A FIAP journey
Back in 2007, I began the process of chasing FIAP acceptances, awards and the badges that go with that. For those not familiar with FIAP and the process, I will take a few words to give some context. FIAP or Federation Internationale Art Photographique to give it its full name is the UNESCO world body for photographic art. In Ireland, the Irish Photographic Federation (IPF) is the accredited body and anyone interested in FIAP accreditations can apply for the process via the IPF website (www.irishphoto.ie).
The process of FIAP accreditations involves entering salons (a type of photographic competition) and gaining acceptances and awards. FIAP award various levels starting at AFIAP, EFIAP, EFIAB/b, EFIAP/s, EFIAP/g and EFIAP/p. There are additional levels beyond this, but its quite a challenge to get this far. The levels of EFIAP and /b - bronze, /s - Silver, /g - gold and /p is platinum. Effectively these salons are a submission for exhibition, and a jury decides which images are chosen (or accepted) for exhibition. It is these acceptances that are key to the process. Typically, 10% of images submitted are accepted. In addition, a much smaller selection of images will be awarded medals and ribbons and these are the basis of the awards.
The application process changes regularly and it is worth checking on the IPF website before embarking to get the latest criteria. The process involves keeping track of salons entered, acceptances won and awards won. At each level, as well as recording the acceptances and awards, you need to submit images with your application that become part of the FIAP archive. With the higher-level distinctions, these supplied images need to be images that have won an award.
For anyone setting off on this journey, I would offer a couple of bits of advice
- Be organised - track every salon you enter, the judging dates, the results dates and the type and shipping date for the catalog.
- Track the receipt of the catalog and type (Printed or digital)
- Keep a record of every image you enter, section, colour/mono,
- Be consistent in your naming of images.
- Track whether your entry is colour or mono
Ive been using a spreadsheet to track the entry details and I use Lightroom collections to track the images entered into salons.
So, around 2007, I set off on this journey, collecting salon catalogs, and acceptances and awards and this year submitted my application for an EFIAP/g distinction. I’m only now getting round to documenting some of the highlights of the journey. The following briefly outlines the steps to my current EFIAP/g application.
AFIAP or Artiste FIAP (2007 to 2009)
As far as I can remember, the first salon I entered was a french salon “Semaine internationale de la Photo” in March 2007. I was absolutely thrilled to get 2 acceptances on my first time out and was hooked on the process. I collected the required number of acceptances by the end of 2009 and received my AFIAP certificate and badge in early 2010.
EFIAP or Excellence FIAP ( 2010 to 2013)
I kicked off the EFIAP process with what’s now one of my favourite salons - the Austrian Super Circuit - Trierenberg. This is a collection of 4 individual salons with a single entry system and a top-class, beautifully produced and printed salon catalogue. The requirements for EFIAP were 250 acceptances with 50 different image across 20 countries. By the beginning of 2013, I had met all of the requirements and received my EFIAP distinction in 2013.
EFIAP/b /a and g ( 2015 to 2021)
I decided to group these together as in effect, each builds on the previous application. EFIAP/b is where it starts to become a little more challenging with an increasing number of awards required as well as acceptances. At the time of applying, the requirements were:
- EFIAP/b - 200 acceptances, 50 different images, 5 countries + 4 different images awarded
- EFIAP/s - 300 acceptances, 100 different images, 10 countries + 5 different images awarded
- EFIAP/g - 500 acceptances, 150 different images, 15 countries + 6 different images awarded.
Each award builds on the previous, so the EFIAP/s images are made up of the 200 EFIAP/b acceptances plus an additional 100 acceptances.
EFIAP/b awarded images submissions
EFIAP/s awarded images submission
EFIAP/g awarded images submissions
My favourite salons
My criteria for this list is primarily the quality of the catalogs sent to people who enter and the reputation of the Salon itself. Sadly, there are no Irish salons on the list since the excellent Cork and Tallaght salons ceased operating. My current list is:
- Austrian Super Circuit
- Smethwick International
- Bristol Salon of photography
- French Digital Tour
- Salon Photo de Riedisheim
- Salon Varna
- Holland International Circuit
- Trofeo Gipuzkoa Internacional
FIAP have just released a whole new set of criteria for distinctions with a transition period for those in the process of gaining a distinction. Although these no regulations are not formally adopted, I had planned on sitting on my laurels for a year or two, but the transition period means that if I want to apply for the next level - EFIAP/p (platinum) under the old rules, I need to move fast.
I will update this post to include the new regulations when they are adopted.
As always, if you have any questions - please feel free to ask them below. In addition, always a good resource for Irish photographers:
- The IPF Website
and straight from the source:
- Main FIAP Site
- List of FIAP approved salons