Contact

Translation

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The History of IFWP started in 1978, in Strasbourg, France, when, under the auspices of the European Commission, photographers from different countries —several of them hunters who had forsaken the gun to grab a camera instead— got together and decided that helping ethically minded Nature Photography Clubs to emerge and prosper all over the world was a way to promote responsible Wildlife Photography and to help it bring its share to Nature's knowledge and protection.

 

International Friendship between Photographers

International Friendship played an important role in their project. Clubs from the other side of the "Iron curtains" needed to be supported both morally and materially and since then, keeping in mind that both Nature and photographers' conditions may differ greatly from one country to the other has remained an important part of the IFWP culture. If the very words "International exchange and friendship" did not appear as a major object in the statutes, while appearing so often in our founders' exchange of letters, it is because it was so ever present in their mind that they took it for granted, just as when one says "I plan to walk to town" without feeling the need to say: "I plan to step on the ground to walk to town".

 

Thirty years of shared passion

In May 1980, the final draft of Federation's statutes was registered and the association officially became an "International Association according to the French 1901 law" under the name of Fédération Internationale de la Chasse Photographique *- International Federation of Wildlife Photography (IFWP). And, since 1980, every single year but one, our member associations representatives and fellow members have met for a few days to share about what is a hobby for some, a job for other, but a passion for all: Wildlife Photography, its practice, its present and its future.

 

Surviving the hard years

Meeting each year in a different country, our members have tried to find a way to exchange ideas, projects, images, to fulfill IFWP's aims and objectives. An inner competition was added to the meeting to intensify the exchange and improve quality. Several famous names started their carrier by winning our competition. Some IFWP presidents were top European photographers, others were less famous as photographers but as efficient as leaders, trying to implement new project, new ideas. Creativity was never at rest.

 

In fact, IFWP was always slightly ahead of its time and until recently, its most innovative endeavours were stopped within a year or two, confronted to a wall of difficult and costly phone calls, indispensable but slow and costly international mail, costly travel fares and major language difficulties most members speaking only their mother language. As early as 1989, IFWP launched a website, one of the first in its field. But, out of high income countries, most of our members just recently gained Internet access. Companies and big NGO did prosper during this same period, but being at the same time really international, not-for-profit and a leasure organisation, made these times very frustrating for IFWP. Nevertheless, real Wildlife Photographers have endless patience and true friendship together with the common passion for Nature and Photography maintained IFWP alive and true to itself until its communication environment really matured.

 

Putting our founders dream into action

Since 2010, IFWP's founders' project has come to a second life, with its own place in the world village now fully reachable. Through Internet communications, mobile phones and landlines to places that were previously isolated and with the younger generation of photographers speaking several languages, our associations can really get involved in the management of their federation and their members can now be in contact at any moment to share ideas and images, to organize meetings, to plan trips, etc.

 

This new website, open not only to all our clubs' members but to all Wildlife Photography lovers from all over the world to learn and share about our common passion, is the perfect symbol of this new life of our founders' dream.

 

For more in depth information and documents about the history of IFWP, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

*The French original name which translates as "International Federation of Camera Hunting", was recently changed into "Fédération International de la Photographie de Nature" to be more congruent with both the English name and the evolution of our clubs' photographic activities which encompass not just animal photography but all of Nature's.