We have received so many letters, emails and positive comments from our members, companies we have reviewed for our site and others that we thought it would be nice to acknowledge their kind words on our blog.

Thank you all for your support over the year. We welcome others to add their recommendations and positive comments here. If you have something nice to say about our independent staff members or IPA, please email us and tell us your story, if selected we will publish it here.

Member ID: 06153 • Since: 7/20/2006

Miguel Ramo Del Valle
Member ID: 06153
Member Since: 7/20/2006

Michel currently resides in Alicante, Spain and travels to many impoverished and third world countries where he finds the many stories he tells in his brutally honest photographic and literary works.

His Story

First of all I want to clarify that I was born in Paris (France), live in Spain from 1975 and my English is not as good as I would like.  I used to write articles, but I am actually more renowned in my country as a freelance photographer. I have always taken my jobs seriously and in a professional manner and I could not care if others want to put a label on me as a professional photographer or not. I have been on assignments throughout the world and you can visit my profile and see where I travel.

I belong to IPA and am a member of AFP (Professional Photographers Association of Spain) because I believe both of these associations can be useful to me and to all their members. Members and the staff of these organizations try to help one another, to support their members through networking with suitable contacts and to share their knowledge.

IPA was probably not meant for people who are full time journalists with full time jobs with media companies, but rather for those that are independents (like me) and need some of the access and experience those in the working press receive.

What I’m really sure about is that the IPA site is a good way for me (and other members) to gain international exposure for their work. I am an IPA member since 2006 and feel grateful to this association and especially to its president, Len Rapoport, who has helped me whenever I have called upon him to do so.

Thank you Len for the years of support and help you have given me and other IPA members.

IPA Member Showcase : http://internationalpress.com/index.php?file=member_showcase-michel

My website is available in spanish, english and french at: http://miguelramo.com/

Ellen Gilmer
Member ID: 06362
Member Since: 10/19/2007
As a published writer and author of two books and a former member of the Agora International Press Corps/ Travel Writers Group (Waterford, Ireland), Ellen has published articles concern the arts, and her Website, Crystal Clear Artforms is dedicated to the development and promotion of Thematic Arts.

Her Story

I have found the IPA and President and Chief Editor Len Rapoport to be extremely helpful and valuable to the ongoing work and careers of serious photojournalists. The International Press Association Web site itself offers complete examples and strong evidence of the organization’s versatility and excellence in all areas of press activity and publishing.

As to the IPA Press card and other documents members receive — I can honestly say it does wonders, even for new members, in opening doors and providing legitimate access to myriad events, locations and areas of immediate importance to photojournalists which would otherwise be inaccessible.

Len Rapoport is truly a person of high personal and professional integrity who leads a highly acclaimed, successful, serious and excellent press organization. I think you can tell that I am a very enthusiastic and supportive member of the IPA and will continue to be for the future.

Thanks for your ear — always keep one open.

Ellen L Gilmer
Correspondent, IPA

Dr. Susan Grey Gilbert
Member ID: 06581
Member Since: 4/05/2010

Dr. Gilbert is a Physician specilizing in Forensic Pathology, ER and Travel Medicine.

She resides in Crowheart, Wyoming and is currently working on a paper on journalists, photographers, and war correspondents comparing health risk prevention measures employed in the time of Margaret Bourke-White (1930-1950’s) with the present time.

You can see her profile on the IPA web site by clicking here.

Her Story

I received the ID pass and cards. Thank you very much! I have high praise for the detail and thought that went into this complete press identification package.  With the letter of authorization you sent me and now my own IPA business cards and email address, I feel confident I will gain the media access I need to do my research and take my photos.   It is nice to know that I can now give out my professional business cards, rather than scribbling an email address on the back of a piece of scrap paper!

I will involve myself with submissions to the website – but may take a month or so. At the moment the only things I am doing are Sheep Dog Herding Trials. I am hoping to publish a coffee table sort of book later this year to that effect. I am also doing some papers for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Glasgow) where I am in a post graduate program in Travel Medicine. I am a physician – although I now do mostly sheepdog training and photography..but hey? .

Giorgio Uccellini
Member ID: 06367
Member Since: 11/05/2007

Giorgio is an Electronic Engineer, Photographer and Musician. He is an Account manager for AUDIODROME webmagazine for METAL MANIAC magazine and FLASH magazine. I am also an Electronic Design Engineer for NUZOO S.r.l. Georgio is one of our Photo Contest Winners and took Second Place out of 1600 entries.

