APA Member Benefits
Our benefits give you assistance where it is needed most: increased exposure for your work, educational events, partner discounts on a variety of business products and much more.
- Benefits Summary: Discover how to get the most value from your APA membership
- Access to Members-Only Content
- APA Chapters’ Membership Benefits
- APA Member Pro Media Photo ID Card
- Chapter Portfolio Reviews
- Discounts on Events and Competitions
- Hire An APA Pro - Easy steps to update your Member Profile
- International O-1 Letters of No Objection for USA Visas
- Legal Referrals
- APA National Payroll
- Professional Insurance Plans
- APA Photo Industry Survey
- Premium Video Vault (Members Only) and Public Video Vault
Benefits Summary: Discover how to get the most value from your APA membership
APA Members, login to see the entire concise summary of how to get the most value from your APA membership.
(Once you are logged in, click on My Benefits in the main nav menu, then scroll back down to where it says - Benefits Summary: Discover how to get the most value from your APA membership.)
Not yet an APA member? Here is a summary of our primary member benefits:
APA is an active organization that gives our members a voice on the national stage. Your membership helps us help you, and the wider photo community, as we keep our eyes on our rapidly changing industry.
APA helps you get more work with your own Member Profile & Portfolio.
QUICKLY FIND WHAT YOU NEED
Many APA Member benefits are protected behind the Login screen, so members can simply login to their "MY APA" webpage to access their benefits. Here are the Membership FAQs and here is info about the recently updated APA Business Manual, and members have access to our APA Industry Survey. APA Chapters are here.
YOUR APA MEMBERSHIP CAN EASILY PAY FOR ITSELF!
APA Members save money on useful products, training, workshops and services from these APA National partners including: APA National Payroll, A & I Books, AbelCine, Apple Discounts, Agency Access, Blinkbid, Blurb, Clickbooq, 4by6, Eyeist, ImageRights, liveBooks, Palm Springs Photo Festival, Paper Chase, PhotoDeck, PhotoPlus Expo, PhotoServe, PhotoShelter, Santa Fe Workshops, Think Tank Photo, Yodelist as well as magazine subscriptions such as Archive, PDN, and Resource. The APA Awards and local chapter competitions all provide special pricing for APA members.
Whether you are a student, an emerging or seasoned professional. you need to consider business insurance for equipment, liability and more. Talk to the professionals who know the photo industry, get a free quote, and make sure you have the right coverage for you.
HELP POTENTIAL CLIENTS FIND YOU
All APA members are searchable on Hire An APA Pro Online Portfolio section of our site. These are designed to help you get more work by making it easy for potential clients to find you. We suggest that members activate them as soon as possible and update them regularly. Professional and Leader level members are invited to participate in the APA Sourcebook. Check with your local chapter to find out about additional benefits and promotional efforts in your area.
YOUR APA MEMBER PRO MEDIA PHOTO IDENTIFICATION CARD
APA's NEW Pro Media Photo ID Card is specifically designed to help expedite quick check-in service at airports, as well as to facilitate the pro media discount on excess baggage, available through many airlines. Starting in April 2019, only APA Associate, Professional, and Leader level members will be eligible to purchase this Pro Media Photo ID, for just $20. You can receive your APA Pro Media Photo ID Card in under a week, or within just a few days, depending upon when your order is placed and where it is sent. There are many advantages to this major new APA Photographer Member benefit, described here.
YOUR APA MEMBER CARD
In April 2019, all members will begin to receive our new APA Member Card, in lieu of the old (no-photo) Pro Media card. Use your Member Card for in-person gear rental discounts, and for proof of APA membership at events. It will no longer reference “Media” on the card and will likely not be accepted for baggage discounts when traveling. Members' cards automatically arrive in 4-6 weeks from join and renewal dates.
If you would like to upgrade to our Associate member level or above, to take advantage of the APA Pro Media Photo ID Card benefit, as well as other valuable APA Photographer Member level benefits, please send an email to email@example.com.
WE'RE HAPPY TO HELP
If you have any questions regarding APA membership please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
APA National Membership Representative
AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTISTS
Access to Members-Only Content
APA produces content on a variety of photo related subjects each year. Gain access to our comprehensive photography industry survey - this is a great tool for analyzing your business performance with other professional photographers. APA publishes white papers on industry best practices and important topics like understanding social media terms and conditions.
Access to members-only content is available to all members.
