Momento Musings

Uncensored! Documentary & Photojournalism Photobooks


We established the Momento Pro Photobook Of The Year Awards in 2011 to celebrate and showcase photography in the book format. Our aim was to reward the quality of the photography, the excellence of the design and the strength of the visual narrative – which is easier said than done!

In 2013 we evolved the Awards and joined forces to create the Head On Momento Photobook Awards and this blog post (plus a series to follow) will reveal all the finalists’ books, the photographers and creators behind them, and the judge’s comments about what makes them a successful photo book.  Enjoy!

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 Ginger & Pearl – Two Lives, One Love – A Retrospective by Dan O’Day

Book Description: Ginger and Pearl have been living in the same house in Canberra, Australia for over 65 years. Ginger and Pearl are from a working class generation. Ginger spends most his days restoring old wooden furniture (his varnish stained hands tell the story of many a happy piece of furniture that has left the shed), Pearl is nearly blind but spends her days working in the garden and feeding mince meat to the kookaburras and magpies that sit on her clothes line each day.

“I cannot begin to fathom what they have built together in the way of a foundation for their family. What I do know, however, is that I spent a little piece of three separate days with them and I didn’t want to leave.” – Dan  O’Day

Judges Comments: Proves that intimate, observational photography of ordinary folk is equally worthy … Heartwarming.  A classic example of documentary practice and how everyone has a story to tell … Great book design and composition. Told a story.  Beautiful cinematic quality to the photos …Beautiful images.  This is a book you could return to and find new things each time … Nicely put together but Ginger and Pearl logo is a little out of place and too ‘fast’ for the subjects.

Photographer Biography: Dan O’Day has held a number of solo exhibitions and has participated in many group shows. His work has been well documented in the press, receiving commendation from the well-respected art critic, Dr Robert Nelson, for his 2008 solo exhibition, “Still II”. In 2009 he was a finalist in the prestigious “Moran Contemporary Photography Prize” for his work, Perfect. His image “This Way” was selected again in 2010 where he was a recipient of a highly commended award by judge, Stephen Dupont. Dan has exhibited extensively with his Fine Art Photography which is held in collections Australia wide and abroad. Dan is currently represented in Victoria by Catherine Asquith.

Photographer: Dan O’Day
Title: Ginger & Pearl – Two Lives, One Love – A Retrospective
Design: Todd Gregory
Printed by: Momento Pro

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FINALIST: Perkal Brothers Pty Ltd by Nadine Saacks Photography

Book Description: A story of two brothers separated during the holocaust who thought each other dead. Morris escaped to Russia where was a boot maker for 6 years. Adam hid in Germany until he was captured by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp. He was imprisoned there until 1945 when he was liberated by the Americans. Both brothers arrived in Australia within two years of each other, reconnected by chance on another continent after almost a decade of separation. They opened a boot shop together and have been inseparable ever since. The Perkal brothers have been making boots together for 62 years. They have made boots for Queen Elizabeth II, The Bee Gees, Sammy Davis Jr, Kerry Packer and The Beatles.

Judges Comments: A lovely portrait … Design is slightly overworked … Not much can be improved upon here. Potential overuse of effects but maintains good balance with the spirit of the subject … Interesting juxtaposition of images, not the same throughout.

Photographer Biography: As a student, I majored in photography whilst completing my Fine Arts Degree. Now with over 20 years of experience in professional wedding & portrait photography, Nadine Saacks Photographic studio has developed a distinctive blend of creativity and innovation. With several wedding album awards under their belt, 2 photographic teams available and their team of editors and designers, the studio can create a personalised fully tailored photographic history of your event.
naddine sackks
Photographer: Nadine Saacks Photography.
Title: Perkal Brothers Pty Ltd
Design and retouching: Monika Yuliana
Printed by: Momento Pro

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FINALIST: China and a Gold Chair in the Middle of the Road by James Morgan

Book Description: James Morgan’s book, China and a Gold Chair in the Middle of the Road, explores the process of change, which is so evident in Melbourne’s Chinese sister city, Tianjin. Morgan’s portraits invoke the inevitable contradictions that arise between industrial and traditional China; illustrating the story of a city in flux by capturing images of both its people and landscape.

His pictures allude to narratives, provoking curious speculations that make this body of work both sustainable and alluring. These photographs, Morgan’s true medium of communication, have a natural informality that seems to have been drawn from the people of Tianjin.

Judges Comments: Beautiful photography combined with a solid and stylish design … Complementary and considerate pairing of images.

Photographer Biography: James Morgan is a photographer, focusing on food, wine and the arts. In recent years, Morgan has exhibited in both Australia and China. His recent Melbourne exhibition, China and a Gold Chair in the Middle of the Road, contained images captured whilst Morgan was at Tianjin Normal University on an RMIT scholarship.

