The official MIPP Newsletter
Photography by Keith Ellul
july | august
Photography Kevin Casha
President’s Viewpoint Dear Members, A Moment of Reflection … During a recent forced lull in my usual busy lifestyle, I was experiencing, not for the first and definitely not for the last time, a feeling of dissatisfaction about my photography. Trying to find inspiration and perhaps some answers to my ‘artist’s block,’ I picked up a book by Reza Deghati, entitled “War and Peace,” (www.nationalgeographic.com/books). This book had been given to me a few months ago by one of my ex-students as well as a dear friend, Charles Mifsud. I had not yet had the time to savor it fully. Until a couple years ago, few of us knew who Reza was, but then we were lucky to have him in our midst of the occasion his visit to Malta to inaugurate his photographic exhibition at the Mediterranean Conference Centre. I was fortunate enough to talk fleetingly to Reza, but from the outset, I could grasp the stature and sensitivity of not only a great photographer, but also of the humble man. We have remained friends to this day, supporting each other during difficult moments. Most of you might place this incredible man’s work as it was also innovatively exhibited on the Sliema promenade. Seeing the incredible images in this book left me spellbound and with mixed, confused feelings. One cannot but be inspired and deeply moved, as well as sometimes shocked, by his images. This set me thinking. The more I leafed through the pages full of top world class photojournalism, most of them made possible by the unbelievable courage and resilience of this National Geographic photographer, the more I felt that deep sinking feeling in my guts that the bulk of my current photography, as well as most of what we are seeing in Malta, is at times story-less, gutless and just “pretty pictures.” Don’t get me wrong, there are some super photojournalists on the island as well as various photographers who regularly show us images with a storyline, with mood, with feeling. But what actually set me thinking is the question of what images are we actually leaving future generations? Just glamorous pictures of girls and models? Just semi or totally abstract images? Just record or “chocolate box” photographs? Are we sacrificing raw reality to arty, easy to achieve, contrived images?
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Photography Sergio Muscat All well and good, but I would really like to raise awareness in our local photographers to go out there and sweat on images which really capture for posterity our current lifestyle and issues. Where are the images of our troubled youngsters’ lifestyle in Paceville? The vanishing trades and crafts being taken over by industry? The problems of overcrowding, of pollution, of our children’s daily educational life? The giant and stifling local construction business, the old coffee shops, the kazini, the corner grocery stores being pushed out by monster supermarkets? Even most of our wedding photography does its best to portray idyllic and classic romantic images when it seems that these weddings are not lasting too much. Does it not make one think that we are living a lie? I wish we could all become more sensitive and aware of what is going on around us and start trying to capture these images before it is too late. Let us attempt, as Reza himself aptly puts it, to begin “Acting as witnesses to what is happening around us.” Let us use the power of the image to better not only our way of life but also that of future generations. As the saying goes, “A picture can say a thousand words.” Let us start “talking with images.” Note: Iranian photographer Reza Deghati is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society. A renowned international photojournalist with over 40 years of work behind him, he has captured the world in photographs for many leading periodicals and his publications include over fifteen books. Reza lives in France because of forced exile from his country. Reza has devoted much of his life to documenting conflicts as well as to humanitarian efforts. His fearless dedication to showing the truth has not only many times caused him physical injury but he has also undergone torture during the Shah of Iran’s despotic rule and is still currently unable to return to Iran as his pictures depicting the Iranian Islamic Republic’s repression did not go down well with the regime. In fact, Reza has not been on his beloved soil since 1981 because of the specter of a pronounced death sentence should he ever return. Kevin Casha FMIPP FSWPP AMPS AMPA President.
