Initiated in November 2012 by Aperture Foundation and Paris Photo, the Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards celebrate the photobook’s contribution to the evolving narrative of photography, with three major categories: First PhotoBook, PhotoBook of the Year, and Photography Catalogue of the Year. In this unprecedented year, it is all the more critical to be able to highlight excellence in book making and the creative output of the global photobook community. We look forward to sharing the shortlisted books in exhibition and in an expanded online presentation — and to announcing the winners in November.
The First PhotoBook Prize
A $10,000 prize will be awarded to the photographer(s)/artist(s) whose first finished, publicly available photobook is judged to be the best of the year. Twenty books from this category will be selected for the shortlist, presented to the Jury for the final selection and exhibited during Paris Photo.
The PhotoBook of the Year Prize
This prize will be awarded to the photographer(s)/artist(s), and publisher responsible, for the photobook judged to be the best of the year. Ten books from this category will be selected for the shortlist, presented to the Jury for the final selection and exhibited during Paris Photo.
The Photography Catalogue of the Year Prize Awarded to the publication, publisher, and/or organizing institution responsible for the exhibition catalogue or museum publication judged to be the best of the year. Five books from this category will be selected for the shortlist, presented to the Jury for the final selection and exhibited during Paris Photo.
The shortlisted books, accompanied by the jury’s comments, will be featured in the fall 2020 edition of The PhotoBook Review issue 018 (published by Aperture Foundation), to be released at Paris Photo and mailed to Aperture magazine subscribers. Additional content and features for the shortlisted books will appear on aperture.org.
Paris Photo, the world's largest international art fair dedicated to the photographic medium. The annual event for collectors, professionals, artists, and enthusiasts, Paris Photo offers its visitors the most qualitative and diverse selection of artworks alongside an ambitious public programme with leading figures in the field.
Aperture, a not-for-profit foundation, connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other – in print, in person, and online. Created in 1952 by photographers and writers as “common ground for the advancement of photography”, Aperture today is a multi-platform publisher and center for the photo community. From our base in New York, we produce, publish, and present a program of photography projects, locally and internationally.
You will need to provide the following information for each book submitted:
Photography Catalogue of the Year: $60 for first entry from a given publisher, $30 for each subsequent entry from the same publisher
From June 1 to July 15, 2020: Early Bird Special
All books must be received before September 11, 2020. Please note, this year all books should be mailed to Mana Contemporary, not Aperture’s offices. This date does not include postmark. All entries must be physically received by this date and there will be no refunds if the books are not delivered on time. Books should be sent to:
ATTN: Aperture PhotoBook Awards
888 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
Please note, books must arrive with their submission form to Mana Contemporary by September 11, 2020. You can print out your submission form on Picter. Detailed instructions to print the submission form here.
If you have questions about shipping, please email email@example.com
The awards will be judged in two stages. An initial jury will meet in New York to select the shortlisted entries in both categories. The final winners will be decided by a separate jury that will meet in Paris immediately before Paris Photo begins. The initial jury will include representatives of both Paris Photo and Aperture Foundation, and the final jury will include neither. Each award winner will be chosen from the juried shortlist, all of which will be exhibited at Paris Photo.
This year’s shortlist jury includes:
Country of residence
0 to 100 projects per submission
1 file per project
Allowed file types: JPG
At least 1500px on the long edge
City of publication
Country of Publication
Date of publication
Available for sale at
Number of Pages
Number of photographs
Unit of dimensions
A book in which the dominant content is photography, featuring the work of one or more photographer/artist,* produced in physical form, and available for purchase or distributed free of charge, whether via trade distribution, print on demand, a gallery or online outlet, or otherwise. (“Virtual” or electronic books that exist only in digital form are not eligible for entry at this time.)
A book that is the first by the given photographer/artist is eligible for entry, whether a first self-published book, a first limited-edition book, a first gallery-published collection, a first book made available by print on demand, or a first book published by a publisher for release in the book trade. A first book published by an established publisher is eligible for entry even if the photographer/artist previously released a self-published book or a limited-edition book for distribution outside the trade. However, once a photographer/artist has had a book published by a mainstream publisher in the book trade, a subsequent book (whether self-published or not) is not eligible for entry.
PhotoBook of the Year
A book in which the dominant content is photography, whether authored by more than one photographer/artist* or authored by an editor, produced in physical form, and published in an edition of no less than one hundred copies.
Books must be produced or published between September 1, 2019, and September 11, 2020. Books produced before September 11, 2020, but not due for release or publication until a later date in 2020, are also eligible.
Photography Catalogue of the Year
An exhibition catalogue or museum publication in which the dominant content is photography. Catalogues can feature the work of one or more photographers/artists, should be produced in physical form, and available for purchase or distributed free of charge, whether via trade distribution, print on demand, a gallery or online outlet, or otherwise.
Text-only publications are not eligible, however, catalogues can include extensive research, writing, and analysis—whether dedicated to the oeuvre of a single photographer, or an exploration of a collection based in photographic history and practice.
*Books by or featuring the work of more than one photographers/artists are eligible in all categories.
Each year, the thirty-five shortlisted books are exhibited around the world, ensuring maximum exposure for all titles, including the winners in each category.
In past years, venues have included Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, New York; Flash Forward Festival, Boston, Massachusetts; Copenhagen Photo Festival, Denmark; Photo Ireland, Dublin; Backlight Photo Festival, Tampere, Finland; FotoFocus, Cincinnati, Ohio; IMA Concept Store, Tokyo, Japan; Photobook Melbourne Festival, Melbourne, Australia; Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Self Publish Riga, Riga Photomonth, Latvia; Fotofestiwal, Lodz, Poland; Look3 Festival of the Photograph, Charlottesville, Virginia; and Landskrona Foto Festival, Landskrona, Sweden