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.


The Board

Five members elected for a four-year-term by the General Assembly form the governing body of the association. Currently in charge are:

CHAIRMAN - Thomas Gerwers


Thomas Gerwers

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.

VICE-CHAIRMAN - Giulio Forti


Giulio Forti

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, the first Italian online photo magazine.

VICE-CHAIRMAN - Jean-Christophe Béchet


Jean-Christophe Béchet
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).

TREASURER - Louise Donald


Louise Donald

Having worked in various capacities on magazines, Louise Donald presently publishes PiX African Photo Journal in South Africa that she founded in 2003. She firmly believes that the medium of photography has the ability not only to document events and capture moments in history, but also the power to shift opinions that could result in positive change in our world. By combining her technical, journalistic and artistic qualities, Louise goes beyond the publishing of her magazine and in 2010 launched the ‘Activism through PiX’ initiative. Through this, she has joined various goodwill and educational expeditions in her country to provide new hope through the distribution of life-saving items to women and children. Louise’s passion sees her going beyond the creative and technical to that of preservation; realising the perfect photographic combination.

SECRETARY - Johan Elzenga


Johan Elzenga

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 (, you may also contact the TIPA board at or any board member directly with any specific questions you may have.


Technical Committee

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.