Henderson, NV—Independent Photo Imagers (IPI) is providing its members with new opportunities in the sports and event photography business with the addition of Event Sports Photographers International (ESPI).
Under the IPI umbrella, ESPI’s mission is to educate and support the sports and event photography industry with emphasis on business ethics, networking, idea sharing and member recognition. The goal is to grow this segment with “a priority of honesty and professionalism throughout the membership, including promoting a positive image of sports & event photography to the public.”
Education will be the core competency of ESPI, facilitated by an annual conference, webinars, a dedicated IPI forum to discuss challenges and opportunities and a weekly e-mailed ESPI newsletter.
An annual conference is planned for the first quarter of 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada, for member attendees and vendors. There will be two days of educational sessions and roundtable discussions surrounding a trade show. Specific dates and venues will be announced soon, along with the ESPI membership fees and criteria.
“I have always admired Brent Bowyer (IPI executive director) as the ultimate ‘think outside the box’ leader, and we are absolutely thrilled Brent and the IPI board of directors are making the commitment to serve our sports and event photography industry,” said ESPI chairman Jeff Gump, of Gump’s Sports Photography, Jacksonville, Florida. “I am confident people are going to quickly realize that ESPI will incorporate all of the greatest strengths that similar associations representing our segment have featured in the past, while eliminating the weaknesses.”
Bowyer called the addition of ESPI “a natural fit to the IPI family,” pointing out the fact 60 percent of IPI members currently are in the image capture/archiving business, a number he expects to continually rise.
“We welcome ESPI and feel confident it will attract new members to our organization,” Bowyer said. “Plus, we are always focused on our existing IPI members, and it will definitely make sports and event photography clearly visible to them as a tremendous opportunity for an additional revenue stream to their photo retail business.” ipiphoto.com
The ESPI Advisory Committee (L-R): Tom Crawford, IPI consultant; Brent Bowyer, IPI executive director; Jeff Gump, ESPI committee chairman; Jim Seers, H&H Color Lab; Jeff Wilson, JW Party Pictures; Jim Roshan, Jim Roshan Productions; Rick O’Connor, Referee Photo; John Pittman, Sports Stars; Mike Luter, Desktop Digital; and (not pictured) Randy McCrea, Timeless Portraits