Momento Musings

Uncensored! Portrait Photobooks


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PORTRAIT CATEGORY WINNER: CITIZEN Portraits 1997-2012 by Ingvar Kenne

Book Description:  In Citizen you will meet a former prime minister, a prostitute, my wife, a nun, tribal dancers, famous actors, a now-dead friend, child sex offenders and more. Their titles are given as a way to catalogue and label. It certainly doesn’t sum up all that they are.

From the outset, these citizens were never meant to make up a congregation. There is no greater plan, no narrative, no place, no topic that connects them. The portraits are of a broad mix of people I came across over the course of the last 15 years. Many encounters were random; others were the result of a commission. None of the people were actively sought out by me. The series Citizen is simply a collection of images. The only constant is my intent walking into a portrait session; that has always been the same no matter who the subject were, even down to the technical details.

I have used the same equipment and film for the last 20 years. The project does have a direct link to my previous book of portraits Chasing Summer – A Journal From A Global Motorcycle Journey. On that journey, I visited 35 or so countries over two and half years. You could place any of those earlier portraits in the context of Citizen and it wouldn’t feel out of place. They are like two chapters of the same book.

Judges Comments: Consistent high photographic standard, unlaboured yet compositionally structured with props. But book design is almost too consistent. You don’t feel its heartbeat, it doesn’t step outside the zone … Beautiful and original photography. Professional, tasteful book design … I can see myself owning this book, but not sure if the choice of cover image reflects the strength and quality of photography inside. Strong photography coupled with pared back design and considered image pairings … A great concept, well designed, great photography … Amazing physical presentation but the book feels over produced … The page layout is predictable, almost antiquated, and doesn’t challenge existing standards … This book clearly has the support of an editorial and publishing team.

Photographer Biography: Ingvar Kenne, born in 1965, Stenungsund Sweden and currently lives between Sydney and New York. He studied Photography Bachelor of Arts at the University of Gothenburg between 1988-1991.

His work has been exhibited worldwide – countries including England, France, Spain, Sweden, Italy and Australia. He has received several fellow ship Grants from the Arts Council of Sweden. In 2009 he won the National Photographic Portrait Price at NPG in Canberra. He was also the runner up in the prestigious Moran Photographic Prize the same year.

His third monograph “Citizen – Portraits 1997-2012” was recently released (November 2012) and coincides with a solo show at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, ending 27th of January 2013. The show tour Australia during 2013.

ingvar kenne

Photographer: Ingvar Kenne
CITIZEN Portraits 1997-2012
Design: Marcus Piper @
Text: Mark Mordue, Andrew Sayers, Carla D. Stang
Published by:  Au.Thentic Pres

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FINALIST: My First School by Andrea Francolini

Book Description: My First School is a trust which aims to promote education in Gilgit-Baltistan (northern Pakistan). All portraits have been taken in schools which My First School has helped since 2010.

With the funds raised My First School supplies furniture, plumbing, electricity, running water or any other need the school may request depending on the funds raised. Andrea Francolini, founder of My First School personally goes on location once a year to pay for the goods ordered through his guide Saeed Khan and then documents and assists all deliveries.

Judges Comments: Photography, design and illustrative narrative all very good, just too much of the same with no variety … Lovely idea and nicely executed. Photography is honest and warm. Design is simple but well suited … Some high quality post production could take this book so much further. Simple but beautiful … So sad but so strong.
Nice balance of children and their drawings … Consistent design throughout.

Photographer Biography: Andrea Francolini has been shooting boats for 15 years. From million dollar super yachts to small dinghies, if it floats there is a good chance Andrea has photographed it. More recently his personal work has been focusing on traditional sports around the world. Bullfighting, camel racing, sumo wrestling, falconry, surf life saving and last but not least polo in Pakistan. This event has seen him returning to Pakistan on an annual basis since 2008 for other long term projects.

Andrea is the founder of “My-First-School (Pakistan) trust” (, a fund raiser to promote education in northern Pakistan. This project was officially launched on September 24th 2010

andrea fPhotographer: Andrea Francolini
Title: My First School
Retouching: Shayne Pearce
Design: Andrea Francolini
Printed by: Momento Pro

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FINALIST: BEARDS by Anya Grkovic

Book Description: “BEARDS” is a photographic exploration of the bearded and beautiful through the use of portraiture. The inspiration for this idea came from my Dad who has sported a beard since before my existence. As beards grow into more of a fad these days, I wanted to look into what beards mean to men through an artistic way. With this project I really wanted to inspire a positive appreciation for the bearded through using my skills as a photographer and my passion for creating a meaningful body of work.

