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AIPP ‘busts myths’

The AIPP has addressed concerns from the professional photographer community about its current direction in a posting on the AIPP Blog titled ‘AIPP Mythbusting’.

What’s in a name?

‘Today we aim to take a metaphorical axe to some of the myths or misconceptions around AIPP, our current strategies, and the future of the organisation,’ the unsigned article explains.

We ‘reached out’ over three weeks ago to the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (now defining itself as ‘the leading body and home of photography and video’) to respond to some questions about its recent changes and plans for the future. They didn’t reach out back to us! Some of the issues canvassed in our questions are addressed in the ‘mythbusting’ article. Here’s a precise of the busted myths:

AIPP is no longer about professionals.
‘Accredited members are at the core of our community, enhancing everything we’re about.’ This is underscored the appointment of Louise Bagger as the AIPP Accredited Division Head, along with David Simmonds to assist her. Goes on to note that professional photographers make themselves useful to other members via their ‘experience, guidance, and the many events they present and participate in.’

Growing General Membership will take away from Accredited Members.
‘There will always be a distinction between a General Member and an Accredited Professional Photographer or Accredited Professional Video Producer.’ 

Also, growing general membership is good for professionals because of: greater business networking opportunities and broader talent-base; it improves AIPP’s position to lobby effectively for the rights of all photographers and video producers; it provides more access to the $7 billion available in arts funding.

Chapters will dilute AIPP’s focus and mission.
‘Chapters will enrich the membership experience for remote and regional members as well as for specialist photographers.’

AIPP is now a big Camera Club.
‘We value camera clubs in Australia, there’s room for us both.’ It’s wrong for AIPP members to see see camera clubs ‘in a perjorative sense’ and ‘we’re not in competition, but in collaboration’ with camera clubs and the Australian Photographic Society.

AIPP is only interested in competitions.
‘There’s so much more going on than competitions, but they are excellent for developing craft and receiving feedback.’

AIPP and the board have abandoned the organisation’s Constitution.
‘The AIPP Board has left no stone unturned to ensure they are legally and correctly operating within the bounds of the Constitution and are acting for the benefit of AIPP and its members.

You can participate in our current Readers Poll – to the right on computers, scroll down on smartphones) which asks Will the AIPP’s new structural changes benefit the Australian professional photographic community?



  1. Hilary Wardhaugh Hilary Wardhaugh March 29, 2021

    I was a long time member of the AIPP (1997-2019) and extensively volunteered my time and talent to many aspects of the organisation (Board member, Council members for 20 years, mentor, assessor, constitution committee, mentoring committee, diversity and inclusion committee, speaker, national and state judge for 16 years and many more) and there are many women like me who have contributed to the organisation that have not been recognised for their efforts. The current board do not reflect photography as it is today. Over the last 30+ years only 10% of women members have been recognised in the AIPP’s Honour system (I have the stats!). I have been told it is because there were not as many women in the industry. This is not true. The Honours Committee has until very recently has been run by three white middle aged male members. It is a completely opaque system and still has not been changed. Until the Board recognise this, nothing will improve within the organisation.

  2. Malcolm Mathieson Malcolm Mathieson March 31, 2021

    Hilary, the structure of the AIPP is the problem, the members of the Honours Committee, have all been there for years, all good people but the structure has allowed them to sit on this powerful and opaque committee for in some cases in excess of 20 years. This was not the intention when I was National President and reconstituted the Honors Committee, but that it would change with members serving for a maximum term of around 5 years. The committee is largely Past National Presidents and many years ago they were men. As the industry is now largely women and we have had National Presidents who are women one can rightly ask why these men still sit on the committee? They are all great sources of knowledge and the AIPP could do with their input in other areas of the organization. I will add the major challenge is the process we use to elect the Board, little better than a Facebook Popularity Contest and with the demise of the State Divisions and the advent of Chapters, we really need to see a representative system for Board Elections. ACMP had a similar structure, it’s sadly gone, the AIPP will possibly be the same.

  3. Anthony Burns Anthony Burns November 11, 2021

    The AIPP is gone, Armistice Day 11/11/21 how apt.

    A working pro is not interested in awards.
    We are interested in promoting our business and profession.
    The AIPP failed to deliver.
    We should have been on the back of busses and billboards all over the country.
    Business and the general community should have known to come to us first.

    I would have paid $2000 a year to be a part of a big pool of money that had tru break through.

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