Editor: Kevin Casha
Design: Articles: Sita Azzopardi & Malcolm Sammut Various contributors
Proof Reading: Louisa Tonna
Members Profiles: Daniel Vassallo
If you want your photos featured on the newsletter’s front page just send the images to: email@example.com Your contributions are always welcome
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Contents MIPP President Moment of Reflection
MIPP Book Launch and Forum by Carla Cantore
To Play or Attend Art School by Marcus Flores
MIPP QUALIFICATIONS â€“ Deadlines
Keith Ellul by Daniel Vassallo
MIPP Still Image Workshop
MIPP Activities : INGUARDIA WORKSHOP
MIPP Calendar | Jot down dates
Light Hearted Moments by Mario Casha
Membership Renewal and newcomers
MIPP Benefits of Being a Member
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MIPP book launch and forum with Carla Cantore. MIPP book launch and forum with Carla Cantore. A different MIPP members’ night hosted an Italian photographer Carla Cantore’s book launch and a forum discussing the publication. “Love in the Mirror”, Cantore’s project, explores the issues that surround eating disorders. Participating on the forum panel were MIPP President Kevin Casha, Carla Cantore, Dr. Mario Caruana and Antonello di Gennaro. Tiziana Buriani helped as interpreter.
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TO PLAY TRUANT OR TO ATTEND ART SCHOOL; is it possible to be self-taught and to make the grade?
I recommend it wholeheartedly to all who can stretch to it. It is the definitive work on colour and it is impossible to really master colour without it. The book is not easy; but art itself, indeed excellence in art, is likewise not easy. Please do not buy the student-edition because it is cheaper: you need all the information, for, as John Ruskin, once wrote: “colour is a lifetime of hard study and observation!” But back to Johannes Itten: he was often asked, “is it necessary to study colour, lighting and composition and still become great?”He always gave his students the same reply: “if without study, you are producing
by Marcus Flores
masterwork after masterwork, then do not waste
Yes, it is possible to be self-taught and to make it
even make a decent picture, let alone a great work of
big-time in any art-form; though the climb uphill is
art, then study is a must. A sine qua non condition!”
your time on study; but if you are grappling daily to
steeper and slower than if you had a guide. I am not saying that every picture we do or show Yet there is one very important thing you
needs to be a great work. We often use the camera as
can never learn without art school and that is
a sketch-pad or memory-aid just as the painter does.
Much of what we do is merely an EXERCISE, and a
about joining the luminaries of the art? Johannes
beneficial and didactic one at that. But, let there be a
Itten, of the Bauhaus, wrote “THE COMPLETE ART
modicum, at least, of art, or emotion, in the pictures
we show to the public. If nothing of this spirit exists in
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our picture, then let us willingly consign it to the bin, cackling like a hen laying eggs as we destroy it...... Additionally, though idiom and style, form and content may change through the centuries, the same art-principles apply to every work, with a minor difference. Let us give examples: a landscape by Grout, a marine painting by Winslow Homer of more-recent vintage, and a still-more-modern work by Wassily Kandinsky: they are as different as they come; all three are beautiful and I have had the chance to study them at length: but I noticed in “Ernst Spass” by Kandinsky, that all the most profound truths about composition and colour were as present as they had been in Grout and in Winslow. “Ernst Spass” means “serious play” - the way children engage in it, and if you fixed your eyes on the picture, the abstract tiny drawings in it began to move and jump and twist-and-turn just like carefree kids do in a playground when school breaks up.
Yes, the idiom, the vein, the way we express ourselves, change over time, but THE PRINCIPLES REMAIN INVARIABLE. Photography is difficult for the camera is a machine, and machines are headstrong and recalcitrant. Master the principles and make it speak and say what you want it to say. N.B. the only difference between photography and painting lies in photography’s unique personal thrust: it can do things the painter cannot. Marcus Flores
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MIPP QUALIFICATIONS – SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN LICENTIATE (LMIPP) QUALIFICATION: Dear Members, We would like to inform you of a major change in the LMIPP qualification. As from this year, members can apply for an LMIPP qualification with a DIGITAL submission. The following are the deadline dates for the new LMIPP digital qualifications: Naturally one needs to think before to start preparing the panel. For full details refer to our website and if interested, submit your application right away to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing date for submission of LMIPP digital panels.
7 – 9pm at Le Meridien Hotel.
