At the moment, I am member of APA (Advertising Photographers of America), as well as ASMP, (American Society of Media Photographers). Why did I join them? There are a number of good reasons. Both of these organizations put on seminars and presentations that are highly educational, and inspiring to professional photographers. They range in topics from 'how to market yourself,' to slide show presentations of well known photographers, to 'search engine optimization' (the topic at Blake Disher's talk last week).
Another great advantage is the camaraderie of other professionals. Who better than other professional photographers can understand us, joke about the industry, give us advice... ? Who else will want to listen and share your excitement about that 70-200mm VR f2.8 lens you just acquired?
Joining ASMP and APA also allows you to get photography business insurance at a reduced rate. Discounts are available as well with vendors such as Adobe, Apple, PDN, and others.
There are online forums as well that are worth checking out and participating in. On there, you'll find the top pros in the industry sharing their knowledge and experience. You can post any relevant question and get an assortment of answers from its members. Some of the better ones are Yahoo groups. Their names are APAnet, APAdigital, ASMPproAdvice, ASMPArch.
Something else I am working on with ASMP is creating a mentoring group. The idea is emerging photographers who are members of ASMP, could look up a list of available mentors, contact them and set up some kind of mentoring relationship according to their photography/business needs and schedules. That is still in the works. I'll keep you updated of the progress.
There are many more perks to joining these and other photography organizations, but I will let you discover them on your own. These are a few of the important ones in my mind.
Sunday, April 27, 2008