, successfully capturing the mood of the moment, as well as, perhaps, an entire journey.