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American Photography 30

For its 30th anniversary volume, American Photography goes back to basics in a deluxe tome with over 350 of the year’s best photographs. In a subtle nod to earlier books from the collection, American Photography 30 is presented with straightforward elegance in a genuine cloth hardcover and dust jacket. The understated grace of the packing presents the winning images from the annual competition with great admiration while also acknowledging the long line of celebrated American Photography books that have been published in hardcover each year since 1984.


AP30 was designed by Robert Newman, a creative consultant (and magazine guru) who was most recently the creative director of Reader’s Digest. He has also been the creative director of Real Simple and the design director of Entertainment Weekly, New York and Details, among others. His popular blog Newmanology covers all things about magazine design, both past and present. The AP30 double-sided jacket photographs, shown here, are by David Butow from a series taken in South Africa during the 10 days of ceremonies that followed the death of President Nelson Mandela.


The AP30 jury met in New York City to select the year’s best images from 9,644 photos entered by 900 photographers, magazines, agencies, publishers and schools.  After two days of careful consideration, only 357 photographs were selected by a majority vote or better. The collection represents the finest work being created by today’s top talents.


This year’s distinguished jury included both photo and art professionals, including  David Carthas, formerly of Bloomberg Businessweek; Jeff Dryer, Wieden + Kennedy; Karen Frank, ESPN The Magazine; Wyatt Gallery, photographer and editor; Cory Jacobs, Gallery at Hermes; Ayanna Quint, Modern Farmer; Jaspal Riyait, Martha Stewart Living; and Natalie Matutschovsky, TIME.


After 30 years, American Photography continues to preserve in hardcover the moments that define our time by photographers who work around the globe covering the conflicts, struggles, grace and splendor of the human experience. Each year, the collection also honors the relationship between photographer and client who together seek smart, one-of-a-kind visual solutions for magazines, advertisements and books, despite dwindling budgets and challenging time constraints. In an era of social media and stock imagery that threaten to further democratize the creation and distribution of photography, American Photography looks beyond the ordinary to celebrate not only the power of the well-crafted still image in its finest form, but to honor its maker and the creative personnel who together insist on creating only original, thoughtful and the most compelling pictures.

Indside cover by David Butow

Aaron Hewitt in AP30

Geof Kern and Sian Kennedy in AP30

Mark Seliger in AP30

Benjamin Lowy in AP30

Pari Dukovic in AP30

Bobby Doherty in AP30


Cover by David Butow
Design by Robert Newman


Cover by Daehyun Kim
Design by Len Small and Esther Wu