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January President message

Hello and a very happy new year to you all. I hope that 2014 is a year of excitement, adventure, learning and experience for you and your business.

I have literally just returned to Australia after a whirlwind trip to the USA for the Imaging USA conference in Phoenix Arizona  hosted by PPA (Professional photographers of America) association. The reason for the trip was to be a part of the inaugural World photographic cup (WPC) that was organised as a joint venture between PPA and the Federation of European Photographers (FEP).

As a quick recap, we entered a team of 18 photographers whose images scored well at our recent Canon AIPP APPA competition. Each photographer could only enter one image. There were 6 categories with three entries in each.

The images entered by 23 world associations/teams were judged by 15 judges and given scores out of 100 with 25 points each allocated to impact, creativity, technical excellence and composition.

I was able to speak to one of the Canadian judges over dinner after the presentation and he explained how complex and in many ways difficult the judging brief was as he said the initial score given may not have reflected what the overall image should receive. In many instances he went back and re judged the images to make sure the cream really did rise to the top.

All in all there were 10 finalist photographers in each categories, our finalists were Elizabeth Bull in the landscape category. Quinn Rooney in the reportage category.  Kelly brown in the portrait category and Nick Ghionis in the wedding category.

Those photographers who received 1st second or third in their category received gold silver or bronze medals and certificates and points allocated to the team. Gold Medals scored 5 points, silver medals received three points and bronze medals received 1 point. The team with the highest score was deemed the winner.

Hopefully you were able to follow the posts on the AIPP Facebook page announcing the results. Team Australia did very well. Both Kelly and Nick picked up gold awards in their respective categories giving team Australia a total of 10points. We therefore came second overall just behind the USA by 1 point (who received one gold and two silver awards) and Portugal came third with one gold medal.

On behalf of team Australia I was congratulated by the chairman of the WPC Martin Vrabko, David Trust, the CEO of PPA and Guissepe Scozzi, CEO of WPC who all made comments on the high quality and calibre of all the Australian images. ( I’m not sure if we surprised them or not but they were all encouraged to have an Australian representative at the presentation ceremony.)

The World Photographic Cup has not happened overnight either. It has taken many years to formulate and get off the ground. Our very own Malcolm Mathieson m.photog and past national president was a member of the World photographic council back in early 2000 where the idea of a world competition was first floated. It took 13 years to come to fruition and I for one sincerely hope it will continue form strength to strength in years to come. Not only because its a great way to meet and interact and compete with like minded photographers and associations around he world, but so we can knock the USA from the top next year with our Canon AIPP APPA images!

Whilst in Phoenix the PPA held an international reception for the 150 delegates from 32 countries who attended their conference which was very much like our own Event. I met delegates from around the world but was able to strike up good conversations and friendships with Susan Michaels the incoming president of the PPA and Jillian Chateauneuf the president of the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) the Canadian entourage even invited the Aussie and New Zealand Delegates to dinner after the presentation which was a fabulous evening.

Jillian and I promised to keep in touch and speak more closely in the coming months on how our two organisations can work together more closely. We discovered that we speak the same language as each other (photography that is not English) and we shared the same experiences, issues and difficulties within a large country. We even joked about having a Commonwealth Photographic cup, that way we’d all win!! (Canada came 4th in the WPC)

All in all I think it was very worthwhile to be a part of the WPC competition and to attend the presentation and meet other like minded association representatives. Knowing that we are not islands but all have the common goal to support our members and support the photographic industry. Instead of reinventing wheels we can gain much knowledge by extending our ties across the ocean and thus improve the benefits for our members here at home.

In a couple of weeks I will leave Australia again to be a part of the Photo Wedding Stories (PWS)  awards judging in Thessaloniki Greece. These awards are only in their 4th year and the organisers are looking for ways to improve and increase their own awards and they look highly upon what we do with Canon AIPP APPA. Hopefully I can give them some advice but also learn from what they are doing as I have heard they have a neat little judging computer system.

Thessaloniki is also at the gateway to Europe and I believe that there will be many international representatives at these awards including reps from Italy, Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and of course Greece to name a few. Again this should be a wonderful opportunity to fly the Australian flag overseas and promote our Institute and find ways to benefit our members.

Come February, Your national board will also be back at it with our first face to face meeting. Not that we stopped over the holiday break but we have put plans in place to set out strategy for the year much early than we did last year. A strategy give us a path to follow  and helps us maintain the ideals and goals of the institute. As members you are welcomed and encouraged to give your ideas and feedback and this can be done in a number of ways.

You can email or call any one of your board. Our contact details are found on the Aipp website. You can leave feedback on the survey(s) you will be asked to fill out when you renew your membership soon. And you can pass on feedback to your local council representatives at upcoming events. There are also many opportunities now to be on our newly formed SIG’s or Special Interest Groups that form to give opinions and advice to the Executive Officer who brings them to the Board. There are call outs on the AIPP Facebook page and blog or contact the National Office Team if there is a topic of interest you’d like to be part of.

Don’t sit back and ask what has the AIPP done for me if you haven’t told us what you want done! As a membership organisation it requires the input of members to help steer the direction.

You will soon start to see some of the many changes we have put in place to make membership better, easier and more suited to your needs. The choose your own membership benefits has meant an actual reduction in the cost of annual fees and you can select the options to add on to your membership deal.

One options is to adding the cost of the awards upfront at a discounted rate, and as the state awards are fast approaching for everyone it means you can start thinking about awards images (maybe) sooner rather than later.

All this information and more can be found on the blog ww.aippblog.com. Take some time to read these articles and get up to date with everything happening with your AIPP.

Speakers for the Event have started to be announced….. There is so much happening I could keep writing, but I will leave you in leave for now to enjoy the rest of this blog

Until next time

Kylie Lyons. M.PhotogI, Hon. LM

AIPP National President