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Awards & industry recognition
International speaker & photographic judge
Winner photographer APA Gerry O'Leary

Renowned master of light and UAE – based photographer Gerry O’Leary has added two more distinguished awards for his collection, bestowed by APALMANAC, the architectural photography almanac.

Founded by renowned Los Angeles photographer Mike Kelley in 2018 as a hub for architectural photographers, APALMANAC is an international resource that “takes a critical look at the craft of architectural photography”. In 2021, APALMAN AC inaugurated its first worldwide photography exhibition in 2021 to determine the best single image by an architectural photographer and the best collection of images in a single collection by one architectural photographer. Competition was fierce with en tries from all over the globe.

For the Photo of the Year 2021, ALPALMANAC sought images that “powerfully communicate the sense of place, beauty and design prowess inherent in our architectural world.” Gerry’s photograph of the Mosque of Light, designed by Dabbagh Architects took first prize, with $1,500 USD prize money and the first annual APALMANAC Photo of the Year Trophy.

The judges also praised Gerry for his work, with judge Eric Reinholdt noting his “strong composition and use of light to highligh t the forms and textured surface,” while Holly Ladue admired the drama in the photo and shared how impressed she was with how the image, “captures the details in the white stone façade of the mosque.”

Gerry also received the runner – up award for 2021 Proje ct of the Year for his series on the Mosque of Light by Dabbagh Architects. Gerry observed, “The assignment was to photograph a small contemporary new mosque in an unlikely industrial location of Dubai. It was not as easy as it might look. I revisited with the architect and other subjects as I needed to add the human element to fully articulate the story.”

Judge Aidan Imanova shared, “This series of images ticks all the boxes: visual consistency, technical proficiency, as well as being able to translate a feeling of the place through photography. The photographer’s use of the camera strengthens the spirit of the building and truly captures its beauty.” while Eric remarked, “The handling of white balance animates the stark white forms. I love the interplay b etween crisp shadows of day and warm illumination at night.”

Gerry is delighted to receive the prize of $500 and the beautifully – designed runner – up APALMANC Project of the Year trophy.

Of course, Gerry is no stranger to international awards having amassed several others over his illustrious career. He holds the esteemed title of Master Qualified European Photographer, one of just 13 in Europe and only two of those are in architecture.

Gerry O’Leary is based in the United Arab Emirates; he can be reached by email at gerry@gerryoleary.com .

Shortlisted European Commercial Photographer of the year 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018

Winner of silver camera as European Commercial Photographer of the year 2012/13 – Prize to be presented in Gmunden Austria April 2013

3rd Place in Europe – ‘European Commercial Photographer of the year’ 2010/11 – Cologne, Germany, September 2011

European Commercial Photographer of the Year 2009 – Antwerp, Belgium – Dec 2009

Overseas Photographer of the Year, BIPP Awards UK – Sept 2009

Best International Ar chitectural Photographer, BIPP Awards UK – Sept 2009

Best International Photography Book – Orvieto, Italy – March 2008

Irish Architectural Photographer of the Year 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007

European Master Photographer of the Year 2007

Master Qualified European Photographer, MQEP 2006 (Still only 2 in Europe, to achieve this in Architecture)

UK Architectural & Industrial Photographer of the year 2004/05

Irish Professional Photographer of the year 2005

UK Overseas Pho tographer of the Year 2003/04


FIPPA – Fellow of the Irish Professional Photographers Association

FBIPP – Fellow of the British Institute of Professional Photography

FMPA – Fellow of the Master Photographers Association

PPA Certified – Certified member of the Professional Photographers of America

MQEP – Master Qualified European Photographer – (one of just 13 in Europe and one of just 2 in Architecture)

Gerry is acknowledger as a foremost photographic judge and international speaker & guest lecturer.
He has judged & lectured in Ireland, England, Italy, Spain & Sweden.

Roles of Honour

Gerry is the immediate past President of the Irish Professional Photographers Association and a Past President of the Master Photographers Association of UK.