Inaugural photo-book award winners announced

The launch of Photobook New Zealand, which was held over March 11–13 in Wellington, certainly put the inaugural New Zealand Photobook of the Year Awards on the map. The awards focus on excellence in photography, layout and design, and also judge photo books based on how their format complements the theme and purpose they present.

More than 71 entries were submitted, mainly from self-publishers and small independent presses, and 13 finalists were selected by the judging panel, which was chaired by David Cook, senior lecturer in photography at Wellington’s Massey University.

This year’s winners are, in the Trade Published category, Mark Purdom, photography lecturer at the School of Media Arts, Waikato Institute of Technology, and Ramp Press with their book From Certainty to Doubt, and Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design graduate Solomon Mortimer’s F.16 G3 20/25/30 in the Self Published category.

Mr Cook said, “The best works presented a carefully edited selection of images, in an engaging visual narrative, with sophisticated design that didn’t overwhelm the imagery. Age and experience weren’t the defining characteristics, it was the skill of visual storytelling and the ability to combine photos with graphics, text, and materials to enhance the story told by the images, to create a new artwork in its own right.”

Purdom receives $1000 cash and $2000 in Momento Pro printing credit for his award, and Mortimer receives $2000 cash and $5000 Momento Pro printing credit. The intention is that the prize allows the photographer to produce a limited-edition book to propel their career.

The next New Zealand Photobook of the Year Awards opens for entries on November 1, 2016.