It all started in Paris on 16 April 1991, after several years of discussions and meetings about the idea of the creation of a photo press association, editors representing 25 European photo magazines finally met at the Hotel Meridien for the foundation of the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA). The founders knew they wanted to start a large non-profit association, not a lobby of a few selected members, or a marketing tool. So they invited all the European photo magazines eligible for membership to join. Instantly, TIPA became the largest family of independent European photo and imaging magazines made up of the most expert editors.
At a meeting in Barcelona on 13 September 1991, TIPA members elected Juan Manuel Varela (FV magazine) as Chairman, Richard Hopkins (Practical Photography) and Francisco Torres (FotoVentas) as Vice-Chairmen, George Hughes (Which Camera?) as Secretary and Fré Withoff (Foto) as Treasurer. Elected as advisors were Giulio Forti (Reflex), Philip Kruyer (Foto&Doka) and Gerard Bouhot (Phot'Argus). On this same day, the first TIPA Awards ceremony was held during the Sonimagfoto show.
When the European governments decided that the "Old Continent" was going to be transformed into the largest economic area in the western world, the photography industry also had to redefine its strategy. With this epochal change, even photo magazines had to rethink their future and TIPA decided to open its doors to new members from the eastern European countries. This helped to foster camaraderie and friendship among editors from many different countries and a better understanding among professionals from different cultures.
At the General Assembly 2009 held in Budapest, TIPA members voted to transform the association from a European into a global organisation of photo and imaging magazines. With the world getting smaller, TIPA decided the time had come to grow and strengthen its image and influence at an intercontinental level. With this decision, TIPA opened its membership doors to non-European members. TIPA is eager to be able to spread its message of enthusiasm and optimism about photography to a huge audience worldwide and make the power of its logo more effective than ever.
Year after year, TIPA is involved in promoting the value of the logo with a special campaign in the associated magazines and on their websites. We believe that when the TIPA Awards logo appears in an advertisement or on product packaging, our readers can be sure that the product deserves the logo. TIPA editors judge new products available in most markets. Enthusiasts and professionals may follow our logo as a “seal” of quality and a responsible suggestion to support their choices in buying cameras, lenses and accessories.
The TIPA Awards Ceremony continues to be a highlight in the photographic calendar for the industry, and is hosted annually, either at Photokina in Cologne, Germany, or (since 2013) in Tokyo, Japan, where many photographic brands are based. TIPA’s on-going interaction with the industry has allowed the association to tackle the modernisation of some photographic concepts carried forward from the age of film. One of the very important instances was with the introduction of compact cameras with interchangeable lens. TIPA proposed the CSC name for Compact System Cameras, which was then adopted by some brands.
Our biannual survey of TIPA magazines readers helps us to check the consumers’ and professionals’ mood and verify their personal preferences about the trends in innovation. Survey participants take part in a prize draw, and what is interesting in this case is that the prizes are cameras that received a TIPA Award. The survey results are presented to the industry at the TIPA Awards Ceremony for them to analyse what informed customers think about their products.
TIPA members meet at least once a year at the General Assembly to discuss projects, share opinions and comment on industry innovations and trends. During these three-day meetings, TIPA editors also vote for the best photo and imaging products of the year. The TIPA Association cannot only be characterised as an organisation that bestows TIPA Awards to the very best products, but also as an active and committed association that plays an important role in the industry. Numerous visits to factories and meetings with leaders of major companies have ensured that TIPA is a recognised interlocutor that the industry listens to.
Also on the technical side of the organisation, TIPA continues to offer to all members a complete test of new cameras introduced to the market to let members provide their readers with the best information about construction and performance of the most significant new cameras. All of these activities are made possible through TIPA’s collective network of recognised and popular magazines that stretches across five continents. Each magazine reflects its readers and the "national" vision of photography. The mix of experiences, cultures and perspectives make up the richness of TIPA as a global organisation, with magazines in ten different languages.
To correctly expose a photograph, you have to find a balance between a diaphragm aperture and exposure time. TIPA continues to evolve by finding the delicate balance between new contemporary practices and a photographic culture, both technical and aesthetic, which is based on TIPA’s more than 25 years of experience. Because the photograph was not born with the Smartphone and Selfie, TIPA draws on its history to understand the present and look to the future beyond the fleeting influences of fashion.