Dear Photographers,

Things are changing so fast in the world right now that it’s hard to keep up with all the news, and I suspect the news I’m writing with will not surprise many of you. We are sad to let you know that the Board has decided to cancel our ExposurePRO conference for 2020, which had been due to be held in Wellington on August 25th and 26th. As wonderful as our volunteer team is, it’s no match for a global pandemic. There were simply too many uncertainties: around whether we would be compromising people’s health, about travel bans, around sponsorship and around the flow-on effects this will all have on ticket sales. Those who bought tickets in the pre-sale will have the option of deferring them to the 2021 event or applying for a refund. Please contact Sarah McGregor by email to let her know how you would like to proceed.

We’d like to extend a big thank you to our events team, in particular Justine Weatherall and Nicola Wilhelmsen, for all the work they have done so far. It was shaping up to be an awesome conference and we are pleased that at least we will be able to transfer some of that over to next year. We now also have the opportunity to re-approach some potential speakers who would have loved to be involved but who were unable to come in August, so there are some upsides at least. We will now focus our energies on other ways in which we can bring inspiration and education to you our members this year. Clearly in the short term there may well be some more restrictions on what we can offer in terms of in-person events, but we plan to bring more events to the regions and will do our best to implement that.

Last night we released the Call for Entries for the 2020 Iris Awards. The pandemic means we need to retain some flexibility over the precise format in which they are run, but we are confident that we can still run them, so that annual awards buzz is something you can still all look forward to! It might be just the time to immerse yourself in some emotionally restorative creative photography.

In case you haven’t seen it already, we have a living document in which we’re pooling information on strategies for coping on both a personal and professional level. It includes a database of other members you can turn to for help – we encourage you to register if you can take on sessions for fellow photographers who need assistance. Be kind, and go easy on one another. Consider the wider photographic community – buy local and support our sponsors.

Please all take care of yourselves – the most important thing is our health and wellbeing. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

All the best, Catherine Cattanach (President), on behalf of the NZIPP Board