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 of ProfiFoto and managing partner of GFW PhotoPublishing GmbH, which, amongst other publications, also publishes the TIPA member magazines INPHO and FotoHits Magazin. 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 and co-founder of adf, the German organisation for digital photography.
Giulio Forti co-founded TIPA in 1991 and became a board member in 1998. After nine years as editor-in-chief of the leading Italian magazine Fotografare, he founded and launched FOTOGRAFIA REFLEX in 1980. He comments monthly on trends, industry developments and amateur photography issues. On special events, he also speaks about these matters. Forti wrote several manuals and books. His last, "Fotografia. Teoria e pratica della reflex", sold more than 25.000 copies in Italy. His company also publishes a quarterly monographic called "La biblioteca del fotografo" (or The Photographer Bookshelf), a unique series of nearly 60 titles. For his "outstanding support of the photo industry", Forti received the prestigious photokina-Obelisk award in 1994. In 1996, he launched www.reflex.it, the first Italian online photo magazine.
After obtaining a university degree in economics from The University of Aix-en-Provence in 1985, Jean-Christophe Béchet studied photography in Arles for three years until 1988. After this, he worked in Africa at a cultural center for two years. Between 1990 and 1994, he worked as a professional photographer in Paris, mostly for press magazines. Since 1994, Jean-Christophe has worked as editor for REPONSES PHOTO, one of the first TIPA member magazines. Jean-Christophe is a long-standing and dedicated member of the TIPA Technical Committee.
Beyond being a gifted technical writer, Jean-Christophe is also a passionate photographer and well-known in the Parisian photo community. His work has been shown in many exhibitions. He has also published seven monographic books displaying his various photographic themes, such as "Tokyo Station" (2004), "Climats" (2009), and "Discontinué" (2010).
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.