Photo courtesy ASMP member David Hume Kennerly
The Mission of the ASMP Foundation is based in the belief that the universal language and art of photography connect lives and help communities shape their stories. The Foundation seeks to further visual literacy and the innovations in image making that helps give audiences their narrative.
How and Why the ASMP Foundation was Founded
The foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization associated with but independent from the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP). The ASMP leadership saw a need to create a vehicle that could better support and fund educational and culturally important projects that would nurture young talent and support photographic endeavors in communities not routinely covered by mainstream media. In addition, it was important to provide a way to contribute to the national conversation on media and visual literacy with a particular focus on how visual language and images enhance our understanding of the world beyond one’s own life’s boundaries.
Some eminent photographers for LIFE Magazine founded ASMP in 1944. ASMP has and always has been an industry leader in elevating and advancing creators’ rights. ASMP has nearly 4,000 members across the US. This group of working professionals are its on-the-ground presence linking the missions of ASMP and the Foundation both nationally and internationally.
Past Foundation Projects
- ASMP has produced numerous editions of a book, Professional Business Practices For Photographers, since the 1950s, the last edition being financed in part through the foundation. In 2010, ASMP held a symposium at the Times Center Theatre in New York: “Copyright and the New Economy: Issues and Trends Facing Visual Artists.”
- In 2012, ASMP and the Foundation published The ASMP 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 Times Center 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.
- 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.
- For many years, the foundation has provided support for international efforts to regularize and collaborate with other organizations to protect the interests of creators.
- Strictly Business Conferences 2 and 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, 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 first major founding sponsor of the Young Photographers Alliance (YPA), an organization placing emerging photographers across the country with personal mentors over the course of several months for intensive career development.
Support the Foundation
The ASMP Foundation encourages and gratefully receives donations from individuals, corporations, and other organizations. By giving to the ASMP Foundation or by naming it in your will, you can help improve the art, craft and profession of photography in real and enduring ways.