Since its foundation in 1961, the Malta Photographic Society has grown from a handful of members, meeting in a store-room in the corridors of St Augustine’s Priory in Valletta, to the present status of a National Society with its own headquarters and with a membership averaging the 200 mark.
When Mr Joseph Sammut, a businessman from Valletta, got together a handful of his friends and offered his store as the first “headquarters” of the Society, he never imagined that his baby would grow into the mature adult it is today.
Through the good services of Fr Celestine Portelli OSA, another Founder member, the first meetings were held in the Priory in Old Bakery Street, Valletta. As in all beginnings, the first meetings were held in quite difficult conditions, but in spite of all these handicaps, the Society plodded on.
In 1966, through the generosity of a good friend and past President of the Society, Charles A. Herbert, the Society moved to the present premises in the same street and only a few hundred meters away from the Augustine Priory. This was undoubtedly the turning point of the Society. Members started to join rapidly and in a short time, both amateur and professional photographers looked upon the Society as the sole means of furthering their photography. Local photographic firms and agencies, as well as individuals extended their support by presenting handsome trophies for the Society’s various competitions.
The activities of the Society are by no means restricted to local shores. Through the work of some highly talented members, the name of the Society and that of the Maltese Islands has spread to the four corners of the world.
MPS members are now regularly winning gold, silver and bronze medals and a variety of citations. They have received the highest distinctions from the top photographic federations in the world.
Thanks to the sponsorship of the Danish Photographic Federation, the Society became a full member of FIAP in 1983 and was represented in most FIAP Congresses since then. In 1986, the Society celebrated its 25th Anniversary with the first and only photographic journal to be published in Malta.
In 1989, a reciprocal agreement was signed in Italy between the National Italian Federation and the Malta Photographic Society. This led to a number of visits by leading Italian photographers to our Islands to form part of the various judging panels.
The 30th Anniversary of the Society was marked with the publication of the “Malta Photography Yearbook”.
To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, The Society produced a photography book featuring photographs by its members.
The highlight of the MPS Year is the Annual Photographic Competition and Exhibition, now in its 53rd Edition. This showcase of over two hundred works by MPS members and non-members, features the best of photographic works produced during the particular year. Gold, Silver and Bronze awards are won in different categories and the exhibited photos are enjoyed by numerous visitors every year.
Lately the society refurbished it’s meeting room with the installation of state of the art gallery lighting and audio visual equipment.
The future of the Malta Photographic Society looks bright with a good number of new enthusiasts attending photography courses given regularly by the society where most of these students end up becoming members. New young members adapt very well with the numerous established senior members, making this Society the ideal place to learn and exchange skills and ideas.