One of the best things about being a photographer is the creative community you become a part of. But if you don’t make a conscious effort to immerse yourself in the industry, it’s easy to miss out on the vast networking opportunities and resources available to photographers. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned pro, joining a photography organization is a smart move that can help strengthen your credibility and grow your business. Here are five groups worth joining:
American Photographic Artists (APA)
Headquartered in Los Angeles with chapters across the country, APA is dedicated to promoting photographers and protecting their rights. The organization was previously called Advertising Photographers of America, but changed names to better describe its multi-faceted member base. APA offers an extensive benefits package with discounts on professional and financial services, web tools and even Apple products.
PPA is great for studio and portrait photographers looking to expand their knowledge base while taking advantage of beaucoup business resources. The organization was started back in 1869, and now has more than 27,000 members. PPA offers tons of educational resources and seminars in addition to vital business protection, savings and the annual Imaging USA convention.
ASMP is one of the leading trade organizations promoting the art and business of photography. With 39 chapters throughout the U.S., there’s a good chance ASMP has a presence somewhere near your home base. Members receive a free guide to running a photography business, followed by access to a database of qualified photographer assistants along with a plethora of discounts ranging from travel and insurance to software, DIY web design templates and marketing resources.
The American Photography Association welcomes photographers of all skill levels and genres with a growing list of exposure opportunities including a member portfolio page, complimentary access to calls for entries and the possibility of being featured in the organization’s social media and marketing content.
National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)
Photojournalists will want to join NPPA, home to many of the country’s top press photographers. The digital age has brought about a wave of challenges regarding copyrights and media ethics; NPPA is your all-in-one resource for navigating those choppy waters (awesome benefits included).