APA Chapters’ Membership Benefits
APA is a strong national federation of nine active Chapters. In addition to exceptional chapter events, juried exhibitions, and portfolio reviews, many of our chapters provide a wide, valuable range of additional member benefits and resources. We encourage you to check out the chapter website for your region. The APA Chapter Territories Map is here.
And as an APA Member, you are an important part of your Chapter's thriving photographic community.
All chapters produce networking events and/or have social hours before their educational events so members can share the latest information and keep up to date.
One of the most important Chapter benefits is your admission discount on Chapter events. Most chapters offer up to a 50% discount on event admission, and some offer free event admission to members. The event savings alone can cover most, or all of your dues. And there are member-only events, like our popular Portfolio Reviews.
Plus there are many other great chapter benefits that can save easily save you hundreds of dollars each year.
Some chapters offer their members current referral lists of member-approved Intellectual Property Attorneys in their area, as well as local referral lists of CPAs, Bookkeepers, and Accountants who are familiar with pro photographers' needs. For another example, APA LA and APA SF members are entitled to a full 20% discount on all rentals from Samy's Camera. Depending upon how much you rent, this chapter benefit alone can easily cover your annual dues, and more. It pays to be an APA member!
Check out these Chapter Benefit webpages for many other lucrative examples.
The list of all APA Chapters is here.
APA Member Pro Media Photo ID Card
Starting in April 2019, all members will begin to receive our new APA Member Card, in lieu of a (no-photo) Pro Media card. Use the card for in-person gear rental discounts and proof of APA membership at events. It will no longer reference “Media” on the card and will likely not be accepted for baggage discounts when traveling.
APA MEMBER CARD
New APA Member Pro Media Photo Identification Card, available to current APA Associate, Professional, & Leader Members, for just $20:
UPGRADE: If you would like to upgrade to our Associate member level or above, to take advantage of the APA Pro Media Photo ID Card benefit, as well as other valuable APA Photographer Member level benefits, please send an email to email@example.com.
APA PRO MEDIA PHOTO ID CARD
Advantages of an APA Professional Media Photo Identification Card, available in April 2019, exclusively to APA Associate, Professional, and Leader members for $20
• Photo ID validity: Many airlines now only accept Pro Media Cards which contain a color headshot.
• More Secure: Like all photo ID's, your card cannot be used by anyone but you. Your portrait is embedded by thermal re-transfer, which permanently bonds the hi-res print layer, using a high-temperature heat-sealing process to the surface of the card.
• Authenticity: APA Pro Media Photo ID Cards have our registered APA logo, and our National Executive Director's signature on the front, for enhanced authenticity.
• Expedited Access: You can use your Pro Media Photo ID for quicker airport check-in.
• More credibility: We designed our card to hang around your neck on a lanyard, so it's readily apparent you are a pro photographer, on the job.
• Quick turnaround: You can receive your APA Pro Media Photo ID Card in under a week, or within just a few days, depending upon when your order is placed and where it is sent.
• Save a bundle: Use it to facilitate the pro media discount on excess baggage, available through many airlines
These are very high-quality identification cards. While it is not a press credential, the back of your APA Member Pro Media Photo ID Card reads:
Please extend to this APA member any professional media discounts on excess baggage, as well as all pro media rights and privileges, including FAA / TSA hand inspection of cameras and photo equipment. Benefits pursuant to membership in APA also apply.
Not all airlines accept Pro Media Cards as approved media credentials, and many airlines do not accept Pro Media Cards without a photo.
It often depends on the agent behind the counter, so arrive prepared. Our recommendation is: before traveling, research the particular airline and see if they accept Pro Media Photo ID Cards for excess baggage discounts. Print out that info, and bring it with you when checking in. With their terms in hand, it should be much easier for their employee to honor your APA Member Pro Media Photo Identification Card.
While the Card Preview looks very close to the final tamper-proof result, because of the sophisticated production process, APA simply cannot guarantee the quality of the photo on your card. Your head shot is embedded by thermal re-transfer, which permanently bonds the high resolution print layer -- using a high-temperature heat-sealing process, to the surface of the card.
APA Pro Media Cards can only be sent directly to addresses in USA, and Canada.
Chapter Portfolio Reviews
We understand how difficult it is getting work in front of agency creatives. Let the strength of the APA go to work for you. Our local chapters administer portfolio reviews on behalf of our members. While each chapter runs their reviews differently, they all have one thing in common — getting our members access to creative professionals for feedback on portfolios. This is your chance to get up close and personal with art buyers and creatives to build a relationship and earn future new business. At this time, Chapter Portfolio Reviews are available through many, but not all chapters; please contact your local chapter to find out more.
