APS Photobook Competition winners 2021

Meet the winners of the 2021 Australian Photographic Society Photobook Award proudly sponsored by Momento Pro. View their books and learn about the characteristics that made them successful.

Now in its sixth year, the Australian Photographic Society’s (APS) annual Photo Book Awards 2021 attracted a total of 20 entries. While the number of submissions was down on last year (impacted by the extended lockdowns in Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory) the quality of entries was once again very high. Congratulations to the six winners across the Storytelling and Portfolio categories, whose books are outlined below and offer plenty of food for thought for your next creation. 



Judges (from L to R) Damian Caniglia, Anne Russell and David Symons reviewing the entries in the Portfolio category.

The Awards attracted entries from APS and camera club members across Queensland, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and South Australia. A wide variety of photographic genres and subjects were represented including aerial, creative and littoral landscapes, wildlife and environmental impacts, photojournalism and reportage, human interest, still life graphic, contemporary street photography and photo-travel.


David Symons records his comments on one of the Portfolio books

The six winners who share prizes of $500 cash from the APS Print Group and $1500 in photo book vouchers from Momento Pro.

Storytelling category winners

  • 1st: Wings on Water by Amanda Luker
  • 2nd: Moments on the Water’s Edge by Deborah Forbes
  • 3rd: Aftermath: Cadgee 2020 by Ian Skinner

Portfolio category winners

  • 1st: Afterthoughts by Judy Parker
  • 2nd: Aerial Art by Ingrid Hendriksen
  • 3rd: Imagined Places by Hemant Kogekar


To celebrate the winners’ work we’ve included a short profile on each book, including a link to a video of the book, and some judges comments describing the elements that made the book successful.

Competition coordinator Paul Balfe of the Redlands Camera Club hosted the judging on 17 October at the Art at Heart studio in Bellbowrie. The judging panel included:

  • Anne Russell (Photographic Society of Queensland accredited judge and photography educator)
  • Damian Caniglia (professional photographer and videographer)
  • David Symons (award-winning photographer, photo book creator and collector) 


The judges separately assessed the books physically and rated each book in turn. After the judges’ individual scores were collated they came together to discuss and agree final rankings in both categories.

The judges awarded the prize-winning books for their excellence and fitness for purpose in photography, sequencing of images, design, layout and typography. The Storytelling category winners also showed an originality in concept and design, and an engaging visual narrative. The judges’ rationale for selecting each of the prize-winning entries is outlined below.

All contestants were provided with written feedback on their entries, the judges providing positive comments highlighting the strengths of each submission as well as constructive suggestions where appropriate.


Storytelling Winners



Storytelling winner

Wings on the Water by Amanda Luker
APS member
Edwardstown Photography Club
Prize: $150 cash and $350 Momento Pro voucher
Look inside

In Wings on Water Amanda uses free verse to tell the story of grey-headed flying foxes displaced by climate change and now roosting in Adelaide parklands. The judges commented on the excellent photography throughout, with beautiful images of the flying foxes and effective use of poetry and images to tell the story of their plight.



Moments on the Waters Edge by Deborah Forbes
APS Member
Fine Art Photography Association
Prizes: $75 cash and $250 Momento Pro voucher

Look inside

In this book, Deborah reflects on happy times spent by the beach with her ageing mother. The judges commented that this was “a great idea well executed. Production and placement of images on pages is excellent. Images and story are well connected. A very personal work that succeeds well with its aims. The style of photos fits the subject matter very well”.



Aftermath: Cadgee 2020 by Ian Skinner
APS Member
Prizes: $25 cash and $150 Momento Pro voucher
Look inside
(Photo: Sharon Lane)

Aftermath: Cadgee 2020 is a story of heartbreak and loss in the devastating bushfires which swept through the NSW South Coast hinterland in the summer of 2019–2020. The judges praised the “excellent choice in book size, paper stock, design and layout, text/font. Great presentation of story and images.”



Portfolio Winners



Afterthoughts by Judy Parker
APS Member
Canberra Photographic Society and Canberra Photoconnect
Prizes: $150 cash and $350 Momento Pro voucher
Look inside

This book was the unanimous winner of the Portfolio section. The judges noted “a stunning body of work with consistent post-production.” They also commented on the book’s “excellent design, layout and use of text to support images which form a beautifully presented, cohesive package. A great concept complemented by well thought out design, paper stock, font and format.”



Aerial Art by Ingrid Hendriksen
APS Member
Prizes: $75 cash and $250 Momento Pro voucher
Look inside

The judges awarded Aerial Art for its wonderful natural landscapes, presented as cohesive abstracts. They commented on the beautiful images and good choice of paper stock. Overall, it was seen to be “a fantastic body of work.”



Imagined Places by Hemant Kogekar
Northside Creative Camera Club
Prizes: $25 cash and $150 Momento Pro voucher
Look inside

Hemant created Imagined Places as a lockdown project using parts of images from earlier travel, together with everyday objects from suburban life. The judges commented that each of the images in the photobook would be “amazing as a piece of art presented in a gallery”. They commented on the strong creative idea and good continuity of themes throughout.


So what makes a winning photo book?

All the winning books showed an appreciation for negative space, symmetry and alignment, and made good use of text and extra graphics to enhance the narrative behind the photos.

Regardless of whether you win or take a place in a photobook competition, the process of creating a photo book allows you to learn and develop new artistic skills including how to:

  • select photos that work well in a series or sequence
  • pair photos with complementary or contrasting images to create maximum impact or to inspire a specific response from the viewer
  • integrate photographs with text or other graphics to enhance their meaning or tell their full story

Feedback from the competition judge’s will also be invaluable.


Enter next year’s APS competition

If you’re inspired to enter next year, explore the criteria and submission process here .


Host your own photo book competition

Should you wish to host a photo book competition at your local camera club or photographic society, and receive a $150 Momento Pro voucher prize email And if you’re not already a member of the Momento Pro Club Program learn more here about the benefits including 30% off your first order then $10 off all future orders.

About the author Momento Photobooks

Co-founder + Marketing Manager of Momento, creators of premium photo books + custom stationery. A 100% Australian owned + made company dedicated to helping amateur, enthusiast + professional photographers preserve their images in style at

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