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Clowns upvote AIPP moves

Here at Inside Imaging, one of the things we are most encouraged by is both the quantity and the quality of reader input.

We enjoy far more dialogue with and between our readers than any other local photographic website.  That some of those reader-contributors are well-known and highly regarded among their peers in the industry adds to that sense that we must be doing something right.

Cheats: The Poll commenced on Friday Feb 26. On the following Monday there was a massive spike of votes in support for the potentially unconstitutional changes being made by the current AIPP Board. We have since taken down the Poll.

Over more than a decade, we have only had to remove Readers Comments a handful of times, when they have ‘gone the person’ rather than the issue, or been potentially defamatory. And not only are our readers happy to contribute to a dialogue at Inside Imaging, they are civil to one another and to us publishers alike. Unlike, say, the constant sniping and nastiness in the Comments section of say, Petapixel (‘you stinkin’ Sony shill’) or DPReview (‘you idiot Nikon fanboi’).

Likewise, our Readers Poll has consistently been well-supported. Sometimes when the question is a bit ho-hum we get a weaker response, but for the most part, we get a good sample of what the local photo community is thinking on any given issue.

We don’t believe that in the past results have been grossly manipulated. (Although we suspect there were are few ‘ring-ins’ recently approving IDEA blowing all the industry’s cash on the Board members’ businesses and then shutting down.).

So it is with a combination of amusement and disappointment that we have had to take down our last Readers Poll and suspend polling until further notice. Some clown – or perhaps a whole troupe of clowns – who have an interest in promoting the controversial changes at the AIPP have decided to corrupt the results of our latest Poll which asked:
Will the AIPP’s new structural changes benefit the Australian professional photographic community?

The results are incredible (as in unbelievable), with a shonky 98 percent voting Yes. Instead of the hundreds of votes we usually receive for a normal poll, Yes votes for the reconstitution of the AIPP numbered in the 1000s! We call BS on that.

The Readers Comments on the issue we’ve had from a range of well-known professional photographers were universally critical of the changes, calling them unconstitutional/illegal, wrong-headed and destructive.

Our polling software used to stop people from voting multiple times from the same address, but it appears that since the introduction of the European Union digital privacy laws, that feature has been switched off. We will hold off on new polls until we find a better polling plug-in which prevents this kind of manipulation.

Why anyone would see this kind of petty vandalism as a useful way to spend a portion of their time on earth is anyone’s guess. As an adult, it’s hard to understand the thinking behind such a move, so perhaps it’s the work of more child-like minds.

Meanwhile, the AIPP Board itself seems to have gone deep into the bunker. We followed up for a response to a range of questions put in Readers Comments by ex-AIPP office holders such as Melissa Neumann, Hilary Wardhaugh, Malcolm Mathieson, Kevin O’Daly, Eric Victor and others, but didn’t even get the courtesy of a ‘No Comment’.

In one word – pathetic.
– Keith Shipton


  1. Harvey Gordon Harvey Gordon March 5, 2021

    Trump was right. You can’t trust mail-in or online voting!

    • Keith Shipton Keith Shipton Post author | March 5, 2021

      I see what you did there Harvey – nice one!

    • Melissa Neumann Melissa Neumann March 5, 2021

      That has to be the funniest comment ever.

  2. Melissa Neumann Melissa Neumann March 5, 2021

    Yep. Pathetic sums it up

  3. Eric Victor Eric Victor March 9, 2021

    Does the Aipp have 1400 members?

  4. mr malcolm mathieson mr malcolm mathieson March 9, 2021

    Sadly the fact the “leadership” of the AIPP has not responded and then clearly an orchestrated campaign run give a very inaccurate readers poll is a poor reflection on the AIPP. The word “professional” needs to be removed from the organizatios name to better reflect its status in what seems to be its dying days.

  5. Matt Matt March 9, 2021

    I agree with the financial inevitability of many changes brought on by the board while change is always a bitter pill to swallow. It does seem somewhat misguided for someone or group has tried to actively manipulate the narrative. It would be interesting to find the ip addresses to determine the people with the agenda behind the manipulation.
    Hindsight may suggest the method of communication may have been improved or even the dissolution of the state councils themselves but the truth may be that financially it was not possible to continue subsidising a large number of councillors and putting on expensive events.
    I have been a member close to 40 years and still love and serve this great organisation and the people in it.
    P.S. This is not a paid presentation but my personal view only.

