As part of my professional development I have been exploring the professional organisations that a photographer can join.
The organisation that I have joined is called The Association of Photographers – first formed in 1968 as the Association of Fashion and Advertising Photographers.
As part of the membership the Association offers their Beyond the Lens book at a reduced rate. This is a guide to rights, ethics and business practices. Other membership perks are an introductory insurance policy through Williamson Carson & Co, and money off at Cowling and Wilcox, Genesis Imaging, Holborn Studios, Pixelrights web portfolio and free listing in the Kay UK Production Manual.
Once a member there is access to videos, advice and links to other associations, legal and businesses, galleries and magazines and journals, just to name some.
Another organisation that I am in the process of joining is the National Union of Journalist (NUJ). As a freelance photojournalist the NUJ is an organisation that I have been looking to join as it looks to protect the rights of journalists in the UK and supports the industry by offering legal and financial help if necessary. It also has a photographers council and in February it held a conference on the future of photojournalism, that I sadly could not attend due to my exhibition opening. The NUJ are an issuer of the UK Press Card.
These are just two organisations that could be applied to. Some of the others are the Royal Photographic Society, British Institute of Professional Photography, Redeye and Pro Imaging. Each come with there own advantages, perks and costs.