Portfolio Reviews are a benefit for members at the Associate level and above.
Discounts on Events and Competitions
All members enjoy discounts on events and competitions and are entitled to attend Members' only programs. APA's regional Chapters produce ongoing programing like: continuing business education, face-to-face portfolio reviews, panel discussions, and presentations by award-winning photographers.
Discounts on events and competitions are available to all members.
Hire An APA Pro - Easy steps to update your Member Profile
We are very pleased to announce a significant upgrade to our Member locator, which will help you get more work.
Hire An APA Pro is designed to help clients easily find the best APA photographers for lucrative jobs, and it has now replaced our Find A Member tool, and soon, it will replace the Behance Portfolios.
IMPORTANT NEW BENEFIT FOR ALL MEMBERS
Hire An APA Pro is commensurate: the higher your member level, the more searchable specialties and portfolio images you are entitled to, and the higher up in the search results you will appear.
Member Level Number of Specialties & Images
APA will be proactively promoting Hire An APA Pro to creatives across the country, so it's to your advantage that you take a few minutes now to join APA and then complete your new Hire an APA Pro Profile and Portfolio.
Hire an APA Pro Assistant
APA has developed a brand new state of the art Assistant search. If you are a photographer and an assistant, you can now show up in either search results, by selecting Photographer for your primary profession, then on the same Edit Specialties page, you will see "Assistant" -- use that pull-down to select "I am also an Assistant" and select your assistant specialties/skill set. Click "Update Profile".
Here is the complete list of all APA Member Specialties
Advertising & Design Personnel
Hair & Makeup Stylist
Wardrobe & Prop Stylist
Digital Tech - Capture One
Digital Tech - Lightroom
Digital Tech - Motion
Digital Tech - Stills
DSLR - Sony
DSLR - Canon
DSLR - Nikon
Gaffer - Hot Lights
Grip - Rigging
Medium Format - Hasselblad
Medium Format - Phase One
Strobes - Bowens
Strobes - Broncolor
Strobes - Norman
Strobes - Dynalite
Strobes - Elinchrom
Strobes - Hensel
Strobes - Impact
Strobes - Profoto
Video / Motion
Video / Motion - Audio
International O-1 Letters of No Objection for USA Visas
As a benefit of membership, APA assists our international Professional and Leader members in documenting your professional status and photographer requirements in your USA Visa application, for an Advisory opinion in support of O-1 petition (letter of no objection), or for your Green Card application.
Annual (not Monthly) Leader or Pro level Membership is required, and there is a one-year minimum.
APA has a no refund policy.
Examples of your photographic work are also required, and upon APA reviewer approval, qualified applicants will receive an official statement denoting photographer with exceptional ability.
There is a one-time $100 processing fee for either letter.
If you are not yet an APA Professional and Leader member, please wait until after the APA reviewer approval before joining.
Contact our National Executive Director, Juliette Wolf-Robin (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.
APA Chapter Attorney Referrals
Many APA Chapters maintain referral lists of qualified attorneys in their area. Members often prefer to retain local legal assistance so they can easily meet face to face, and so their counsel is knowledgeable about relevant State laws. Contact your Chapter directly to request the current Chapter Attorney Referral list. This Chapter benefit is available to all membership levels.
Please note that while you may choose to, you are under no obligation to retain the attorney after your initial consultation.
APA National Payroll
APA National Payroll Service is the preferred provider for American Photographic Artists and members of APA will receive a discounted handling fee. APA National Payroll is provided through Smith & Stilwell, Inc. This special member benefit program has been developed in collaboration with APA to keep the process simple and accessible, making it a no-brainer whether you have a part-time or full-time assistant, makeup artist, stylist, receptionist… or an entire staff. They’re ready to service all of your payroll needs.
Smith & Stilwell has been a major payroll provider to the entertainment industry for over twenty-five years.
