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Industry events fill the vacuum

Well my little editorial last issue encouraging the ‘new guard’ to pull the industry together received a bit of a belting. Apparently everyone is working much harder than they used to – far too hard to organise a get-together in a hotel – and it’s all the fault of ‘condescending Baby Boomers’ (I am that man!) because they ‘didn’t even put a succession plan in place to create a next generation of industry leaders.’ Geez – we get the blame for everything!
I’ve always believed that people of varying ages were basically more the same than different, but it appears this generation gap thing is, as they say, a thing.

Apologies to Robbo for bringing such hostility down on what was a wonderful get-together. As he noted: ‘I did not think that a reunion of industry participants would generate such venom…’

For the second issue in a row we report on a new industry event. Last issue it was Aperture Australia, a star-studded two-day series of workshops and panel discussions which should draw in keen photo enthusiasts in their droves. We wish the organisers every success. It’s a similar concept to what PMA Australia was working on as a revenue generator before it was gutted by its American executives. Now there’s a five-day equipment show and conference planned for the Gold Coast in February which the photography community will share with the broadcast/TV industry. A couple of broadcast-industry executives have identified an opportunity in our industry and are running with it. Once again, we wish them every success. If it goes well, it will inevitably help promote photography and picture-taking. It’s a shame there will be no direct benefit to the industry, as was the case with the annual events organised by IDEA (and then PMA) which used to pull in hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, and sometimes more. I wonder if Canon will book a stand – something it would not do to support the industry-run shows.

Our other major story in this issue looks at the AIPP. I had assumed Australia’s pre-eminent professional photographers’ group was forging ahead, enjoying success by opening itself up to a larger number of members and bringing in people from other photographers’ associations. Winning approval lasy year from the ACCC to officially accredit professional photographers was a huge breakthrough. Last time we looked there was plenty of money in the bank and healthy membership levels. Over the past couple of years there has been a significant dip in both, accompanied by an apparent loss of goodwill from some high-profile, long-standing members. For background, see our report in ProCounter. Sadly, it seems there will be more to come before this saga concludes.
– Keith Shipton


  1. Baby Boomer Baby Boomer February 26, 2018

    Keith, it wasn’t a belting it was a whinge, today’s industry is much smaller than it was and less customers to call on. But there are still as many hours in the day today as there once were.

    When I was on the other side of the counter (facing not at the coalface) I didn’t work 9-5, 5 days a week, there were country trips leaving Sunday, 12 hour days and no air-conditioning? There are so many more tools today to keep in contact and sell to customers and less effort and less “shoe leather” required.

    This what it was like, which one was the younger Robbo?

    GenY is obviously missing the honour certificates, cuddles and smashed avocado 🙂

    • GenX GenX February 28, 2018

      We can’t bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell stories that don’t go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for m’shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. “Gimme five bees for a quarter,” you’d say. Now where were we… oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. I didn’t have any white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…

  2. robbo robbo March 14, 2018

    as i push towards 70 i still love the industry that gave me/us so much pleasure and rewards. i like others feel like a surfer sitting out on the water waiting for a wave. then all of a sudden a great wave appears from nowhere and i have the ride of my life, only to be told when i reach the beach that i should have left it for others who are still getting their gear out of the sandman.sorry guys i/we took the chance and hopped on. since retiring 6.5 years ago no one has asked how we did it or what can we do to make business better
    that’s what i/we did for over 30 years with the pma we passed on the knowledge to the up and comers free gratis and for nothing.
    its sad to see that the retail industry has walked away from its nurturing role . both in the education and the fun get together social events.
    good luck to all that sail in the good ship photoretailer ..

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