The Federation of European Photographers (FEP)
The BIPP is the sole UK link to the Federation of European Photographers (FEP), a network of 29 National Professional Photographers Associations from 21 European countries, recognised by the EU and officially registered in Belgium.
About the FEP
The Federation of European Photographers (FEP) based in Brussels was created to raise the standard of professional photography throughout Europe and to promote and support photographers, its members know the FEP as;
“a warm, friendly association for all individuals committed to the craft and art of photography.”
The FEP is the central reference authority for photography in the EU and represents over 50,000 professional photographers in Europe, defending the rights of professional photographers directly and in communion with national and international organisations. It represents the interests of member associations on a global scale on topics like education, training, professional standards, authors rights and more.
The FEP also established the European Professional Photographer of the Year Awards to promote the highest standards in European professional photography and is the Forum where all European professional associations meet, confer and act.
Qualifications with the FEP
The European Photographer (EP)
This qualification aims to recognise competence and a professional standard for those who earn their living as Professional Photographers. The EP is the entry qualification, offering a quality assurance certification.
The Qualified European Photographer (QEP)
This qualification is designed to complement your Associateship qualification. To reach this level, a photographer must have excellent technical and artistic skills, the panel must have, besides technical talent a certain wow-factor that sets them apart from others. For a QEP application a panel of 12 printed and mounted images is required, all representing the candidates’ chosen field of specialisation.
The Master Qualified European Photographer (MQEP) Certificate
This is reserved for the more accomplished QEP holders. To date, over 100 Top European Photographers have received a Masters distinction for their supreme quality. To reach MQEP level the photographer must demonstrate flawless technical skills as well as strong vision. Unlike QEP, the MQEP does not need a category or a field of specialisation. An MQEP panel requires 20 images, candidates can also send some supporting evidence, such as books, videos, albums etc. with the panel.
Reciprocity in Qualifications
The FEP recognises that the BIPP has a long established and sophisticated qualification system as an awarding body and is authorised by the FEP to award the EP. This is a recognition to the photographers who have achieved their Licenciate qualification (LBIPP) which may also be awarded with the EP qualification.
For further information about the FEP qualifications visit www.europeanphotographers.eu/qualifications/ep-qualification,
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for an application form.
Benefits of being an FEP member
The benefits of belonging to a professional organisation far outweigh any disadvantages.
Its raison d’être is to provide a range of benefits to assist professional and aspiring photographers to achieve their objectives, through educational activity such as seminars and workshops, providing the opportunity to gain distinctions based upon a member’s level of proficiency. These activities are open to all European photographers who are members of a national association affiliated to the FEP.
One of the big advantages for most European photographers is the knowledge gained through the expansion of ideas, techniques and seminars for all photographers and students. Meeting and networking with other photographers who may be at different stages in the learning process can be intimidating but invaluable.
As a professional photographer you can operate in European countries. However, as with any photographic qualifications those applying for the FEP’s, EP (European Photographer), QEP, (Qualified European Photographer) and MQEP (Master Qualified European Photographer) qualifications show a commitment to advancing in your chosen field of photography.
Being able to advertise as an internationally accredited or certified professional European photographer will also help you command a higher fee in your home country. It may even help you realise you deserve it, as not many of your competitors would have the same European qualification.
When you go to the trouble and expense of gaining certified or accredited status by joining your national Professional Photographers’ Association, like the BIPP, you are showing yourself and others that you are committed to upholding the highest of standards, constantly seeking to improve your craft. It also shows that you value the profession of photography and wish to be recognised as an exponent of high-quality photography worldwide.
We all have different specialties, building relationships within the professional photography family will always pay off.
If you are lucky enough to have an assignment in Europe, through networking you may be able to borrow gear from an FEP photographer. It could save a lot of hassle carrying equipment through customs at airports and ferry crossings.
The photography community within the FEP is extremely friendly, warm, supportive and welcoming. Through networking, the FEP offers the opportunity to have photographs critiqued by experts in the same discipline as you and is one of the quickest and most effective ways to improve your work. You will begin to look at your own photographs differently and see them more critically.
As an Institute we do try to organise one of our qualifications to coincide with the FEP annual congress. These are usually four-day events, with judging of national awards, workshops and seminars at their members’ rates, followed by a gala dinner. All Photographers who are members of the FEP are automatically invited to attend and this includes any BIPP members.
The FEP hosts these seminars or speaker events, for the photographer social interaction can be another membership benefit. You can make friends with professionals who share common interests or share engaging conversations with colleagues about your field, not just in the UK but throughout Europe.
The BIPP offers opportunities for having your work critiqued by colleagues in Europe, so you should leap at the chance. The converse is also true, there are European photographers practicing in the same disciplines of photography as you, who would love to have the opportunity to network with their British counterparts, as they value the quality and style of UK photography.
Professional associations such as the FEP can, through networking, provide additional career opportunities. You may have access, through the FEP’s website, to a database of events, functions or competitions in a professional genre related to your discipline of photography, either the BIPP or the FEP in Europe will help you get to know international colleagues better, interact with competitors and build relationships with potential mentors. At events or online, you will be able to chat about current trends, innovations and upcoming training workshops.
Listing in the European Directory
What’s the point of going through all of this, if your clients can’t find you? The BIPP is working hard to promote professional photographers who have achieved their Licentiate, Associate and Fellowship qualifications and by default the FEP has a directory on its website of all those photographers who have succeeded in achieving their EP, QEP or MQEP qualifications. Being included in such a directory may be more important for some genres than others. Whatever your discipline, being listed in the FEP’s directory as well as in your professional association’s directory is never going to hurt you.