This morning I read an excellent commentary by ASMP's (American Society of Media Photographers) Executive Director Eugene Mopsik. I have been a member of this association for 6 years now. It was originally seen as a bit of an Insiders Club. You had to prove your worth and have sponsors to approve you and let you in at General Member level. Many argue that Asmp should reconsider their membership criteria. Well if a group simply stays inclusive what kind of momentum do you have? Here was my email I sent to Eugene Mopsik this afternoon.
My name's Amanda Allen. I'm a 28 yr old freelance Photographer/Designer/Videographer in Seattle. I just read your Director's Commentary in the new Fall Bulletin while eating lunch and felt the urge to respond. I really agree with and appreciate what you expressed.
I am a proud AMSP Associate Member. I'm very grateful for the AMSP community in Seattle for many reasons. This year alone I've attended 4 ASMP sponsored talks on various topics, from Social Media Marketing, to HD DSLR Cinema techniques that have been very enlightening and enriching to my work. Attending ASMP events also allows me to catch up with seasoned Photographers I've assisted for, or my former College instructors who come to gain new information to pass on to their students.
Though I have been in the industry a mere 6 years and Photography does not bring in 100% of my income I take my work very seriously, and represent a really important portion of our industry and community. The Associate members around my age that I'm friends with are the folks that perhaps make your coffee in the morning or your cocktail at the end of day, or are maybe an editor at the magazine they also shoot for. Being a 'part time professional' allows me to make so many contacts out in the world in the most unexpected places that have led to many great Photo opportunities. The younger emerging photographers are also the ones who have a very keen and unique skill set. When I graduated from the Commercial Photography program at Seattle Central Community College in 2006, my class was the last to be required to use Wet Darkrooms, and the last one required to own a 4x5 View camera for the program. Many of us have now sold our 4x5's and purchased 5D's. It's a fantastic feeling when I'm working with a new client and I can not only provide them great images, but also perhaps a short video for their company, or redesign their website. In January I was shooting a 'Behind the Scenes' video of a music video production that was very nicely and professionally put together by an eclectic group of creative individuals all under the age of 30, whose day to day job titles overlap in a myriad of ways.
My point is Associate Members and especially young ones are a key demographic to ASMP's growth. Photographers are curious thinkers by nature and these days I see all around me in my friends and colleagues this curiosity leading us to be able to harness the constant changing technology in very beautiful and innovative ways.
Thank you for your time and your words.