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How to win a photo book award: judge’s enlightenment

To guide you in the creation of an award-winning photo book we’ve curated some comments from the 2018 judges of the Australia & New Zealand Photobook Awards, that may help you avoid some pitfalls and inspire you to consider some elements for your own publication.

The success of a photo book is subjective but at the Australia & New Zealand Photobook Awards the guiding principle is the “fitness for purpose and audience” for every element of the work: the photography, the design, layout, sequencing, text, typography, cover and format. An engaging visual narrative and originality of the concept and design are also vital.

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The rise of New Zealand photobooks

The inaugural Photobook New Zealand Festival 2016 and NZ Photobook of the Year Awards 2015 brought together photographers, designers and publishers, and showcased their work to the growing local and international photo book loving community.

Photobook festivals and fairs are now such a fixture of the international photography scene that one could spend their whole year trekking to an event in a different country every week. In March this year, New Zealand, joined the circuit when it hosted  the inaugural Photobook New Zealand festival from 11-13 March at Massey University, Wellington. The event was co-presented by a group of Photoforum NZ affiliates with Momento Pro sponsorship, and established and emerging photographers came out in droves, confirming that the production of photo books is alive and well in Aotearoa.

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