APA National Payroll Service provides daily, weekly and salaried wages per individual client requests. Smith & Stilwell offers a quick turn-around of properly submitted timecards, provide direct deposit to all employees & customize invoices and projects specifically to our clients needs. Because Smith & Stilwell becomes the employer of record for your employees, they also offer:
• Nationwide workers comp insurance
• Unemployment insurance
• Union fees if applicable
• Accurate withholding for federal, state and city payroll taxes regardless of your location and the location of your crew members
• NO forms for you to file or sign since you are no longer the employer
• Easy reporting for each employee’s time, day rate or hourly rate
• Simple payroll invoice shows what you owe each member (serves as backup for expense billing)
• Checks issued and mailed on your approval
• Complete reports for all filings
This important member benefit of APA National Payroll is so inexpensive and simple to use that many members pay their own salaries through the service rather than going the usual payroll route. It can be used for office staff at reduced rates, is specially priced for APA members at 2% of gross pay, along with employee and employer matched tax fees, and best of all, is billable for each job.
Your liability is eliminated, payment is automatic and hassle-free, you completely avoid payroll bookkeeping, and it costs less than doing it yourself. (More info about your liabilities is included down below).
APA Payroll is provided through Smith & Stilwell. They're ready to service all of your payroll needs. For forms, information, and to sign up, contact Smith & Stilwell. Current APA Membership number required.
How APA National Payroll Service can reduce your liabilities
Two very important liability issues face every photographer who hires assistants and other crew members. Standard insurance policies for workers comp insurance (for job-related injuries) are costly and likely limited to in-state crew members. This means that even with a standard policy in place, your policy will not be enough when shooting in another state. But this is only part of the problem.
The far more serious problem may be assistants and other crew members who may be incorrectly classified as independent contractors (according to current IRS rules). A discovery to this effect during a routine IRS audit can create huge liabilities for back taxes that can put a studio out of business. Those who do it right have a huge overhead related to meeting these requirements (like employee unemployment insurance), and recovering these direct costs as job-related expenses can be daunting if not impossible.
The second liability issue is an IRS audit that reveals unpaid withholding taxes for assistants and other crew members who have been incorrectly classified as independent contractors (according to current IRS rules) can put a studio out of business.
The overhead related to meeting these requirements (like employee unemployment insurance), and recovering the costs as job-related expenses can be daunting if not impossible. APA's Production Payroll service solves all these and other problems by becoming the employer of record, relieving you of all related liabilities. The extremely low cost can save the fee for membership dues many times over in a single year.
Professional Insurance Plans
Having progressional insurance to protect important business assets is smart. As a matter of fact, insurance is so important that APA created a dedicated business unit to handle our members professional insurance needs. It's business insurance designed by photographers for photographers. As the leading not-for-profit organization serving professional photographers we know the unique demands of this industry. Our business insurance team can customize a policy that fits the unique demands of any photographer. For more info, and to receive a free quote from AIS (APA Insurance Services) please go here.
Professional business insurance is a benefit for members at the Supporter level and above.
APA Photo Industry Survey
We invite you to arrive at your own conclusions
Unlike most surveys, the APA Industry Survey was conducted by professional photographers for professional photographers with a keen eye on what matters most to us.
The survey resulted in a wealth of detailed anonymous information about the overall state of our profession. The comprehensive results also serve as a real world read on professional photographers’ current business practices.
The survey consists of 118 questions covering a wide range of topics including fees, usage/licensing, stock, crew, income and much, much more. The results are sometimes predictable, at times surprising but always informative. The results will provide you a better understanding of how other photographers generally behave, and where you stand in the field.
The APA Survey results are an essential cutting edge tool that will help you cultivate a competitive advantage in the photo field.
The survey was designed to provide information on the current state of our industry as well as to help depict future trends and facilitate planning.
In early 2013, 1590 photographers from all over the country participated in and completed the survey. The anonymity of all respondents was guaranteed in order to obtain the most honest data.
ACCESSING THE SURVEY RESULTS
Current APA members can download the 2013 APA Photo Industry Survey by logging in. You will need the specific Survey password to open the 34 page PDF.
The Survey PDF opens with all current versions of Acrobat, going back to 6.0. It's a fairly large file so it will NOT open in your browser window; reset your browser preferences so it downloads to your desktop, instead.
Premium Video Vault (Members Only) and Public Video Vault
Our public APA Video Vault on YouTube helps answer your business, copyright, and other questions about the business of how to be a professional photographer. Our short, concise videos from industry experts help address how-to questions about running a photography business. However, these videos are intended as educational material only and should not be construed as legal or financial advice.
If you like these videos, please consider joining APA for access to dozens of valuable member benefits, including premium video content, which is locked in the APA Members' Premium Video Vault.
APA is the most prestigious national organization for professional photographers and we are committed to leading the future of our industry. However, you should rely on your own advisors who are familiar with your specific circumstances, for advice about your specific situations.