Introducing the Aotearoa Photobook Awards 2022

The new Aotearoa Photobook Awards are designed to reward outstanding photobooks produced between 21 January 2020 and 17 January 2022 by New Zealand photographers.

Finalists will be announced after 29 January 2022 and the Awards presented at the opening of the Photobook/NZ Festival at Te Papa on Friday 4 March. The Awards are run by Photobook/NZ with sponsorship from Wakefields Digital Wellington.

There’ll be up to 10 finalists and three equal winners who split the $5,000 printing credit prize enabling them to print books with printers Wakefields Digital, winners of the 2021 Pride in Print Supreme Award.

The new Awards replace the Australia & New Zealand Photobook Awards which ran for 10 years with sponsorship from Momento Pro.

Deadline to enter is 14 January 2022.

More information on how to enter here.

What is a photobook?

Photobooks are major phenomenon in art photography worldwide with many prizes, international festivals and ‘best of lists’ supporting an industry of established photobook publishers, small presses and independent artists who self-publish.   Winning or being shortlisted in a competition such as the Paris Photo – Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards can launch the careers of photographers and bring them to worldwide attention.

Because it’s difficult for photographers in Aotearoa to take part in international festivals and competitions, the Photobook Awards were launched to help New Zealand photographer/publishers to showcase their work and draw international attention to it.

Photobooks in the Awards must be publications that focus on photographic content presented as a visual narrative. While photobooks can include text, the primary narrative is visual and allows photographers to explore themes or ideas in long form. It’s often said that photobooks lie in the gap between a novel and a film.

Several photobooks entered in the Award are published by artist photographers or small presses in limited editions, making them collectors’ items. They’re often distributed on social media or websites such as Bad News Books or Rim Books, or specialist bookstores.


Judges for the 2022 Awards are: Neil Pardington a noted photographic artist and designer based in Wellington (Kāi Tahu, Kāti Māmoe, Ngāti Kahungunu and Pākehā); Claire Mabey founder of Verb Wellington and curator for the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts’ writers programme 2022 and Athol McCredie Curator of Photography at Te Papa and author of several photography publications.

Media releases about the finalists will be issued after 29 January 2022.

For information contact: Mary Macpherson (Photobook/NZ) 021 1867712; E:

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