His Story

I will be going again to Lapland, Finland where I took my contest winning photo.
I have already contacted some of the museums and another ice village I want to visit…..and have already gotten my photo pass for each one. I will now be able to take pictures without any problems.

People in Finland have welcomed me warmly when I write them and let them know I am with IPA and explain that I would like to have a photo pass to get better pictures of their museums, snow castles and other photo opportunities.

It’s really great and I know without IPA I would never be granted this access or treated so nice. I Hope to be able to get great photos also this year and I’m really longing to take photos of the Aurora Borealis. In these last 5 years I’ve never had the luck to see it and I really hope this could be the year I will.

Thanks for your kindness and your hard work in managing IPA. Membership has given me great opportunities in these years and I’m proud to be member.

Robert Gittens
Member ID: 06603
Member Since: 8/27/2010

I have worked for three newspapers spanning eight years writing stories that range from human interest to sports to cops and then, to community news. My travel experience includes 46 states and nine non-US countries. I freelance to satisfy my need to write and experience life in all its splendor as well as bring in some extra money.

His Story

I had discovered an opportunity thought impossible to Americans before. There is a semi-annual linguistics conference held in Santiago de Cuba in January. The U.S. Treasury Department guidelines on freelance journalism seemed to fit this and my experience in journalism made me qualified. The only rub was that I needed to display an active and substantial portfolio as well as have press credentials in order to prove legitimacy.

Well, in August 2010, I sent a message to International Press Association’s president, Leonard Rapoport inquiring about membership. The site at first glance seemed to be exactly what I needed.

Below is my initial correspondence to IPA:

I have experience in news writing and I am considering membership to your organization because I am freelance and would like to have endorsed press credentials.

I am considering a trip to Cuba to cover the Twelfth International Symposium on Social Communication, Centre for Applied Linguistics, Santiago de Cuba, January 17-21, 2011 (http://www.wowcuba.com/esp/comunicacionsocial/SSC.html).

I am prepared to do a story on the conference and I believe the subject of the conference and the fact that an American is accepted is a worthy story.

Will my membership positively affect the Treasury Department’s approval of my trip to Cuba? What do you think?”

I received the information I needed and Len Rapoport helped me understand what I needed to do to build a strong profile and publish my works on the IPA web site. I read all the articles in the IPA Blog and knew what I had to do.

As a result of my efforts at IPA and the Press ID package I received, I was indeed able to obtain a license to travel to Cuba because of my membership at International Press Association. The credibility that the official press credentials provided and the ability to publish on the website as well as post previously published works allowed me to demonstrate to the U.S. Treasury that I am a practicing journalist.

Without the membership, I know I would not have obtained the license.

Dominique Schreckling
Member ID: 06617
Member Since: 11/10/2010

Dominique lives in the French speaking part of Switzerland, near Lake Geneva. He discovered photography over 15 years ago and it has become his passion.

His main interests in photos are:  Nature photography (landscape, wildlife, macro),  Travel photography (especially Africa)  and  Events photography (mostly sports, festivals, music). Some of his works can be seen under at his web site or on the IPA site.

His Story

I attended 33rd International Balloon Festival in the Lake Geneva area of Switzerland.  I entered the press tent of the balloon festival and asked for an accreditation presenting the IPA press pass, and told them I would write an article with photos for the IPA web site. I was given press access to the 9 day event which not only gave me great access for the press only, but saved me a great deal of money too. My independent staff membership at IPA not only gets the doors open to get the accreditation for this event, but it does also open the doors for other events too.

Now that I have seen that the IPA press pass does really help to get into these events, I know I will renew my membership to IPA with your two year offer now that I qualify for it. IPA has helped me gain press access and fantastic photos and I realize now that IPA can save me  a lot of money by gaining the free access to many events, shows and get me discounts on everything from travel to lodging.

Please see the article I wrote for this event and my photos.

John Soule
Member ID: 06675
Member Since: 08/15/2011

John is from the Washington DC area and has been in photography and photo editing as a hobby since the mid-1960s. John was nominated ‘Best Photographer of the Year 2010’ by a panel of judges for Photos2Win. Samples of his amazing works of photographic art can be seen in our Photo Showcase on IMPress.

