The General Assembly
The General Assembly is the highest representative body of the association. The GA meets at least once a year and all active members must attend in order to vote for the best photo & imaging products of the year. The GA has the final word on the TIPA Awards results. The GA also elects the Board of Directors and discusses and votes on all of the association's issues, such as the approval of the annual report and budget. It approves or rejects proposals coming from the board and from single members. In addition, the GA has the power to decide on TIPA membership issues and make all other decisions on extraordinary matters. The GA voting process follows the majority system.
Five members elected for a four-year-term by the General Assembly form the governing body of the association. Currently in charge are:
Thomas Gerwers, a member of the board since 1998, was elected Chairman in 2008. The German photo journalist is editor-in-chief and publisher of ProfiFoto and managing partner of PF Publishing GmbH. Thomas Gerwers has been a part of the photo and imaging industry since 1990 and is a valued expert in the field of professional photography concerning the technical as well as creative, cultural and professional aspects. He is a qualified member of DGPh, the German society for photography.
Giulio Forti co-founded TIPA in 1991 and became a board member in 1998, and Vice President in 2008. After nine years as editor-in-chief of the leading Italian magazine in the Seventies, he founded and launched FOTOGRAFIA REFLEX in 1980, a magazine dedicated to amateur photographers, technical trends, new talents and industry developments. Forti wrote and writes books about techniques, history and also collector’s manuals. On special events, he is invited to speak about these matters. For his "outstanding support of the photo industry", he received the prestigious photokina-Obelisk award in 1994. In 1996, he launched, the first Italian online photo magazine.
After completing a bachelor's degree in economics in Aix-en-Provence in 1985, Jean-Christophe Béchet did various courses for three years at the National School of Photography in Arles (1985-1988). He then worked for two years at the French Cultural Centre in Yaoundé (Cameroon) before becoming a professional photographer in Paris (1990-1994), working mainly for magazines. He spent 20 years (1994-2014) as the deputy editor of the magazine ‘Réponses Photo’. He now writes for the magazine ‘Fisheye’. He has been a member of the TIPA Technical Committee for several years.
In parallel with his work as a technical journalist, Jean-Christophe is also a well-known photographer in the French photographic world. He has exhibited his images in numerous festivals and galleries and published nearly 20 books including "Tokyo Station" (2004), "American Puzzle" (2011) and "European Puzzle" (2016).
Roland Franken took his first steps into photography in his father’s darkroom, developing and printing the photos he shot for a local newspaper. After studying photo engineering at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, he finished with a diploma thesis on colour management. During his studies he combined his passion for photography and journalism as a writer for various German photo publications in technical, creative and economic subjects. Recognizing the arrival of digital imaging at a very early stage at the beginning of the 90s, he started his career as an editor for digit! magazine. The concept of digit! was based on the idea of educating and inspiring professional photographers facing the digital change. In the following years digit! developed successfully as an important source of information and inspiration for professionals and advanced amateurs. Finally, in 2012 he acquired digit! as a publisher. Roland Franken is a member of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh).
Johan Elzenga is the editor-in-chief of the Dutch photography magazines 'FOTOGRAFIE' and 'FOTOVISIE'. His life-long passion for not only photography but also computers made him one of the very early adopters of digital photography, and he has written several books about this subject. Among these books was the first Dutch book about the RAW format, which became a best seller and is still considered as the standard Dutch book about this subject. Elzenga also still works as an independent professional photographer, with (African) wildlife as his most important specialty. His images are sold worldwide through leading stock agencies such as Getty Images and Alamy.
While you can contact TIPA through the TIPA office (firstname.lastname@example.org
), you may also contact the TIPA board at email@example.com
or any board member directly with any specific questions you may have.
Giving an award to a product is a matter of experience, technical honesty, independence, and responsibility. The General Assembly, the highest body of the association, has appointed a team of technical editors to extensively assist the GA in the award giving process. The mission of the Technical Committee, a four-member body with specific technical knowledge, is to select award candidates following an elaborate guideline. The TC works year-round checking which products have the prerequisites necessary to be considered for an award nomination.
The major responsibility of the TC is to evaluate competitor products and prepare a list of nominees per various categories. By TIPA standards, competitor products are those that sell in the same price bracket and have comparable basic features, so we would never compare an entry-level digital SLR with a professional one. The TC considers features, price/performance ratio, innovation, design, ease-of-use, ergonomics and efficiency. In some cases, the TC may suggest recognizing a product for other extraordinary reasons with a special award.
At the General Assembly, the representatives of TIPA member magazines discuss the TC's recommendations, but have the final word on which products receive an award.