PUBLIC JUDGING OF LMIPP DIGITAL QUALIFICATIONS
19.30 Le Meridien Hotel.
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Photography by Keith Ellul
Keith Ellul Interview by Daniel Vassallo
photographer Vince Bellizzi had asked Keith’s father
Keith Ellul was born and raised in Ta’ Xbiex. At a later
but Keith refused. Like many other teenagers, he just
time, he moved to San Ġwann where he now lives
wanted to enjoy life.
with his wife and daughter. For the past 22 years, he
In 2011, Keith reviewed his stance on photography
has been working at Continental Cars Ltd. as a Spare
and decided to take it seriously. He googled
Parts Manager. During his free time, he likes to go
photography courses in Malta and found Kevin Casha.
camping, drawing and photographing landscapes.
After contacting him, he joined the Malta Institute
Art runs in his family’s genes. Keith’s grandfather
for Professional Photography and undertook all the
was an artist, a painter, a sculptor, a writer and also
available courses with a Nikon D3000. Initially, Keith
an amateur photographer. Since he was a child,
focused on learning the technique until he mastered
Keith used to spend a considerable amount of time
it. Nowadays he concentrates more on the creative
with his grandfather and recalls the hours spent
and the artistic aspects of photography. His work
together inside the darkroom developing and printing
is very much based on thought and reflection and
negatives. A couple of his grandfather’s shots have
bringing out the mood.
to encourage him to start a course in photography
been also included in the latest book Photography in Malta – The History and the Protagonists written by
In 2013 he took part in a workshop - f1.4 organised
by Zvezdan Relijc & David Pisani. This workshop
His father, though not an artist, used to work as a
involved the use of film cameras. David gave them
sales representative, selling photographic equipment.
2 rolls of 36 Kodak Tri-X 400 and their assignment
Therefore Keith has grown up in a photography-
was to shoot a series of shots. At the time, Keith was
friendly environment yet this did not influence him
still shooting many types of photography and had not
in his early years. He admits that he was not even
yet decided what his genre was. He started thinking
minimally interested in photography and used to take
about what he really loves shooting. Since he was a
it for granted. When he was a 13 year old teenager,
child, he has always spent plenty of time by the sea,
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where he feels at peace with himself. He has a deep appreciation towards marine surroundings and considers it as a huge natural force. Therefore he decided to capture a series of coastal images for the workshop and since then he has become one of Maltaâ€™s best Landscape/ Seascape photographers. Filters and tripods are essential in landscape photography. In the beginning he used to buy cheap quality filters on ebay to test them and he soon realised
Photography by Keith Ellul
that their quality was very poor. Eventually
although Keith stresses that most of his shots do
he discovered Lee filters some 3 years ago and
not exceed 2 seconds of time and not all landscape
purchased all the essential filters, mainly polarisers,
photos should be long exposures by default, it is not
several neutral density filters - namely the 4, 6, 10
just a matter of sticking a filter in front of the lens.
and 15 stop - and gradient filters too. His aim is to
It all depends whether the photographer wants to
achieve the best possible light in camera and spend
quieten the action or whether he prefers a more
less time on the computer during post processing.
In fact, he tries not to spend more than 30 minutes editing an image on the computer. Tripods have to be
For long exposures, Keith uses a cable release
sturdy and light at the same time, he recently changed
controller to avoid unnecessary camera shake that
from a three-way head to a ball-head and he finds the
comes with pressing the shutter release button.
ball-head much easier to set-up and compose the
During long exposures, camera shake is to be avoided
at all costs, otherwise the image recorded will be blurry. Some long exposures can take quite a lot of
Long exposures are a part of landscape photography,
Photography by Keith Ellul
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time. Keithâ€™s longest exposure was 17 minutes long,
therefore getting it right the first time is crucial,
megapixels equate to increased file sizes. For every
otherwise he would need to wait another 17 minutes
single shot, he makes 3 backups of the RAW file as
to record the same shot again.
well as 4 backups of the TIFF file. These end up taking a lot of space thus requiring spacious hard drives,
Currently he shoots with a Nikon D800 and he has
NAS and cloud storage. But this is a price he is willing
owned this DSLR for the past 4 years. He owns the
to pay to prevent the loss of his photos.
following Nikon lenses, the 50mm 1.8G, 16-35mm f/4, 24-70mm f/2.8 and the 70-200mm f/2.8. Keith is
Many photographers complain that Malta does not
very meticulous in his approach towards photography.
offer opportunities to shoot interesting landscapes.
