National Photography Month

National Photography Month is the UK’s first event of its kind dedicated to celebrating the value of photography. Organised by the Photo Imaging Council and The Photo Marketing Association, and supported by organisations from the photography world including National Geographic and the Royal Photographic Society and leading photographic retailers and suppliers, National Photography Month, which will run during June 2012, will feature nation-wide events, celebrity exhibitions, a mobile Capture and Keep bus, and special offers from suppliers. Highlights include the creation of the world’s largest family album, as members of the public are invited to submit family snaps for a project which will be unveiled to mark the start of events, and a celebrity auction in aid of charity (further details below).

At the heart of the campaign is the message that the importance of photography lies not just in creating good images but in the role photographs have as historical records. The nation’s images represent a vast trove of personal histories. But while we are taking more pictures than at any other time, the fleeting nature of digital images means we are printing or keeping fewer of these important documents. National Photography Month aims to encourage the nation both to get more involved in photography, and to explore new ways to capture and keep life’s most important moments.

National Photography Month highlights:

The Family of Britain

Family ‘Memory Keepers’ – often mothers – no longer have the time to create albums, and the nature of modern photography means it is easy to leave images on disk or online. To highlight the importance of these unique personal records, National Photography Month will be launched with the unveiling of the World’s largest family album. This huge project will be comprised of family portraits which members of the public will be encouraged to send in following a campaign in Spring 2012.

Charity Summer Photography Exhibition

The Summer Photography Exhibition will be held in aid of national charities.  Amateur and professional photographers will be invited to anonymously submit work to be selected for an exhibition of outstanding images, selected by a committee of celebrities and professional photographers. Work will then be auctioned with all the proceeds going to charity.

The Capture and Keep Campaign Bus

During National Photography Month a Capture and Keep Bus will tour the country. A mobile shop window for photography, the bus will showcase the best British photography has to offer, run special workshops, such as how to make money from your hobby and tips from the paparazzi, and provide an on-the-ground resource for advice and inspiration. Highlights of the proposed route include:

Portraiture workshop outside the Houses of Parliament

Environmental photography at the Eden Project in Cornwall

TopShop promotion at Westfield: how to look good in photos

A Month in Life of Our School

Young people across the UK will be encouraged to capture a month in the life of their school through photography, preserving a snapshot of their environment for years to come. As part of the initiative – which will be enhanced by a programme of events including debates, creative writing workshops, performances and the chance to explore local history – the students will be invited to curate an exhibition for their community of these personal responses to the school environment and the people who inhabit it.

Nigel McNaught, UK Director of the Photo Marketing Association says: ‘From mobile phones to digital cameras, we’ve never taken more pictures at any other time in history. But, ironically, we print far fewer, meaning that we’re in danger of losing a whole era of photographic records. The aim of National Photography Month is to reverse this trend so that traditions such as family photo-albums continue in their role recording vital personal histories – rather than becoming a thing of the past.’

David Honey, Chairman, PIC, says: While digital photography has opened up exciting new ways for amateurs and professionals alike to harness the medium, its fleeting nature means there is a danger that these images could have no archival permanence. We want to build on the improvements in the quality of photography that these developments have created by encouraging people to think creatively about making permanent records of their images.’

Derek Birch, Vice President, The Royal Photographic Society, says: ‘Photography as we know it developed from its earliest days in this country. Our Society was founded in 1853 with the aim of “promoting the Art and Science of Photography”. With our long history of exploring the potential of this amazing medium we’ll be encouraging professionals and amateurs alike to get out there and make the most of the opportunities this celebration offers.

Licensing and sponsorship opportunities

From licensing images to sponsoring events, National Photography Month presents a fantastic opportunity for a range of supporters to get involved in a national campaign. Organisations already on board include leading photographic retailers and family and educational institutions.