The Australian Institute of Professional Photography just closed up shop after 75 years of business in Australia.
Ostensibly formed to give photography the patina of legitimacy, the membership-based organization even helped run the Australian Professional Photography Awards (APPA), FStoppers reports.
Formed in 1944, the AIPP acted as a kind of union for photographers but that idea has had its day.
And at $AUD 500, it’s not like the membership was cheap.
A message on the AIPP’s website summarizes the organization’s history:
“AIPP and its members throughout its history informed copyright and privacy laws in Australia, as well as providing input into tertiary education for photographic training. It also contributed to the professional development of thousands of Australian photographers who are recognised for their achievements both nationally and internationally, many of whom received the Order of Australia and other prestigious titles and awards. AIPP managed the World Photographic Cup teams from the competition’s inception in 2014 and achieved two World Cup wins (2019 and 2021) and a second placing (2018) for Australia.”
While also adding a refrain about its current woes:
“The current AIPP Board had significant plans and initiatives to reverse this decline, reinvigorate the AIPP for a new generation of image-makers, and align itself better with the arts industries. However, the pandemic has made it impossible to implement these changes.”
In a world of Instagram and Twitter, a professional network like AIPP might sound nice on paper, but someone’s portfolio of work on a website or social media platform is likely to get the photographer equal or greater exposure. Before you could just Google someone’s work, organizations like the AIPP made a lot of sense but it’s hard to imagine that kind of thing having much weight now.
Were you an AIPP member? Let us know your thoughts on AIPP’s shuttering in the comments below.
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