2nd FEP Congress: what a fabulous event!

The lights are out! Over 500 inspired delegates from France, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom, USA and Canada, celebrated the immense success of the FEP 2nd European Congress of Professional Photographers (and 17th GNPP congress) recently held in Lyon.

By their presence, they all demonstrated huge enthusiasm for the high quality of the organization and an enormous appreciation of the terrific panel of speakers (in order of appearance on the stage): Pierre Delaunay, MASTER QEP from France; Peter Mathis, MASTER QEP from Austria; Belen Caballero Sanchis, MASTER QEP from Spain; Eddie Tapp, USA, Photoshop Hall of Fame; Umberto Stefanelli, famous Fine Art Photographer; Bert Stephani, professional photographer and blogger from Belgium; Martin Parr, UK, Magnum reporter and chronicler of our age; Paolo Roversi, Italian born photographer famous the world over for his portrait and fashion photographs; Uwe Ommer, from Germany, who embodies the purest spirit of the reporter of our era.

An indeed complete and inspiring program, without any weaknesses, which has correlated the importance and the highest standard of the FEP European professional qualifications, demonstrated by the Master QEP speakers, but also through the amazing "BEST OF QEP 1999-2010" presentation, achieved with the help of the students of the University of Falmouth.

International winners
The conference also provided an opportunity to present our skilled photographers and international award winners, and to publicise the results of our contests. The FEP European Fine Art Photograph of the Year Award (won by the Portuguese, Diamantino Jesus) has become an established competition. Whilst the 'first edition' of the new FEP European Photo Book of the Year Award (won by "FASHION FOOD", by the Austrian, Helge Kirchberger) has shown its exceptional potential for interest of the market related to photography.

The Congress also demonstrated the importance of the new postproduction tools for the photographers and the possibilities offered by the new media and the related social networks for the development of the business. A creative use of these new communication media can open up new markets for visual communication professionals and artists.

The Congress showed the impact still made on the media and the communication market, by the "big names"! Photographers, reporters and artists who set the trends and keep giving a huge contribution to the history of photography in Europe and worldwide demonstrating mutual understanding of different cultures and styles.

Stimulation opportunities
"The mission of the FEP" said Neil Warner, President of the FEP, "is to stimulate meeting and inspiring opportunities, and to elevate the professional standard, beyond and despite the negative trend of the economy, which obviously forces everybody to some sacrifices, European photographers don't know the decline of the passion and the love for our profession".

"We saw just the same example of this passion" added Giuseppe Scozzi, FEP Chief Executive Officer, "from the European Masters Photographers to the emerging artists and bloggers, from the photographic students to the most renowned big names we met during the Congress. This passion is the most important assurance of a bright future".

An event like this has been successful only thanks to a huge team effort.
We will never forget the great and enthusiastic collaboration of the GNPP, and all accolades should be reserved specially to the GNPP President Dominique Launay, the past President Jean Luc Renault, the GNPP General Secretary Laurence Veisenbacher, to Bernadette Guven and Michele Wolff, President and past President of the GNPP Rhone-Alpes, to all the GNPP Rhone-Alpes staff and to Jean Felix Bernetel, GNPP and FEP Board Member.

Many thanks also to the City of Lyon, to the Region of Rhone-Alpes, to the "Lumière Museum" and to the AIMF for their support.

We also would like to say many thanks to:
- all the delegates for their participation, with a special grateful thanks to the sizeable Belgian delegation;
- our sponsors, Epson and Towergate Camerasure for the fulfillment of the FEP European Competitions and Exhibitions, and our new sponsor Hahnemühle;
- all the exhibitors at the trade show, which added true business opportunities to this cultural event during the 3 days of the congress, without their support this experience could not even have been imagined;
- the General Secretary of UEAPME Andrea Benassi, who came to the Congress, thus ensuring the support of the photographers' face to all European institutions;
- Bertrant Edel, experienced interviewer of the speakers; Christian Roussellier, technical "regisseur" of the event;
- the national and international press, and especially FotoTV for video-reportages'
- Last, but not least, to our organizational partner "Promeeting" for its valuable and highly professional support.

Gala of Gala's
One of the many highlights of the Congress was the fantastic and unrepeatable gala dinner event held "chez Paul Bocuse", which certainly contributed to the overall success of the event and to raise the enthusiasm of the participants.

Nous vous remercions tous beaucoup pour votre hospitalité !