Changes to All Q Submissions - 'Being in Business'

It is a constitutional requirement of NZIPP membership that members be 'Persons earning an income in the professional photographic industry'. There has been a lot of debate about this over the years. Prior to the AGM in 2004 the requirement was 'Persons earning a living in the professional photographic industry'. The key word in question is 'income' vs 'living'. Here is an excerpt of the explanatory notes from the time of the 2004 AGM:


'The terminology 'a living' suggests that the photographer must be full-time, yet it is recognized that many photographers starting up a career in photography are unable to do so full-time initially, rather that this is a partial process as they build up a network of clients. This wording change will allow part-timers striving towards full time careers the opportunity to join the NZIPP, and to learn and grow within the organisation. As a Provisional member there is no promotional benefit, and therefore no risk of damage to the Institute until that member is at a suitably improved level to qualify through the Q submission process.'


Some members have commented to Q Panel Convenors and the NZIPP Board that a few members seeking Q's may not actually be 'in business'. The Board is not aware of any current cases where this is actually happening. Potentially someone who earns a dollar from photography is eligible for membership, and provided their work is up to the required standard can get a Q. As a professional body we want our members to act in a professional manner, both creatively and in business. As part of our desire to increase the wider professionalism of the Institute and its membership, the Board wishes to clarify their current position on members "being in business". The Q submission requirements for all Q categories; Wedding, Portrait, Commercial, and also Direct Entry, are to include a prerequisite for members to demonstrate their current business status.


In addition to the creative requirements of a Q Submission, the new prerequisite requires applicants to provide proof of employment or business registration. The rational behind using government issued documents is that if a member wishes to mislead the Institute about their business status they will also need to mislead the IRD, something that no one wishes to do! Note that you are not expected to provide actual turnover and income figures, just evidence that you are registered as "being in business". At this stage the requirement applies to members submitting for all future Q's. There are currently no plans to require retrospective proof of 'being in business' by qualified members who already have at least one Q.The current list of acceptable documentation includes any one of the following:

  • evidence that you are GST registered - as a sole-trader, company, or partnership. (You do not need to be GST registered if your turnover is below $60 000, some members may fall in this category)
  • evidence that you file an IR3 tax return - for sole-traders
  • evidence that you file an IR4 tax return - for a limited liability company or a Certificate of Incorporation
  • evidence that you file an IR7 tax return - for a partnership
  • a letter from an employer if you are not self-employed, but work as a photographer or for a photographer

The NZ Companies Office (www.companies.govt.nz) or the Inland Revenue (www.ird.govt.nz) should be able to help you with documentation to support the first 4 options listed above.


If you have any comments or questions about the change please email info@nzipp.org.nz so that they can be addressed.