His gear is still in pristine condition because he treats
Keith thinks otherwise and his works are there to
it with care. At the end of every shoot, he goes
prove it. During the past few years he has managed to
back home and cleans his equipment thoroughlly
shoot more than 50 stunning landscape and seascape
to remove salt water which might cause rust on his
photographs around Malta and Gozo. He thinks that
camera and damage the coating on lenses and filters.
he has managed to explore Malta thoroughly but he
However he does not refrain from using his expensive
admits that he still has many places to capture in Gozo.
equipment in challenging situations, because that’s
He travels to Gozo around 4 times a year and he goes
what he bought it for.
there mainly for photography. ‘I lost an old friend’ is what he said about the loss of the Dwejra Window
The D800 is an ideal camera for landscape
in Gozo, the 28 metre tall limestone natural arch that
photography and that is why Keith purchased it. Its
has been a landmark not only for photographers like
36 megapixels offer a lot of detail and allow him to
him but also for people around the world.
print larger photos. As soon as Nikon releases the new DSLR in the D800 range, Keith is planning to
His favourite season to go and shoot in Gozo is winter
purchase it as a backup camera. However, more
because of the winter colours, the rough sea and
Photography by Keith Ellul
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Photography by Keith Ellul
cloudy skies that allow him to achieve
travelled abroad to shoot landscapes for the first time.
those dramatic shots. The magic moments during the day are sunsets
He went for a 7 day trip to Cornwall in the UK, with his friend
and sunrises and more often than not
Duncan Cauchi, with the aim of exploring new places and enhance
he goes camping for a few days to be
his wonderful collection of landscapes and seascapes. These apps
at the location during those brief and
have helped him to plan his itinerary 3 months in advance and the
special moments and record them on
trip was immensely productive because he already knew where he
was going day by day and how and where the light was best. Other apps give him valuable information concerning the cloud cover,
Every single outing is pre-planned, he
precipitation and wind.
uses several apps on his smartphone that help him plan his outdoor
Wind is his greatest enemy, when the camera is standing on a tripod
photography by telling him times
recording long exposures, wind will affect the tripod ever so slightly,
and directions where the sun and
blurring the final image just a little bit and making it unusable. During
moon will rise and set. In 2017, Keith
these years, Keith has encountered harsh weather conditions, he
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was hit by freak waves in the search for extreme but
have been praising his work in the last couple of
unique locations to shoot from.
years and he started believing more in the quality of his work. This encouraged him to start taking part in
He protects his equipment from sea rush by always
international competitions where he is doing very
carrying with him duct tape and garbage bags that he
uses to cover the camera when conditions are tough yet still acceptable for shooting. However when the
His first competition was a single shot submission
conditions are not right, he packs his equipment,
for the Black and White Spider Awards which got
puts on his headphones with his favourite vikings &
nominated. Since then he kept participating in many
meditation music and simply enjoys nature. Leaving
competitions with one, two or a series of shots and he
the location he went to shoot at without taking
has always been nominated or given an honourable
photos happens very often because, as he says, he is
mention. In December 2015 he published a photo
at the mercy of nature.
book. A fellow photographer & publisher approached Keith and told him that he wanted to publish a series of
Keith is very selective with his shots and has very
10 books from 10 different photographers and Keithâ€™s
high standards when it comes to choosing excellent
became the first book on landscape photography.
photos from good shots. He would rather wait for the right day and the right moment to acquire the best
In March 2016 Keith was encouraged to organise an
possible shot rather than settling down for something
exhibition by his employer who has supported him.
less than he has in mind. This mentality has paid off in
It was held in the Porsche showroom, a very well
the long run because his works are now recognisable
attended exhibition with a panel of 17 photographs.
and have a unique imprint. They are easily associated
Kevin Casha was his curator. Keith loves to involve
with his surrealistic, harmonious, silent and sometimes
Kevin in everything he does because he is a great
dynamic style. He created and developed his own
friend who has always believed in Keith and has given
identity, hence people can identify his shots without
him many opportunities to grow and develop as an
needing to watermark them.
