The tiny Mediterranean island of Malta punches way above its weight in terms of its quota of top professional photographers and they are coming en masse yet again to the Convention in 2012.
Malta is known for many things, including its beautiful Mediterranean climate, its crystal-clear diving waters and its charmingly antiquated bus fleet, but amongst its other, perhaps less well known, attributes are its proliferation of top-quality professional photographers.
Regular attendees of the Societies Convention will certainly know all about the Maltese love affair with photography, because ever since Phil and Juliet Jones travelled over to the island some years ago to forge closer links with the Malta Institute of Professional Photography (MIPP) there has been a healthy contingent of Maltese photographers making the trip over to the UK for the annual get-together. Not only have they attended, but the Maltese have also performed spectacularly well on the awards front over the years - the highest gold, for example, has been on the island for as long as it has been awarded - and, for good measure, they have also provided a healthy number of speakers for the Convention workshops.
Even by Maltese standards, however, next January is going to see something special, when no fewer than eight photographers from the island will be presenting a joint seminar called 'The Maltese Way,' and it will be a celebration of a great love affair with photography, with each member contributing a lively presentation of their work. Not only will it be a chance to get a taste of a different culture and to find out a little about what life is like for the professional in another part of the world, but delegates will also be able to really get into the swing of things with a glass of authentic Maltese wine; it should be quite an occasion!
"There are around 90 professional photographers on the island if you count those who own studios and shops or who are freelance," says Kevin Casha, the President of the MIPP, "and added to that is an ever increasing number of part timers. In many ways the work of the MIPP has done a lot to make photography more popular and to encourage more people into the profession. Over the past 15 years we've worked hard to promote photography to the public, to teach, to bring international photographers to the island, to stimulate networking and to offer tuition to newcomers to the field.
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
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