About the Foundation

What is the ASMP Foundation?

The Foundation is a 501(c) 3 associated with ASMP, a photographer’s trade association, a 501(c) 6, and was developed as the leadership realized another outlet was required to disperse funds inside and outside the organization.

Founded by eminent Life Magazine photographers in 1944 to protect their intellectual property, ASMP, The American Society of Media Photographers, remains an industry leader in elevating and advancing creators’ rights.

ASMP has nearly 4,000 members and 38 chapters across the U.S.  The chapters function as its on-the-ground presence locally, linked to the mission of ASMP nationally and internationally.

 What is the Foundation’s Mission?

The mission of the ASMP Foundation is to encourage visual literacy and recognize photography as a vital form of global communication. The foundation will pursue this mission by funding and supporting public photography exhibitions, educational events & programming, and individual photographers working on culturally important projects through financial grants.

What is the history of the Foundation?

The Foundation has been in existence for several decades, and for many years provided a focus and acted as a fiduciary for a wide variety of projects undertaken by ASMP, but for the last few years has been dormant due to shifts in management and focus.

How does the Foundation’s present mission relate to ASMP the trade association?

The project of the Foundation is to extend and expand past efforts of ASMP and the Foundation, and, more particularly, to investigate and produce new avenues of support for visual creators’ practice in ways that a trade association cannot.

What has ASMP and the Foundation already accomplished?

– ASMP has produced numerous editions of a book, Professional Business Practices For Photographerssince the 1950s, the last edition being financed in part through the Foundation. In 2010, ASMP held a symposium at the TimesCenter Theatre in New York: Copyright and the New Economy: Issues & Trends Facing Visual Artists”.

In 2012, ASMP and the Foundation published TheASMP Guide To New Markets In Photography, a series of essays and interviews about the continuing evolution of the photographic arts and professional environments whose publication was linked to a second symposium held at the TimesCenter Theatre, documented by video and available to members and the general public.

Both books remain in print, used by educators as textbooks and by professionals for their careers.

– For many years, the Foundation provided financial support for members and local chapters’ endeavors involving education and events of all kinds.

– The Foundation has provided support for international efforts to regularize and collaborate with other organizations to protect the interests of creators.

– Organizations that have received funds include The Aperture Foundation, The Eddie Adams Workshops, Farnsworth Museum Arnold Newman Prize, Fotoweek DC, George Eastman House Photography Conservation Program, Gordon Parks Foundation, Palm Springs Photo Festival, Picture Licensing Universal System (PLUS), Sutha (website development), and the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund.

– The Foundation provided support for Chapter programming, including lectures and workshops on photography business best practices, women in photography, marketing, transitioning to video, school visits, and photojournalism.

Strictly Business Conferencesand 3.  In 2008 and 2011, these two-day conferences took place in four cities across the country, open to the general public.  The conferences included numerous keynotes, seminars, lectures, and hands-on-workshops focused on photographic business practices, ethics, self-care, the future of digital media, and how to maintain professional growth in changing environments.

– The Foundation developed, maintains, and helped fund a website at the request of the Library of Congress, dpBestflow.org, (Digital Photography Best Practices and Workflow) for the purpose of helping the LOC maintain high quality in the digital assets it receives.  There are no charges to use the website, which does not require registration; it is available to all.

– The Foundation was the major founding sponsor of The Young Photographers Alliance (YPA), an organization placing emerging photographers across the country with in-person mentors over the course of several months for intensive career development.

Who is on the Foundation Board of Directors?

Richard Beckman

Reid Callanan

Jenna Close

Kathryn Goldman

Shawn Henry

Kiran Karnani

Lou Jones

Irene Owsley

Dave Shelley

Michael Shay, ASMP Liaison


How can I stay abreast of the progress and efforts of the Foundation?

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