Even though sometimes shooting landscapes requires
Keith has a personal website www.keithellul.com
climbing into dangerous positions, Keith thinks that
where he sells his photographs. Only a limited
no shot is worth dying for. He always takes all the
number of 5 copies of every image are sold, providing
precautions and also has an app on his phone that
a certificate of authenticity to his clients. Keith is a
alerts his family in case he does not move from the
true artist and a professional photographer and in the
same location for more than 60 minutes. He takes
near future he has many more interesting projects in
what he calls calculated risks but even during one of
store, so we only need to wait and see!
the monthly lectures given to the members of the MIPP about landscape photography, he underlined
the importance of preparedness and safety in
preventing avoidable accidents.
waking up early, struggling in difficult weather conditions and getting into risky positions and situations. Great shots do not come on their own, you need to work for them and that is what Keith has been doing. International landscape photographers
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The single most important
component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it Ansel Adams
To obtain those shots, he had to do many sacrifices,
Continental Cars Ltd.
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Photography by ANGIE CONTI
Reflecting on life by | Photography by DUNCAN CAUCHI
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Photography by BRIAN AGIUS
Photography byNIK Dâ€™ANCONA
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Photography by JASON SPITERI
Photography by ANDREW MUSCAT
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Photography by SITA AZZOPARDI
Pulmos Mundi | Photography by Sergio Muscat
Photography by MARK ANTHONY BUGEJA
GET QUALIFIED BY MIPP
APPLY FOR YOUR DIGITAL LICENTIATESHIP:
http://mipp-malta.com/qualifications/ 19 | The official MIPP Newsletter
Still Image Workshops Some behind-the-scenes images taken at a recent Still Image Award workshop session on Fashion photography, courtesy of the students.
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BENEFIT FULLY FROM YOUR MIPP MEMBERSHIP
DOWNLOAD THE HANDBOOK http://mipp-malta.com/wp-content/uploads/mipphandbook2016.pdf 21 | The official MIPP Newsletter
MIPP ACTIVITIES by Kevin Casha
Photography by Suman Cona
A selection of images taken at a recent INGUARDIA re-enactment in the impressive main square of Fort St. Elmo, Valletta. The MIPP would like to thank the Malta Tourism Authority and Heritage Malta for their co-operation during the workshop.
Photography by Kevin Abela
Photography by Malcolm Spiteri
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Photography by Ivan Ebejer
Photography by Daphne Cassar
Photography by Glenn Buhagiar
No man ever reached to
excellence in any one art or
profession without having passed through the slow and painful
process of study and preparation Photography by Henry Aquilina
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MIPP Members’ meeting
PUBLIC JUDGING OF LMIPP DIGITAL QUALIFICATIONS Tuesday 25th July | 19:30 Hilltop Gardens, Naxxar
MIPP GOZO PHOTOGRAPHY ONE DAY WORKSHOP For details and booking email@example.com Sunday 9th July Ferry departure: 08.15 – return: 18.00
MIPP Members’ meeting VERONICA BUSUTTIL A DOSE OF VITAMIN SEA
KEVIN CASHA & CHARLES CALLEJA MEMBERS’ IMAGE REVIEW
MIPP Members Meeting
(members to send 3 jpg images – not more than
Rik Van Colen
Tuesday 8th August | 19:30
Tuesday 4th July | 19.30
Hilltop Gardens, Naxxar
WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY DAY
IMPORTANT CLOSING DATE FOR MIPP QUALIFICATION SUBMISSIONS
2mb – by 30th July on firstname.lastname@example.org) Hilltop Gardens, Naxxar
Lecture & Lunch (Details tBA)
Bookings by 15th August on email@example.com Saturday 19th August | 10:00 Hilltop Gardens, Naxxar
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LIGHT HEARTED MOMENTS
The perils of long exposure
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by Mario Casha
CANON RENTAL SERVICE Photography equipment available for hire • • • • • • • •
EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6 L IS USM EF 70-200mm 1:2,8 L IS II USM EF 24-105mm 1:4,0 L IS USM EF 24-70mm 1:2.8L USM EF 8-15mm f/4 L USM fisheye EOS 5D III body EOS 6D body Speedlite 600 EX RT
For full details and conditions visit www.avantech.com.mt or call on 2148 8800 Ask about our ‘Try before you buy’ scheme!
