Get the Benefits

Member Benefits

Access to Members-Only Content

APA produces content on a variety of photo related subjects each year. Gain access to our comprehensive 2013 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.

May 2021 APA SF event, COLLABORATIVE NEGOTIATING video now viewable to APA Members Only on Vimeo. Click here for more info.

Event Description:

As photographic artists, we create unique, powerful visuals that elevate brands, individuals and industries every day. Whether you are new to photography or are an established artist, feeling confident and comfortable in your ability to negotiate with your clients is an ever-evolving skill.  

Join APA SF for a panel discussion with industry leading negotiators Kelly Montez, Heather Elder, Shel Burks and Monica Zaffarano. 

APA SF board member Nicole Morrison skillfully moderated an engaging discussion around collaborative negotiation practices with reps and producers who navigate these conversations daily. 

Primary Take-Aways:

  • Learn strategies that can help you win jobs and feel satisfied and confident in the terms you’ve negotiated.
  • Elevate your ability to effectively collaborate with your clients.
  • Learn the difference between creative fees and hourly/day rates.
  • Vendor terms and conditions

Access to members-only content is available to all members.


APA Chapters’ Membership Benefits

All eight APA Chapters represented on a Google Map

APA has eight active chapters located in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Washington DC, San Diego, and Charlotte.

APA is a strong trade organization of eight 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.

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.

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.

Check out these Chapter Benefit webpages:

The list of all APA Chapters is here.

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.

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

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 the Behance Portfolios.


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

Leader                           10

Pro                                8

Associate                       5

Supporter                      3

Contributor                    1

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

Photographer Specialties:

Fine Art    
Photo Journalism    
Still Life    
Youth Culture


Advertising & Design Personnel    
Artist Representative    
Consultant/Career Coach    
Professional Services/Other


Digital Techs    
Food Stylist    
Hair & Makeup Stylist    
Location Scouts    
Rental Studios    
Set Builders    
Wardrobe & Prop Stylist    

Assistant Skills

Digital Tech - Capture One    
Digital Tech - Lightroom    
Digital Tech - Motion    
Digital Tech - Stills    
DSLR - Sony    
DSLR - Canon    
DSLR - Nikon    
Equipment Truck/Van    
Gaffer - Hot Lights    
Grip - Rigging    
Medium Format    
Medium Format - Hasselblad    
Medium Format - Phase One    
Outdoor Lighting    
Strobes - Bowens    
Strobes - Broncolor    
Strobes - Norman    
Strobes - Dynalite    
Strobes - Elinchrom    
Strobes - Hensel    
Strobes - Impact    
Strobes - Profoto    
Video / Motion    
Video / Motion - Audio

Sample View of profile:

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 ( for details.

Legal Referrals

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.

Member Benefits Summary

Note: APA Members, log in to view content exclusive to your membership. Once logged in, click on My Benefits in the main nav menu to return to this page).


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.

Partner Discounts

APA provides partner discounts from leading industry manufacturers and services to help our members save money on operating their photography business. When added up, it's possible these discounts can pay for your membership fee.

Professional Insurance Plans

APA has a dedicated business unit to handle our member's insurance needs. Whether you are a student, an emerging, or seasoned professional. you need to consider business insurance for equipment, liability, and more. Talk to the APA professionals who know the photo industry, get a free quote, and make sure you have the right coverage for your business.

Member Portfolio Search

All APA members are searchable in the robust Hire An APA Pro 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 you 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.

Pro Media Photo Identification Card

APA's 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 are now 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.

If you have any questions regarding our member benefits, please email

Pro Media ID Card

The APA Member 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. Pro Media Cards can only be sent to USA & Canada addresses.

Note: Pro Media Photo ID Cards are available to APA Members at the Associate, Professional, & Leader member levels, for just $20. If you are a current member and would like to upgrade to our Associate member level or above please send an email to

Sample design of an APA Pro Media ID Card

Sample design of an APA Pro Media ID Card. Available to APA members at the Associate, Professional, and Leader levels for just $20.

Following are the main advantages of our Pro Media ID card:

  • Many airlines now only accept Pro Media Cards which contain a headshot.
  • More secure, your card cannot be used by anyone but you.
  • APA Pro Media Photo ID Cards have our registered APA logo, and our National Executive Director's signature on the front, for enhanced authenticity.
  • Your can use your Pro Media Photo ID for quicker airport check-in.
  • We designed our card to hang around your neck on a lanyard, so it's readily apparent you are a pro photographer.
  • You can receive your APA Pro Media Photo ID Card within 3-5 days depending upon when your order is placed and where it is sent.
  • Use it to facilitate the pro media discount on excess baggage, available through many airlines

Disclaimer: Not all airlines accept Pro Media Cards as approved media credentials.

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.

Additionally, we have special policies available for students and educators.

Professional business insurance is a benefit for members at the Supporter level and above.

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The Personal Photography Project

The Personal Photography Project is a new online sourcebook for advertising and magazine photographers to be rewarded for their personal work. Our goal is for art producers, photo editors, and other creatives to either license the work outright, or to discover new talent to hire for future assignments.

Your personal projects are a great way to show creatives how your work will translate to an ad campaign or feature article. Series of images carry a weight and thoughtfulness, and your personal projects show your natural creative DNA. They also demonstrate that you are able to conceive and execute work on your own. You are not just a button-pusher: you’re a creative partner who can bring fresh ideas to a tired brand or publication. It’s also an opportunity for you to show a different side of yourself, especially if you're already known for commercial work that may be different from what you do personally.

Either way: why not attract more of the work that you’d like to get?

APA Member Discount:

We’re offering APA members one free project for for their first year with us (a $50 discount), as long as they have paid for one or more projects.

Pricing is normally $50/project for the year (or $5/mth. if you want to do a payment plan). With your APA discount, you’ll get your first 2 projects for the price of 1.

Additionally, for every 5 projects, you'll get one free.

So for $250 (or $25/mthly payment plan) APA members will get 7 projects on our site for the first year.

Compared with almost any online sourcebook, this is a reasonably-priced way to share your work with potential clients.

Please contact Neil Binkley (Founder) at to submit your work for consideration or to ask any questions. You can find out more about us at

View Recent APA Online Events on Our YouTube Channel

View recent APA Open Talk, Biz Talk, First Impression events and more, here, for free.

When you arrive at the APA YouTube Channel homepage, click on VIDEOS to see all of your choices, arranged chronologically. Please be sure to subscribe, too!

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