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The NUJ Photographers' Conference: why it matters, and why you should be there.

22 December 2006 - EPUK

Plans are well underway for the NUJ’s inaugural Photographers Conference, to be held next February.

The day-long conference, to be held on 27th February 2007 at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, is to feature seminars on:

  • Your Rights, and Get it in Writing.
  • The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE), privacy law, human rights and countryside legislation.
  • Contract law, small claims procedure, terms and conditions and using the NUJ to sue.
  • Copyright & Intellectual Property
  • Strategy for Survival, including running your business, negotiating licences and NUJ organisation.


NUJ Photographers’ Conference

When: 27 February 2007, 9.30am – 7.00pm

Where: Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, EC1

What: Seminars include licensing, copyright, running a business, law, and NUJ organisations, plus an evening session by (appropriately) Martin Evening.

Who: Open to all photographers

How much: Free for NUJ members, £50 for non-members.

How to book: Via the NUJ’s freelance office, on 020 7843 3735 or at freelanceoffice@nuj.org.uk

How to get there: Click here


Photoshop guru Martin Evening will be giving two talks during the day, on Adobe’s Lightroom, and the forthcoming Photoshop CS3. The event is supported by Nikon, Canon, Imaging Insurance, Calumet, and Alamy.

But apart from the seminars, the conference looks likely to form asignificant event where union photographers can meet up, air grievances, and discuss the role the union can take for them.

“It is something that NUJ photographers have been talking about for a number of years, but it has only been in the last three years where we have been able to consolidate photographer activity within the union”, said Pete Jenkins, vice chair of the NUJ’s photographers sub-committee.

In the recent past, discussions on the NUJPhoto email discussion list have focused around the possible appointement of a dedicated full-time Photographers Organiser. Photographers who are union members are currently represented by either Freelance Organiser John Toner or one of the other NUJ staff officials.

“Freelance photographers have been getting themselves organised within the NUJ over the past couple of years and the Conference is an opportunity to show just how much progress has been made”, said Toner.

Pictures at an Exhibition

The conference will also launch the a touring exhibition featuring 100 images shot by union members. Selections from the exhibition will appear in Press Gazette, British Journal of Photography, Digital Photographer Pro , “Professional Photographer” as well as union house magazine The Journalist. Photographs will also be used at internal union events.

Entries are invited from all photographer members. They should be:

  • In the first instance, each photographer can enter up to five images
  • They should be compressed as (med-high) JPEGs 750 pixels along the longest side, 72-150 output dpi, and emailed to photoexhibition@nuj.org.uk
  • Each entry should be accompanied by a 100 word CV and a 100-word caption for each image.
  • All images must be clearly marked in IPTC data fields with name, title of work, NUJ membership number, and any other pertinent details
  • Application deadline 1 January 2007.
  • The selection committee will meet in early January 2007 and all contributors will be informed of their decision by email.

The conference and exhibition represent one of the greatest opportunities in recent years for photographers to raise their profile within the union. While the NUJ often faces criticism for being slow-moving and bureaucratic, it still remains the biggest heavyweight organisation representing journalists and photographer in the UK.

The conference also represents a just one of the most obvious ways in which progress by grassroots members is helping to raise the profile of photographers in the union, who still remain one of the most instinctively close-knit sectors of the industry.

Places are limited to 180, on a first-come-first-served basis, and can be reserved by emailing the freelance office at freelanceoffice@nuj.org.uk

An earlier version of this story stated that the NUJ’s Centenary Committee refused funding for the photographers conference. We have since been told that the committee refused funding only for the associated photographers exhibition, and the article has been amended with apologies to those concerned.

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