The idea of an international photographic federation was the brainchild of Dr. M. VAN DE WIJER, a physician by profession, but also a football and photography fanatic. The year was 1946.
The first countries to associate to it were Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal and Switzerland; in September 1947, Denmark, Finland and Hungary make the number of members up to eight.
By June of 1950, in Berne (Switzerland) the Federation International de l’Art Photographique (FIAP) had 17 affiliated nations. FIAP now counts more than 85 national associations in the five continents and represents the benefits of nearly one million individual photographers.
Great Britain is a member of Federation International de l’Art Photographique through the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain.
FIAP aims to promote photography as a means of creating understanding and friendly links between photographers in all corners of the globe. All considerations of a political, ideological, or racial nature are absolutely banned from the activities of FlAP.
FlAP supports international exhibitions by offering its Patronage (i.e. agreeing to recommend) those which meet the minimum standards laid down by its regulations. These regulations are decided by discussion among member countries, and can be varied to suit particular local conditions, but in all cases FlAP Patronage guarantees to entrants that the patronised exhibition is properly run.
As additional encouragement to photographers to take part in international events FlAP created a world-wide system of photographic distinctions, earned by success in FlAP patronised exhibitions. These distinctions are the Artist (AFIAP) and the Excellence (EFIAP). Holders of EFIAP may also apply for the Master (MFIAP) by submitting work. The MFIAP is probably the greatest photographic honour in the world.
FIAP – Photographers Card
Lovers of photography not wanting to participate in International Salons, but who are active in photography within a society, who is a member of a national association, affiliated FIAP, can nevertheless demonstrate their membership to FIAP by obtaining, on request, from their national association, a FIAP badge in blue enamel.
Those that truly want to identify themselves with the principles and aims of FIAP can obtain a FIAP Photographer’s Card that shows a photograph of the holder and is valid for life. FIAP Distinction holders can have their Photographers Card updated, free of charge, when a new distinction has been gained.