INTERVIEW: THOMAS GERWERS
Thomas Gerwers, Chairman of TIPA
You have been the chairman of TIPA since 2008. What is the main purpose of the association in 2015? Are the awards more important for the brands or for the readers of the magazines?
First of all, the TIPA Awards give orientation to consumers. A TIPA Award indicates excellence of a product in its field. At the same time it is an honour for the manufacturer to be awarded. Remember, each year there are hundreds of new photo- and imaging products, but only 40 are the best in their specific field. For TIPA as an association of photo- and imaging magazines, the main purpose in the year of its anniversary is to make consumers clearly understand why it makes sense to take a camera when the picture matters, that photography is more than taking snapshots with a smartphone.
The photographic world has changed a lot since 1991; digital was a revolution. How do you succeed in keeping the association alive and more successful year after year?
Since I have been Chairman of TIPA the association has globalized. Since 2008 we accept the best photo- and imaging magazines not only from Europe, where TIPA started, but also from all over the world. We carefully select suitable new members and aim to attract the best of the leading photo magazines in order to build the best expertise in photography. And as innovation never stops, the development of our awards goes further, with new and adapted categories each year. After 25 years the TIPA logo has a worldwide reputation, based on the integrity of TIPAs decisions, which is the true basis of its success.
How do you see the future of photography and of TIPA? What is the next step for the association?
Today people shoot more pictures than ever before, and this development will go on, so photography has a bright future. As a technical medium the process of taking pictures involves equipment, and TIPA guides photographers when it comes to the question, which are the “best of the best”. Photographic technology has always been in transition, and TIPA needs to find the answers to the right questions. The editors of the TIPA member magazines know very well what photographers are asking for, they have an in-depth overview about trends and innovations, so their expertise is of great value. The next step for TIPA as an association is to develop its membership in the best direction possible in order to stay the most important organisation of photo- and imaging experts worldwide.