The Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation
PhotoBook Awards

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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 prizes in three categories: First PhotoBook, PhotoBook of the Year, and Photography Catalogue of the Year.  Each year, the thirty-five shortlisted books are exhibited around the world, ensuring maximum exposure for all titles, including the winners in each category.

The bar for excellence is higher each year, with higher percentages of thoughtful, well-considered publications from all corners of the globe entered for consideration. The thirty-five included in the Shortlist span an increasingly diverse selection of books. As photographer Mitch Epstein, who served on the final jury in Paris in 2017, states, “The jury choices speak to the pluralism of the medium; photography continues to be a vital language in the arts, sciences, and documentary worlds.”

What is it that brings each of the Shortlist titles to the forefront, as a book worthy of consideration as one of the best books within its category? 2017 shortlist juror Kathy Ryan cautions that with so “wide a range of books, each needs to be judged on its own terms as much as possible. What applies across the board, however, is whether there is a strong idea driving the book.” For fellow juror Joel Smith, “The two words that come to mind for me are coherence and architecture. The coherence of the book might be a coherence that’s literally conveying a didactic message or news content, or it could just be the coherence of an artistic statement aesthetically. And by architecture, I mean something that makes sense in the reader’s hand.”

Click here to view the 2017 PhotoBook Awards shortlist.




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.


The exhibition celebrates the shortlisted titles from the PhotoBook Awards. The exhibition includes thirty-five books of varying sizes, thirty-five extended captions for each, video portrayal of individual books, display copies of the PhotoBook Review.

Participation Fee:

$550. The host venue is responsible for shipping and insurance.


Europe: mid-December 2018 – October 2019
North America: mid-February 2019 – October 2019

      • Venue List:

2017 Shortlist




2016 Shortlist




2015 Shortlist





2014 Shortlist





2013 Shortlist





2012 Shortlist