Just as no man is an island, professional photographers need a community where they can openly exchange advice or ideas, and commiserate when dealing with a tough client or a creative block. By joining a professional organization dedicated to photographers, you can meet others who love photography and live by it, while reaping the benefits these memberships provide in the form of discounts, education, and advocacy for the industry.
Here are a few notable organizations:
American Society of Media Professionals (ASMP)
With 39 chapters across the country, ASMP is a trusted resource for business education, an active advocate for photographers’ rights, and a well-established network of independent photographers whose works are primarily for publication. Learn the fundamentals of being a professional photographer with ASMP-hosted seminars, online tutorials, and business forms covering licensing, copyrighting, and pricing your images. All General members and Associate Plus members get listed in ASMP’s Find A Photographer searchable database.
Annual dues range from $45 – $335/year, depending on experience
American Photographic Artists (APA)
Formerly known as Advertising Photographers of America, APA recently changed its name to reflect a wider range of professional photographers and describes itself as an alliance of advertising and media professionals. Another champion for photographer’s rights, APA provides members with the tools and support needed to be a successful professional photographer, from inclusion in their SearchAPA database to photo competitions and member’s only events.
Annual dues range from $55 – $350/year, depending on experience
Professional Photographers of America (PPA)
With more of a focus on wedding, portrait and studio photography; PPA is the largest not-for-profit association dedicated to professional photographers. Being a member includes coverage under PPA’s Indemnification Trust (think malpractice insurance), studio management services and business education, equipment insurance, and other workshops to fine-tune your craft. PPA also hosts Imaging USA, a convention and tradeshow for photographers that draws thousands of professionals every year.
Annual dues are $323 for professional photographers and $194 for aspiring photographers
clickbooq offers discounted subscriptions to members of ASMP, APA, and PPA – login to your professional organization’s member area for more information.
In addition to these organizations, seek out local photography clubs, colleges, and online forums to expand your network further. Whether you need a second shooter or just a second opinion, your fellow photographers are there to help!