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Message from the President,
It’s been a great pleasure and honour to have been your president over the past twelve months. During this time Irish amateur photography has continued to enjoy considerable international success both at the World Club Championships and at the FIAP World Monochrome Print Biennial last March. More recent success in the FIAP World Colour Print Biennial has made this series of achievements simply spectacular. My sincere congratulations to all participants.
International success aside, how healthy is the IPF? In addressing this late last year, council appointed our PRO Maresa Fagan to commission and administer an extensive survey on how you, the club photographer perceives the IPF in it’s various functions. The feedback provided was most valuable and significantly contributed to a framework for council to plan ahead along the following lines:
1. Communication. In response to the clear message arising from the survey the website has become much more responsive and up to date. In addition there is now formal regional representation on council. The online survey will now become an annual event.
2. Assessment. There is ongoing refinement of the distinctions and adjudication processes particularly with respect to feedback. Judges at national finals are now being carefully briefed on feedback. In future, prospective adjudicators for distinction sessions will be put through a formal assessment and induction process.
3. Finance. The IPF is developing a more efficient approach in managing it’s financial affairs. The database of distinction holders is now as complete as it could be, and combined with refined payment methods, this should enhance our balance sheet. In addition, council is actively exploring new sources of income including sponsorship of events and advertising on our website.
4. Legal. We are in need of a legal resource person to advise council and the wider membership on all legal aspects of photography such a data protection, copyright, model release, code of conduct, defamation etc. Council would be very glad to hear from any club member who is a practising solicitor, barrister or judge to voluntarily provide clarity in this area.
5. Your community. I remain ever mindful of the undervalued asset that your club is to your community. Recording of local sporting events and local heritage with the centenary of the 1916 Rising not far away is worth noting. The involvement of some local clubs in the development of transition year school photography is an exciting and blossoming development in places over the past two years.
In conclusion, we have a lot to do. In addressing this set of priorities we need a council that pulls well together – a dedicated group of men and women who share a common purpose with a consistent commitment and mutual goodwill, voluntarily working in the best interests of the community of clubs that is the IPF.
My thanks to retiring members of council who have served the IPF so well over the years. A big thank you to Deirdre Gaffney for organising the National Club Finals and has served as Vice President. Our very special gratitude to Willie Farrell our treasurer whose consistent service over the years is deeply appreciated by all on council. His quiet words of wisdom and guidance have been invaluable to me since I came on council. To the long serving club organisers who have done the unseen donkey work in keeping their clubs going, you are the real backbone of the Irish amateur photography movement – well done.
Finally, my thanks to the ordinary club members I have met from around the country in the past year. Their welcome, courtesy and downright contagious enthusiasm are at the heart of Irish amateur photography.
This has been a blessed experience.
President and Chair of Council,
Irish Photographic Federation