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It’s been an extremely tough few weeks for the judges of the HTC One Hot Press Photojournalist competition, but after much agonising and deliberation, Sean Conroy and Emilia Krysztofiak have been declared the winners! Now read on...

The HTC Hot Press photojourmalism competition has been a blast from the start, with a phenomenal number of superb entries making the judges’ job an incredibly difficult one. First, out of hundreds of submissions, we delivered a ‘longlist’ of 125. This, we had to hammer down to a shortlist of 10. Well, the standard was so high, we made it 12 and the finalists descended on 4 Dame Lane last week to show us what they could do, using the wonderful HTC One handset as their photographic (and video!) kit.

Indie rockers Royseven proved the perfect test, as Messrs Walsh, O’Hara, Garland, Barrett, Oglesby and O’Neill strutted their stuff at the HTC ‘Most Personal Experience’ gig. Tricksy lighting, impromptu flag dances, showboating guitarists and a charismatic front man with a penchant for doing what could easily be described as the running man gave the finalists plenty to work with.

Tracks from the band’s poptastic second album You Say, We Say took a rockier turn under the 4 Dame Lane lights, with the New Wave-inspired ‘Every Line’s The Last One’, the infectious ‘Dance, Dance, Dance’, the epic ‘Killer’ and Choice Music Prize Irish Song of the Year 2011, ‘We Should Be Lovers’, leading the charge.

Frontman Paul Walsh came over all wide-eyed innocent and, by turn, cut a menacing figure in his dark hood. Album tracks ‘I Need To Know Your Name’, ‘You Can’t Hide That’ and ‘No Romance’ also made an appearance to the delight of the expectant crowd, who were themselves all winners, selected from among 4,000 who applied for tickets to HTC and Hot Press. With superb banging music supplied by DJ Jesse Valentino and later by Goldie it was, in every respect, an evening to remember.

So here’s to the 12 hugely impressive finalists – Sean Conroy, Sophia Harding, Rachel Hegarty, Adrian Heffernan, Eoin Kirwan, Emilia Krysztofiak, Matt Loughrey, Robert Manning, Beatrix Matthews, Tommy McArdle, Martina McDonald and Ronan Melia – who participated in a wonderful spirit of cameraderie and put the HTC One’s 8 megapixel camera to brilliant use. So impressed were the judges with their entries – the verbals, the photographs and the videos – that they decided on two winners, who will take on the mantle of HP photojournalist at a series of gigs over the coming months: they are (in alphabetical order) Sean Conroy and Emilia Krysztofiak.

Having bagged the title of the HTC One Hot Press Photojournalist, Sean and Emilia will capture the action at Forbidden Fruit, Snow Patrol and Florence & The Machine in Phoenix Park, Electric Picnic and more. Look out for their contributions in the magazine and on And thanks to everyone for participating. It’s been wonderful...

To check out the finalists’ submissions simply Click their name opposite.

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