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Ernst Lopes Cardozo/ Laurence B. Didion

We spent 2 x 5 days to have IFWP participate in the big Montier en Der Festival 2012. Apart from showing our pictures, we made a large number of new and renewed contacts. Like last year, we expect to have found at least one new member-organisation for IFWP. Here are the details.

Tuesday November 13
Preparations: printed lists of exhibition photos with title, author, club, and country. Took 2010 pictures out of the frames and mounted 2011 pictures, boxed up for transport. Printed big IFWP logo with name in French and English. Packed utensils for the show.

Wednesday November 14
Drove to Montier, stopping at the cabin we rented to unload personal stuff. We entered the city with a sense of pride as the Montier Festival communication had selected one of ‘our’ images for this year’s website (www.festiphoto-montier.org), flags, banners, tickets, flyers, etc.): Ewald Neffe's “Badger's footprints”. Ewald (www.ewaldneffe.com) is far from a beginner and has won many prizes, but we were proud to see that our action helped him - one of our member's member- gain direct contact with Montier and more international notoriety. Our booth was in C.O.S.E.C., with all the international exhibitors, just in front of two of the most appreciated exhibitions of the Festival. In fact, we had two booths next to each other: 

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First contacts there were Werner Bollmann, (www.wernerbollmann.com) and the GDT crew, our neighbors. We quickly set up our exhibit and rushed to the Halle au Blé, where the two other top exhibits were being installed by their authors. There we spoke with Ghislain Simard (www.simpho.com) who introduced us to Jim Brandenburg (www.jimbrandenburg.com).  Neither had any idea of what IFWP is before this meeting. After a very friendly chat, we asked Jim to be president of our 2013 jury. His answer was positive in principle, but not before 2015 since, being chairman of the BBC Wildlife jury for two more years, he is not allowed to judge any other competition.

Schoolchilderen at our boothTuesday November 15
This is the day all the schools visit the exhibitions so we were very busy answering questions and explaining who we are. Met Charles Savouret, organizer and Frédéric Boiteux, creative director of the Festival Images & Neige (images and snow). Jim Brandenburg came past our stand, resulting in a 15 minute discussion on US vs. European culture. To be continued. Sandra Bartocha, vice-president of GDT (www.bartocha-photograhy.com) who was in our 2012 jury, came to keep her promise to give us feedback in Montier. For her, rating should be done on 5 points “like 5 stars”, no more, and getting the jury together on Skype at the end is a real necessity to untie and decide on the final grand winner. Marc Hesse, GDT's very experienced competition manager, offered us to call him for help and advices if we need.

Friday November 16
Several people asked if we sold any postcards of the pictures in our exhibition. Next to us was the ASPN and that was a good occasion to contact several of its members present and have a chat with their new president, Paul Monnerat. Laurence also met with the French regional club APAB, “Association des Photographes Animaliers Bretons” (www.apab-photo-nature.com) who were interested to know more about new IFWP's activities.

Vistors looking at Ewald Neffe's iconic image.

Saturday November 17
We met Marc Steichen, VP of Luxemburg Natur Fotografern (LNF, www.lnf.lu), a club with 50 very active members around Luxemburg. He is very interested to join IFWP after their GA in March. Laurence spoke with Pascale Hervieu, member of ASCPF renowned for her efficiency, who offered to help IFWP. We accepted this offer with much pleasure, as you can imagine. Laurence introduced IFWP to Osamu Nakagaki, Deputy Country Director, consumer imaging, for Canon France, and this could be the beginning of a successful relation between IFWP and Canon.

We invited all our old and new friends for a small aperitif at our booth, a well-received suggestion. Later, at the Canon-sponsored evening, Ernst sat with Beate Raberg, Klaus Nigge (www.nigge.com) and Ingo Arndt (www.ingoarndt.com). Beate was interested to know more about the current IFWP and our plans for the future. What would be the value of (re)joining IFWP for GDT?

Laurence sat next to Werner Bollmann who explained to her many things related to the financial side of running an association as seriously as GDT does: what brings in money, what cost money, what is safe, what is not worth the risk, running a competition, etc. Very interesting, food for thought...  Laurence was also seating next to Henry Brousmiche and Serge Sorbi (www.sergesorbi.be) of the Namur Nature Photo competition and exhibition. To make a long story short, their conclusion was that IFWP should definitely exhibit in Namur in 2013. Good news.

Sunday November 18
Laurence contacted other potential 2013 jurors and got a positive answer from Ingo Arndt (unless a last minute assignment comes up at that same date, but this is true of all of them) and from Bryan and Cherry Alexander (www.arcticphoto.com) who exhibited in Montier.

By 18:40 we were exhausted but still managed to dismount the exhibition in a record time, say good-bye to everybody, get started at 19:00 and arrive home before 23:00, filled with the satisfaction of having learnt more and brought IFWP one step further, again.