TFT: What was the inception of AIPTIA like?
JM: AIPTIA stands for All India Photographic Trade & Industry Association it was formed somewhere around 1973 in Mumbai and the humble beginnings happened in the Fort area of Mumbai, where the entire photographic markets of wholesale imports are. From there in the next 5 years from 1973 to 1978 the first exhibition was put up in Mumbai with a mere size of 25 to 30 exhibitors. This was the beginning and the industry where memberships are from the members of the industry who are importers, photographers, wholesalers, retailers; they all are on the platform.
TFT: This is the 24th edition. How has it been?
JM: 24th edition stands for the 24th number of exhibitions that happened here. Earlier from 1978 onwards the exhibition was happening once
in two years in Mumbai. Then from 2000 onwards we thought of bringing the exhibition on an annual basis and finally it took shape in 2005. We
went all the odd years in Delhi and all even years in Mumbai. This makes a combination of 24th exhibition as 24th edition.
TFT: What is the USP of the exhibition?
JM: The technology change was slow from 1978 to almost 2000. I would say that the actual digital revolution started in 1994-95, when the first digital camera came out, which was meant for consumers and then from 2000 the professional digital camera came out, that means traditional technology of film based silver highlights, which in consumer angle, is buying a retail film and putting it in a regular camera and shoot and go for developing, all this process was out. So the new technology which came through digital media, that means you take an image and just capture it on the memory cards rather than on the films, there has been a drastic change from 2000 onwards and therefore the USP about such an exhibition is ever since it has become a digital photography world where the images are taken on smart cards and other media, the other allied equipment and the software part have started to upgrade on a rapid pace so if you are not touching such exhibitions everyone year or two years, you are out of the trade. So the USP is that every time the fair is there by AIPTIA for digital imaging products line or the digital imaging service aspect, one must visit them so as to get updated with the products and services.
TFT: I would like to ask you in this age of hi-tech, how does it compliment or how does it give kind of a leeway for photographers when you have so many high end mobile cameras coming along?
JM: Ever since the digital camera came, in the next few years from then, the film based photography image capturing and image processing was out as I said, and then the digital images were captured and taken on a memory card and stored in a hard disk or some other media and then were sent because of the internet that came into the picture, and everybody knows how fast the internet has spread across India, from every nook and corner of India, internet is available, images fly from one place to another place maybe in about a few seconds and so more people are encouraged to take images. The moment you click, you receive the image and by the time you call the person, they have received the image, then they say revise the image or send me your image, so the image transfer speed has increased so much, you need thereafter either processing to upgrade the image quality or you
need a software to play with it. If you want to print it, since it is a digital image, you can print either on traditional photographing paper or you can print on inkjet, thermal, laser or on wooden items, or mugs or glasses or anything. They then become gift articles. If you look at the original image, the
use of the image has become multifold, it can be on the back of your mobile or on your pillow, and you can put the image anywhere you like. So, this
is how the new avenues have cropped up in this field of photography imaging industry.
TFT : How many countries are participating this year?
JM: To be very honest, in the neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Srilanka, Pakistan, there is a big buzz about this exhibition, but unfortunately, we being an association, we can’t issue a letter to them so that they can get a visa to come to India, otherwise this business would become double if at least 10 – 20 neighboring countries come in a big way. Those who are business men, who already have an Indian visa, or they have a source to get an Indian visa through proper channels, they can come in, but on an average this show is predominantly for the Indian photographers who are in millions. If in a country like India with almost 20 lakh photographers, out of which only 2% to 5% come and visit then that’s it, because this is the only infrastructure in Mumbai where 25,000 sq mtr area gets consumed, so there is no point in going beyond the Indian boundaries because the consumers are here, the photographers are here, the whole market exists here so it is meant for Indian market.