AIPP Mythbusting

Featured Image by Scott Portelli APP MPhotog

What’s the matter? Haven’t you ever seen somebody work on a car with an axe?” ― Jamie Hyneman, Mythbusters

Although we don’t have any lasers to test or concrete trucks to implode, 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.

While AIPP strategic and operational documents are made available via the members’ dashboard, it’s easy to miss them among the video library, trade partner offers, community, events… in other words, it’s easy to get distracted by the most exciting stuff that our members get.

If you’re already waning, here’s the TLDR (too long, didn’t read) version of this post:

AIPP is the home of video and photography. Accredited members are at the core of our community, enhancing everything we’re about. Chapters will enrich the membership experience for remote and regional members as well as for specialist photographers. We value camera clubs in Australia, there’s room for us both. There’s so much more going on than competitions, but they are excellent for developing craft and receiving feedback.

While that was pretty deep, here’s the expanded version for those who want to go deeper…

AIPP is no longer about professionals.

AIPP highlights our accredited members as the pinnacle of the organisation. Part of our commitment to these members is the appointment of Louise Bagger APP AAIPP as the AIPP Accredited Division Head, assisted by long-serving volunteer David Simmonds APPL MPhotogII. Accreditation aims to set the standards for professionals to meet, and encourages those who may be entering either profession to pursue these standards.

Our professional accredited members provide so much to the community through their knowledge of the craft and business expertise. Many of our members also benefit from their experience, guidance, and the many events they present and participate in.

Growing General Membership will take away from Accredited Members.

AIPP will always maintain the distinction between a General Member and an Accredited Professional Photographer or Accredited Professional Video Producer.  These members have proven their professionalism in both craft and business.

Growing our General Membership base will broaden engagement within our creative community across Australia and has the potential to deliver excellent opportunities for professionals in that:

  • It provides greater business networking opportunities and broader talent-base within the organisation.
  • It significantly improves AIPP’s position to lobby effectively for the rights of all photographers and video producers.
  • It opens AIPP to potential grants funding (in an industry worth over 100 billion annually, with 7 billion available via arts funding) which will enable us to better service our members, including creating additional infrastructure whether physical or online.

Chapters will dilute AIPP’s focus and mission. 

Chapters will allow talent and leadership across its entire member database to come forward and operate Chapters in their areas or in specialist interests. This initiative is designed to further enhance the opportunities for members by opening new conversations, enabling more specific networking, specialist education and opportunities for photographers and video producers in their niche. This will help us better support remote and regional members, as well as providing more space for specialist fields like medical imaging, sports photography, school photography, video wedding production and more. Members are free to create Chapters to suit their needs.

To support Chapters, our internal communications will be upgraded with internal messaging and online forums. This will include more AIPP forums such as a dedicated space for business talk.

We accept that there may be scepticism around Chapters; the proof is now showing in the execution. There is an excitement about the potential for regions and niches to be given a greater voice and greater access to opportunities and we appreciate all of the feedback and messages of support.

All current AIPP members can view the Chapters Handbook in their Members Dashboard under Get Involved > Establish a New Chapter as well as the application form to get a Chapter started.

AIPP is now a big Camera Club.

A recent criticism is that opening AIPP up to General Members will turn it into “a giant camera club.” Firstly, we would take issue with those who use the term ‘Camera Clubs’ in a pejorative sense. Like AIPP, Camera Clubs provide a space for networking with like-minded people and the development of photography and videography skills. 

AIPP sits in a different space. Industry-wide representation and advocacy is a huge part of AIPP’s past, present and future – highlighted by the recent adoption of a dedicated Advocacy Committee. AIPP also offers consultation in education and the Australian Qualifications Framework and provides an accreditation pathway for professional photographers and video producers. AIPP is home to the premier photography judges’ training frameworks in the world and provides many more opportunities for professional development.

AIPP values the contributions of camera and video clubs and other groups in their local communities, as well as organisations such as APS. We are confident that we each have a place within the wider industry and that we’re not in competition, but in collaboration.

There is room for photographers and video producers to be a member of AIPP as well as other organisations and clubs. Many current members maintain multiple memberships and participate and present at their local camera clubs.

As the leading body and home of photography and video, we are big believers in the notion that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats.’

AIPP is only interested in competitions.

AIPP is committed to a diverse range of events that are beneficial to both members and non-members. Our committees (Online Content Committee (OCC), Video Committee and Awards Committee) organise events both online and in person, when possible, across the country. The OCC recently ran the hugely successful Business Bootcamp with over 300 attendees. We have additional plans in the pipeline for future exciting events, ensuring there will always be something to look forward to that engages member participation.

While it’s easy to think of our competitions in the traditional sense of attempting to win something, the main focus of these competitions is development of craft.  This is why feedback offered as part of the process is such an integral part of our awards programme.

AIPP and the board have abandoned the organisation’s Constitution.

AIPP has faced a series of challenges over the last 3 years regarding the future viability of the organisation (the effects of Covid-19 on the industry among them). These challenges have required, in some cases, urgent and confident changes.  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.

We understand there are many opinions on how to best lead AIPP into the future – this has been the case since the organisation’s origins in the 1940s. What hasn’t changed is the passion of the volunteers that drive AIPP as well as our willingness to examine a diverse range of goals and approaches to achieving them.  Our focus is always with an eye to choosing the best way forward for our members.

If members or potential members have any questions, we welcome you to submit a query here. The best way to stay informed and have input is to join as a General Member for just $10 a month.  Click here for further information about our membership categories and how you can experience the many member benefits. Press inquiries can be directed via our contact page.


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  • March 22, 2021 - Reply

    Donna Larcom

    As a past member and committee member from a regional centre, I welcome these changes. It makes so much more sense to be inclusive not exclusive. I have loved the online bootcamp- so welcome during the covid lockdown. I would like to see more of this kind of content going forward .

    • April 16, 2021 - Reply


      Thanks Donna, a lot more of that kind of content on the way! 🙂

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