But there is no resting on laurels.
“We are still joining an average of six members a day even through this recession” says Phil. “But nothing stays the same for long in this industry and we must constantly evolve to stay in pole position.
For example, our research identified that many photographers had tended to specialise in just one photo-discipline throughout the Nineties. And the reason for this was the functionality of the equipment they used.
Landscape shooters used 5x4; for wedding guys it was medium format and sports
and press photographers shot with 35mm film.
Then came digital and that transformed the industry even more than the move from black and white to colour had done.
Photographers started using the ‘one camera shoots all’ philosophy - but simply changed lenses according to their own needs.
This meant that people were willing to spread their wings a little and stretch to cover more subjects than they had ever attempted before.
For this reason we recently launched a number of additional societies, specifically aimed at photographers who want to focus on other areas.
For example, photographers can now join The Society of International Sport and Leisure Photographers (SISLP) or The Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers (SINWP) or perhaps The Society of International School and Event Photographers (SISEP) – we’ve got a total of eight to choose from.”
He adds: “Although wedding and portrait photography is of course fundamental to
our core business, we are now embracing the full gamut of photographic
disciplines – and this development will be self-evident at the 2010 Convention
at which a kaleidoscope of skilled speakers will talk on every aspect of imaging
And the future?
Admits Phil: “Three years ago we assumed (wrongly) that membership in the UK might plateau, so we started to think about international expansion opportunities.
Now we are successfully growing The Societies’ membership abroad but the UK numbers still grow day by day.”
But keeping up with the Jones’s at work isn’t for the faint-hearted.
Concludes Juliet: “On the run up to the 2010 Convention we’ll be working eighteen hour days – but it still won’t stop me putting Sunday lunch on the table for sixteen family members every week.”
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