An Open Letter to Adobe

by | May 20, 2024 | Press Release

May 13, 2024

An Open Letter to Adobe

Adobe, you might imagine that asking your users to “skip the photoshoot” as you did in a recent set of ads would be a clever way to promote your new tools in Photoshop, but instead, this campaign indicated a shocking dismissal of photography and the photographers who have dedicated their lives to creating it. 

As one of the largest professional associations representing photographers and all visual creators, and as our 6,500 members well know, creating a career in photography is harder than ever, with the average photographer having to navigate stolen images, copyright infringement, broken business promises, and now, the specter of wholesale replacement of their art and craft by AI platforms. 

But while fighting these battles on these multiple fronts, photographers would not have expected to have to defend themselves from attack by the company whose products are inseparable from the current and past toolbox of the professional photographer. Put simply, why, Adobe, would you dismiss and discount all that your most fervent and loyal customers aspire to?

And this was an attack; an attack on the creativity of the photographer, on the skill and nuance they bring to the photoshoot, and the countless hours they spend preparing for, and working after the photoshoot you are so cavalier to simply throw away.

Great photography is born in the vision of the photographer first, and then brought to life by the artisans who have focused their creative energy for years and decades to make the final image. It is not mechanical; it is not replaceable by a button or an algorithm. Despite your intimation, great photography is more than pixels – it is passion.

While you may change your campaign, soften your language, or otherwise blunt this anger you find currently pointed in your direction, we hope that this is not a stopgap measure. Adobe should take a hard look at how it describes photography and photographers and determine if you support this industry or wish to aid in its destruction. 

For the legions of photographers who have used your products, both ASMP Members and non-members alike, we ask you to do better. To stand with us to strengthen all that photography is and can be. To engage in good faith to find technological solutions that professionals can be proud to use. 

Do better Adobe. 

Gabriella Marks
Chair, American Society of Media Photographers


About ASMP

The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) is the premier trade association for the most respected photographers and new media visual content creators across the worlds of advertising, magazines, photojournalism, portraiture, sports, fashion, entertainment, fine art, cinematography, film/video and beyond. Members have included legends Stanley Kubrick, Sammy Davis Jr., Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and Richard Avedon, among many others. Headquartered in San Francisco, ASMP is home to the ASMP Academy Powered by Sony, a one-of-a-kind online platform and resource for visual content creators of all stripes; an extensive physical and photographic archives collection covering photography’s history; and a robust public policy & legal arm in Washington, D.C., that protects the rights of photographers in our nation’s capital and in the courts. ASMP is the leader in providing extensive, practical education and resources to photographers on how to run and grow a business in these fields, connecting member photographers with clients, and producing business publications that set the industry standards. The organization exists because the work of these visual creators is so important to our economy and our culture. Founded in October of 1944, with a storied history that is an integral and pivotal part of the progression of photography as a profession, industry, and cultural force, ASMP today has over 6,500 members in 22 countries and 38 chapters.

Media Contacts:

Thomas Maddrey
Chief Legal Officer / Head of National Content & Education
American Society of Media Photographers