Utilising his photographic skills in an effort to form a connection between himself and the foreign city, Morgan produced a series of photographs that highlight not only his incredible ability to capture light, detail and juxtaposition but also, his capacity to portray the mood, physicality and presence of a landscape through a still image.

james mornanPhotographer: James Morgan
Title: China and a Gold Chair in the Middle of the Road
Design: Nicholas Cary @ Thought Assembly
Published by: Press Print

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FINALIST: Cry Havoc by David Dare Parker

Book Description: My work in Indonesia is a perfect example of the type of project I like to take on, stories within stories that come together to form a body of work. During the past decade I have covered the Archipelago’s extremes of poverty and wealth, corruption, tensions, the ethnic and cultural diversity of its people and historic events, such as the fall of the Suharto regime after 32 years in power and the re-birth of a nation with East Timor bravely voting for its independence. Cry Havoc represents a large part of that body of work.

Judges Comments: Like being in a war zone. Totally encompassing great photography layout could’ve been more inventive … Good photography with a high level of commitment. Images feel a bit stagy at times … Design is a bit naïve … Photography has raw energy but the book layout and design is lacking.

Photographer Biography: A Nikon-Walkley Award winning photographer, David Dare Parker has photographed for a multitude of national and international publications throughout the Middle East, Europe and Australasia. Publications include LeMonde, Stern, L’Express, Focus, Australian Geographic, The Bulletin, The New York Times and TIME Magazine. Recent projects include coverage of East Timor’s struggle to gain independence and Indonesia’s first steps towards democracy.

david dare parker
Photographer: David Dare Parker.
Title: Cry Havoc
Printed at: Momento Pro

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FINALIST: There Is Something Definitely Queer About This Town by Danielle Pocock

Book Description: In a country where one third of the population sees homosexuality as immoral, Queensland is seen as the most homophobic state. There Is Something Definitely Queer About This Town is a typology of 14 members of the LGBTQI community; their stories, and what it feels like to be queer in Brisbane in 2012. Each person’s story has three parts; a photographic portrait, a self-portrait drawing and quotes which discuss queer identity, authenticity, homophobia and pride.

Judges Comments: Sympathetic original photographic style. Effortless layout that presents a hidden existence …. Insightful. A few design tweaks would make this a powerful publication.

Photographer Biography: Danielle Pocock studied her Bachelor of Photography at the Queensland College of Art where she completed a double major in both Photographic Art Practice and Photojournalism. She completed her Honours in 2012, when she initiated the year-long project, There Is Something Definitely Queer About This Town.  Danielle uses her camera as a tool to tell important stories. She employs a social documentary approach to empower marginalised groups in our society, such as the LGBTQI community, in order to educate, challenge stereotypes and expose injustices. Her oeuvre to date is eclectic, utilising both photo-journalistic and artistic convention.

Danielle PocockPhotographer: Danielle Pocock
Title: There Is Something Definitely Queer About This Town
Printed by:  Blurb

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FINALIST: At Water’s Edge by Paul Blackmore

Book Description: At Water’s Edge explores the relationship between humanity and its most vital natural resource. This extraordinary body of work “spanning 11 years and 14 countries“ provides a global look at how water flows through the spiritual and physical daily lives of people around the world. The photographs poignantly illustrate the unfolding drama of the global water crisis and how it is affecting those caught up in it: a billion people without access to clean water, another four billion without an adequate supply. Against this dire backdrop, the work also celebrates the quiet, yet essential connection with nature that water offers us.

Judges Comments:  Atmospheric, captivating raw photography. Design creates visual variation … Limited narrative is appropriate … Excellent photography with quality design. Inappropriate font selection loses a point … Great connection between the images, narrative and design.

Photographer Biography: Sydney based photographer, Blackmore’s many photo essays and stories, published in such international media as Time, L’Express, Le Monde and Geo, have established him as a much sought-after collectable photographer. He has gained prominence through his exhibitions at Camera One New York, Stills Gallery Sydney, Perpignan France and the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne. In 2010 a series of photos from At Water’s Edge were exhibited at the esteemed Biennale D’Limage France and in 2012, at the Leonardo Museum Salt Lake City. Blackmore is one of a new generation of photojournalists – reporters of reality –whose elegant, coherent and enduring observations function as both valuable records of social change and stunning fine-art images.
paul blackmore
Photographer: Paul Blackmore
Title:  At Water’s Edge
Design: Sharon Little
Retouching: Ghinny Lau
Published by: T&G Publishing

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Stay tuned for the next installment of Uncensored! coming soon to a screen near you.
Head On Photo Festival, Australia’s largest photo festival and the world’s second largest festival.


  1. Pingback: Uncensored! Travel and Landscape Photobooks | Momento Musings

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