Judges Comments: Fun idea but the photography is a bit fake at times … Strong images that are what they say they are … Clean, professional design … Love the concept. Handwritten text works perfectly. Uses full bleed photos very effectively.

Photographer Biography: My name is Anya Grkovic and I’m a 22 year old photographer from Sydney. This year I graduated from Raffles College of Design and Commerce with a Bachelors degree in Visual Communication, majoring in Photography. With an Eastern European background, I am lucky to have travelled a great deal, constantly being inspired creatively, by different cultures and people. My passion lies in the creative arts, and Photography is ultimately where my career path will take me.

anyaPhotographer: Anya Grkovic
Anya Grkovic
Printed by:
Momento Pro

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FINALIST: Piksa Nuigini by Stephen Dupont

Book Description: Piksa Nuigini is a book featuring contemporary portraits of Papuans revealing the culture, custom and modern day changes. I used white and black bed sheets to create an outdoor studio that not only captures my sitter but also allows me to reveal the audience gathering and the environment around the sheet. This is meant to give the viewer a real sense of place and time. You feel as if you are on the streets of Mt Hagen or in a Sepik village. Had I used the backdrop in a conventional way, to isolate a person or people, you’d have the impression that they were taken anywhere– New York, Sydney, or in a studio.

Judges Comments: Good photography. Design has a nice raw feel that suits the images … Another book I can see myself owning. A little too much “dead” space. However, I like that it’s a substantial body of work and not just 30 photos taken on a 5 day holiday.

Photographer Biography: Stephen Dupont is an Australian documentary photographer who has produced a remarkable body of visual work; hauntingly beautiful photographs of fragile cultures and marginalized peoples. He captures the human dignity of his subjects with great intimacy and often in some of the world’s most dangerous regions. His images have received international acclaim for their artistic integrity and valuable insight into the people, culture and communities that have existed for hundreds of years, yet are fast disappearing from our world.

Dupont’s handmade photographic artist books and portfolios are in selected collections of the National Gallery of Australia, National Library of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Australian War Memorial, The Library Of Congress in Washington DC, The New York Public Library, British Library, Harvard Fogg Museum, Berlin and Munich National Art Libraries, Stanford University, Yale University, Boston Athenaeum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Joy of Giving Something Inc.

stephen dupontPhotographer: Stephen Dupont
Piksa Nuigini
Retouching: Shayne Pearce
Printed by: Momento Pro

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FINALIST: The Postiche Collection by Julian Wolkenstein

Book Description: The beard – male, strong and proud. An inherent part of male character and a prominent feature in any portrait. Patchwork quilting – a most feminine art. To bring to life an unusual portrait series, a complete historical subculture was manufactured around the subject matter of Postichery (the creation and adorning of fabric beards), complete with individual back stories for each artifact, which has then been presented as an historical collection for the Museum of Helsinki in the form of a museum brochure, entitled, The Museum of Helsinki Lufthansa Postiche Collection

The project is part of the Slow Photography Movement. There are 6 images in the Portrait series:Eyah kusadvha Dunaki Daardhi The Eadaraig Vestment The Cernunnos Postiche, The Laramie Postiche, The Belgorod Boroda, The Ma arakatt Al Rahman MerkheTt

Judges Comments: Convincing design and photography with just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek.

Photographer Biography: Julian Wolkenstein’s work experiments with ideas of authorship and visual hegemony, through printcraft, publishing, and interactive media. His iPhone app, Echoism, challenges notions of beauty, forcing the user, to confront their perfectly symmetrical selves. His two year project, The Postiche Collection, is a metafictional museum catalogue featuring super-crafted bearded portraits, playing on mostly unchallenged cultural and visual stereotypes.

He has exhibited in Europe and America. Commercially, he has been recognised with Cannes Gold Lions, D&AD’s, One Show Golds, in Creative Review, The Association Of Photographers (UK) and Communication Arts Photography Annuals. He has been interviewed live by NBC New York’s Today Show, and his images have appeared on BBC One’s The Graham Norton Show. Julian was invited to judge the D&AD awards in London in 2007. Most recently, one of Julian’s images was Highly Commended in the 2012 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize.

julian wolkenstienPhotographer: Julian Wolkenstein
The Postiche Collection
Design: Hampus Jageland
Text: Paul Sharp
Publication details: Self published

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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.

One comment

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

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