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Membership Renewal = =
We would like to remind you that we are now accepting payments for 2017 membership renewals. By renewing the €40 fee (from 2016 it is €40 even for those that have been members for 5 or more years), you will have a chance to
Become a qualified photographer with our three levels of qualification: Licentiate, Associate and Fellowship
Reciprocal photographic qualification with the best UK Institution
Get reduced rates to our courses and workshops
Informative monthly lectures and newsletters
Exclusive photographic competitions ONLY for MIPP members and much more
One may pay by either sending in a cheque to: “27, Moonlight, Giovanni Papaffy Street, Ta’ Paris, Birkirkara, BKR 4021, Malta”, together with the relative membership fee.
(Cheques are to be made payable to “The Treasurer, MIPP”)
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Pay directly from the BOV website: www.bov.com and log in to BOV internet banking with your Securekey.
OR When attending an MIPP Event.
www.mipp-malta.com 28 | The official MIPP Newsletter
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Avantech are pleased to announce that they now form part of the global partner network for AXIS Communicaঞons, a Canon subsibiary company. Axis Communicaঞons are global market leaders in network cameras and video encoders, driving network video development, providing a variety of network video products and creaঞng various products to broaden the use of IP networks.
“Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll nd an Axis network camera to suit your needs. From robust outdoor cameras to discreet products for sensiঞve environments.” AXIS cameras provide excellent HDTV image quality regardless of lighঞng condiঞons and the size and characterisঞcs of the monitored areas. And they do it while minimizing bandwidth and storage needs to help you save energy. Analyঞc applicaঞons developed by Axis transform network cameras into business tools. They can alert you to developing situaঞons and help you make smart decisions about operaঞons and resource allocaঞon. Data can also be integrated with your other systems. For more informaࢼon on the full range go call on 2148 8800 and ask for Nakita Aard Vassallo.
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THE MIPP SPONSORS Non-Profit organizations like the Malta Institute of Professional Photography are constantly in need of funds in order to be able to function in a modern and professional environment. That is why it was important to have various sponsors interested in networking with the MIPP and at the same time involving them in important issues concerning the photographic trade. The MIPP feels it is vital to stimulate joint events and initiatives together with our sponsors. This policy helps our members to be constantly aware of products and services that our sponsors market thus not only encouraging an increase in business but also benefitting our members through special occasional offers and deals. This co-operation and belief by our sponsors, most of who have been with us since the MIPPâ€™s inception, has helped in no small way in making the Institute what it is today. It is one of the MIPPâ€™s main objectives to help keep this co-operation improving. We urge our members to truly support our sponsors by making use of their services and products whenever possible. Our sponsors show faith in the MIPP so it is only fair that our members should reciprocate. Give your custom to those companies and entities that help us.
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Web: www.mipp-malta.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Address: 27, Moonlight, Giovanni Papaffy Street, Taâ€™ Paris, Birkirkara, BKR 4021, Malta Tel No: 21486097
2017 July / August
Published on Jun 17, 2017
The official Newsletter of the Malta Institute of Professional Photography. Designed by Sita Azzopardi. Edited by Kevin Casha.