  6. Bob Litchfield Bob Litchfield March 9, 2021

    There is no doubt that the Australian photographic industry needs a voice, but is it the AIPP? I don’t think so. This organization is ruthless & will not stop until it has wiped out any alternative & opposition. It erased the AAPP several years ago, in a stealthy ploy of offering one of the states a position on its board & other benefits to their members, who fell for it hook line & sinker. The same benefits were not offered to the other states, this was very much a divide & conquer ploy. Our awards, including my Masters, were not recognized by the AIPP, even though we used the same judges & were of the same standard, and so the membership was told that should they wish to join they would need to start again from novice level. With the loss of a member state, this of course removed the associations national standing & the whole association crumbled the following year. Now it seems that they have amateur photography in their sights and if they can they will no doubt try to take over the reigns of the state & local camera clubs, tapping into another source of revenue and again enlarging the AIPP’s governance. Leave the camera clubs alone, these are places for people to have fun & learn more about their hobby, they don’t need managing & already have a national body, they are not there to line the AIPP’s coffers. I’ve founded 2 such clubs in my time, one of which has become so large that they have had to form an off shoot to cater for the increasing membership. I’m an honorary life member of both. For a time I was president of the WA AAPP, and president of the PJAWA (Photographic Judges assoc). The AIPP has never sat well with me, I actually joined for about a year after the demise of the AAPP, I guess I missed the comradery, but it wasn’t to be found in the AIPP. They have some good people in their membership, but there has always been something “off” about it that raises the hackles on the back of my neck I was also a member of the Commercial Photographers assoc, but the AIPP “absorbed” that group to. I pulled the pin on my membership when I went to enter the awards, only to find that they had dropped the 2 categories that I planned to enter. I figured what was the point of belonging if their offering was only for wedding & portrait photographers. Those may be the big money spinners, but are not the only game in town.
    I prefer to fly solo these days, and being semi retired I can cherry pick my commissions.

  7. Shuttered Bug Shuttered Bug March 9, 2021

    Oh, how the mighty have fallen!
    That this once-respected, but now apparently entirely broken, organisation (or at least some controlling clique within it), feels the need to resort to vote-rigging on an external site to try to influence members and the general photographic community is evidence enough of how it is failing in its charter.
    That sort of behaviour belongs in a third-world tin-pot dictatorship, not a organisation that should be promoting the creme de’la creme of the professional imaging industry. Of course, the desire to be known more simply as “the home of photography and video” is a huge part of the problem and one which renders the association obsolete for most real professionals.
    The failure to respond to legitimate questions must also raise some serious issues about the ‘leadership’ of the organisation as “no comment” generally leads to wilder speculation, which one would imagine is the last thing they would want when going through a major, and possibly unpopular, transition period.
    Unfortunately, as crisis has followed crisis for a number of years, surely it must be time to realise that the AIPP is simply not fit for purpose any longer and that it is time to wind up the institution in its current form (or at the very least force them to drop the first ‘P’) and create a new organisation that properly represents and promotes professional image-makers across all genres.

  8. Chris Chris March 9, 2021

    Glad you called BS on that. Looking forward to the results of the new poll.

  9. Paul Curtis Paul Curtis March 13, 2021

    The word ‘Professional’ must be protected. It doesn’t necessarily mean a person of great artistic talent. It means you earn your living in that field. Anything less, and you are misleading consumers. The AIPP may well wish to embrace anyone who is an amateur, and that is fine. However, that area of the membership, however talented, must be clearly identified as someone doing it for the love of it. To qualify for the use of the word ‘professional’ in any shape or form, there must be a percentage of your income derived from photography. I do not know what that percentage should be, but selling the odd photo doesn’t count. I would have thought the barest minimum would be 20% of income. Otherwise, the AIPP has the distinct possibility of being taken to court by a consumer believing that by engaging someone using AIPP membership to claim they were indeed ‘professional’ and then received images well below that standard.
    I long tried to convince the photo industry that we were not in the numbers game. We just had to make sure we were talking to the right people and that our operation was viable.
    I would also like to add that we should take care to protect the value of AIPP Honours and distinctions so many great photographers received in the past. I do not say that because I’m an Hon AIPP, Hon Life Member and a winner of the Don McCarthy Award. Frankly, as a professional, when compared to so many other photographers with similar awards, I don’t cut the mustard. I do still earn more than 20% of my income in various ways from photography, mainly from the sale of photo illustrated books. But there is no way I would present myself to the public as a ‘professional’ photographer.

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