IAN GEE FBIPP
Words by George Dawber Hon. FBIPP
Ian passed away on Friday 6th January 2017 after a long battle with a rare illness - Myeloma Cancer of the bone marrow. Credit to Ian he still managed to live as normal a life as his illness would permit. We sat with many other photographers and wives at Roy Doorbar’s recent funeral in Cheshire and he was reminiscing about the good old days! Ian was a perfect Gentleman both in business and in private life, he had particular skills outside as well as in social photography. Starting his career in 1954 as a student member of the then IIP; he served his two years National Service in 1960. Ian served on BIPP council from 1976 – 1988, he was National President in 1980/81 and graced the Admissions & Qualifications Board from 1972-2000. He was an accomplished writer he had many articles published, plus a major book on Wedding Photography, how it used to be, of course, 3 rolls of 12 exposure film for providing, say, 30 great images in the bridal album! Ian and I together with the late Roy Doorbar FBIPP probably formed the first travelling photography training courses in the UK sponsored by Colourlabs International in the 70’s.
Ian always appeared quite studious, but he had a lively mind and was always willing to share his knowledge with any photographer. Ian and I jointly formed and initially owned Manchester Colour Laboratories; set up to provide printing services for our respective businesses, we never ever disagreed during this time, although occasionally we did with our Lab Manager, another industry colour printing legend Alf Coombs FBIPP.
Roy and Ian were especially close operating in the same Town, Altrincham and both highly accomplished and respected wedding photographers, who were passionate about quality and service and eventually formed the ”Guild of Wedding Photographers” aimed at teaching wedding photography skills. To their great credit they initially travelled to the USA teaching establishments, before launching their enterprise, it is no surprise to see The Guild lives on today although under different ownership; but still with the same high morals and quality images and teaching. It was interesting to note in those early heady days the North West proudly featured more “Fellows” of the BIPP in social photography than anywhere else in the UK, such names as; Ian, Roy, George, Lawrie Sands; Ian Coates; John (Jason) Jones; Jeremy Makinson; Paul Yaffe; Denis Hylander; Roy Lewis; David Wheeler and possibly even more that I may have missed out, if I missed you please accept my apologies.
Ian was most definitely a giver and he and I headed up a very successful committee of the BIPP organising annual conferences for photographers, initially in the North West region, which due to their incredible popularity and profitability were taken over by HQ. These were then held in the North West for over a decade, the final event named Eurofoto was in Buxton and attracted many worldwide well known photographer speakers. Until the Eurofoto event the organising group had always provided substantial profits every time for the BIPP, I was Chairman and Ian the Treasurer, supported buy with a hard working and dedicated committee group who met in each other’s homes every month. We resigned en bloc after making our first financial loss after Eurofoto!
I could go on, but we are currently finalising our Photo Training Overseas trip to Cuba to celebrate our thirty years providing this unique training concept. Ian you will live on with your close friend and colleague Roy for all that you contributed to our beloved profession. R.I.P. my friend and sadly missed colleague.
George Dawber Hon. FBIPP
Our thoughts are with Ian’s wife of 52 years - Rosemary. And his Son’s Nicholas and Andrew who have 5 Grandchildren between them.