Fraud Blocker

 

Yesterday we received the sad news of the demise of the AIPP.

The Australian Institute of Professional Photographers has championed professional image makers for 75 years.

We understand that the last few years have been difficult for the AIPP, with membership revenue plummeting. They report being in slow decline for the past decade due to a toxic mix of past financial mismanagement, branding issues, and continual industry repositioning. This, of course, can be blamed on much outside their control – digital cameras closely followed by the uptake of smartphone photography, rapidly advancing technology, social media and the rise of the influencer – all contributing to a general malaise that permeates the industry in Australia and continues to grow.

Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have been the final straw. In their very candid FAQ closure document, AIPP explained that over 700 members could not meet their fee commitments, which led to a massive funding drop and hailed their expiration.

Just think about that statement for a minute! That means 700 professional photographers also took a massive hit due to the pre-COVID industry decline, followed by lockdowns. That, on top of an industry already in strife. 

We know how difficult it is to navigate between sponsors, funding bodies and a community of many viewpoints, opinions and priorities. We know how difficult it is to run effectively with limited resources, relying on teams of volunteers and the goodwill of the generous few, even when so many others stand to benefit.

AIPP has joined a long list of ailing organisations and retail outlets committed to photography that have failed to thrive, not through want of trying. This year alone has seen the closure of the Australian Centre for Photography and Michael’s Camera stores.

As a photography community, the AIPP’s closure should not signify the demise of photography as a whole but a turning point. It is evident the Board has undergone extensive business analysis and soul-searching to arrive at some confronting realities. It is time for everyone who values photography to take a look at what they can do to support the organisations that continue to work hard to support photographers across creative, technical and business skills and promote photography as an art form and effective medium for communication.

 

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Image detail: Gary Ramage