John just returned from a trip to Northern Italy and as a new member wasn’t sure about the strength of IPA and our Press identification package.  Here is the email we just received on his return from this trip.


I am back (~3000 photos later) from Italy.  This amount will take a while to go through as you can imagine.  (Some are bracketed for HDR processing).   I hope to put together an article in the near future about our travels, (motorboat, seaplane, train, auto, walking, etc.), throughout the lake region above Milan and extending into Switzerland.  My focus will be how to view these areas from a different perspective – land, sea and air.  I was able to get into a few locations using my IPA credentials and they may been an influence on our host at the villa we rented.

It was a wonderful trip – but hard to balance photography with pleasure (I didn’t want my wife to feel as though she was along for a photoshoot while on our wedding anniversary vacation.) I am glad I joined IPA in time for this trip, I can honestly say having IPA, IMPress and my credentials made things a lot easier for me and my wife.  Thanks for all you have done for us, will be editing my images and getting the best up on our Photo Showcase.


John Soulé

Ken Connelly
Member ID: 06289
Past Member Joined: 04/18/2007

Kenneth Connelly is an Author, Speaker and Educator on Parental Child Abduction. He is a former law enforcement officer, emergency medical technician and disabled veteran of the United States Army. He has worked as an adult and juvenile corrections officer. He has testified as an expert witness for similar cases. He has spoken before the Texas State Congress, and his involvement with the Center for the Missing and other organizations has helped put a face to this quiet crime.

From LinkedIn

Ken Connelly has sent you a message.
Date: 11/12/2011
Subject: IMpress


I’m GAME!  So I just finished reading a number of articles and webpages on your new online magazine IMPress. I am really impressed!

You have truly taken a dream and made it into something. After all of the looking online–to compare–I believe what you have is only a seed and will grow into something much larger. The site has improved upon IPA’s original media site like nothing I could have imagined.

Please let me know if there is and what I need to do, to get the chance to write for you again. (BTW, you know writing for IPA is what landed me my first book) I know there is the IPA membership but beyond that, please let me know.

Best and Happy Veterans Day,


Tom Griffiths
Member ID: 06690
Member Since: 12/13/2011

A photojournalist from Melbourne Australia and has had his photos and articles published in digital media and in newspapers. He has been on photo assignments including, weddings, sporting, concerts and product photography.

Date: July 5, 2012 2:35:22 AM EDT

From: Tom Griffiths <tom.griffiths@xxxxx>

Subject: International Press Association

To: Leonard Rapoport <lenrap@internationalpress.com>

Hi Len,

Hope you are well & you are enjoying the sunny weather in your part of the world. Like to personally thank you.

Have directed people to the IPA and Impress websites, they have been ImPressed by the quality of work. My cousins and aunties in the states were blown away.

Due to my profile on your site, I directed a publication to your site and have picked up work from them and a couple of other people indirectly.

I’m currently under the guidance of sports photographer Tim Clayton who is helping me. He is off to do his seventh Olympic games in London.

Thank you to you and Dominic for your help this year, which has been a tough one for me since mums passing.

I look forward to contributing to IPA, and will be renewing my membership this year and many more years to come.

Thank you Len.

Appreciate your time and help always.

Kind Regards


After His First Year With IPA – Tom Wrote…December 4, 2012

Dear Len,

It’s a pleasure to renew my membership this year. Thank you for this year. It’s been a great learning curve and fantastic to have you as my mentor.

I have learned and achieved so much this year with your guidance and help being a member in IPA.

The doors opened to me only because I was a member of IPA. I would have had to been a member of Getty’s or some of the big Australian Newspapers to get the assignments. IPA opened those doors Len and for that I thank you.

The more assignments I do. The more doors open through networking and people seeing your work published. I have found that it is getting busier and have had to turn work down. Which is a good situation to be in.

I have some fantastic helpers such as Sports Photographer Tim Clayton amazing photographer and Gettys photographer in Melbourne Scott Barbour. Who has won so many awards worldwide
along with Tim. Both ethical and fantastic people.

I’m trying to find a life and work balance. Since mum’s passing it’s the little things that count. I find now.

I’m currently in the middle of building a website and looking at making a list of assignments for next year. Also learning to use Facebook and LinkedIn. Have to edit and update. New to social media. Even my friends and family don’t know Im on Facebook.

Appreciate your help and time always Len. Thank you.

Kind Regards


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