FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

 

What is the mission of the American Photography Association (the “Association”)?
How do I become a Member?
Whom is eligible to become a Member?
I live outside the United States. Can I become a Member?
What benefits do I get as a Provisional Member?
When does my Membership begin?
Can I upgrade my Membership mid-year if I have an annual plan?
What benefits will I receive when I become a Member?
I’m an amateur/non-professional photographer or a student. Does it benefit me to join?
Do I get an online Portfolio? How can I get my photos to be included in the Association Archives?
Who retains copyright for photographs and other content published on the Association website and other official Association media?
Will I be recognized for my work and talents?
Can I participate in national & international Association Photography Contests & Festivals at no charge?
Can I pay my Membership dues monthly, rather than up front?
Are Membership fee discounts available?
Can I purchase a gift Membership for someone else?
How does the Association Affiliate Network referral program work? Do I get rewarded for referring new Members and subsequent renewals?
How does the Equipment & Liability Insurance Program work?
Is my personal information secure? Is it ever sold to third-party marketers?
I want to pay my Membership dues online. Is the Association website secure?
Whom can I contact at the Association regarding Copyright or DMCA questions or matters?
Our Refund Policy
Our Privacy Policy
Terms of Use
How to Contact Us

 

What is the mission of the American Photography Association (the “Association”)?
The Association was founded as a Member-based organization by photographers to serve photographers. The mission of the Association is to promote the interest, appreciation and participation in photography by all levels of photographers throughout all genres and to attract and inspire potential new photographers via programs and activities that advocate educational and artistic growth in the field.

The Association strives to educate its Members and the general public regarding the intellectual property rights of photographers as well as to discuss new and emerging technology and media and their impact and applications in business and popular culture.

The Association also seeks to promote the visibility of its Members by showcasing their work and talents and supports photography-related charitable and educational causes that serve to benefit its Members and the general public.

How do I become a Member?
You can complete an application and pay your Membership fee online or submit an application online and mail the payment to the Association. International applicants can submit an application online and send the payment via Paypal. Feel free to call us at 877.6.272.360 too.
Your application will be processed after review by the Association and upon receipt of your payment or fee waiver.

Whom is eligible to become a Member?
Professional & non-professional photographers and photojournalists including students & faculty. Business Memberships are available for photo industry manufacturers & retailers. Associate Memberships are also available for advertising agencies, art buyers and collectors, photography lovers and the general public. Organization Memberships, including those for not-for-profit organizations are also available.

I live outside the United States. Can I become a Member?
Yes. Our Members originate from around the world. We are able to provide the same functionality and resources to all our Members, worldwide. (We can accept international payments by PayPal, wire transfer or credit card.)

What benefits do I get as a Provisional Member?
Provisional Membership allows prospective Association Members who are considering obtaining a Membership or other individuals who are nominated pending a review of their portfolio to experience some of the benefits conveyed to Official Members (General, Associate, Premium, Student, etc.). These benefits include a limited listing in the Association Member Directory and the opportunity to create an online portfolio, etc. In some cases, invitations are issued by the Association to Provisional Members to participate in the Association Archives, Photo Contests or Photo Festivals on a guest (complementary) basis. Such access is only granted to the Provisional Member for a maximum of 60 days.

 

Provisional Members have an opportunity to convert their Membership to an official Member status (General, Associate, Premium, Student, etc.) within the trial 60 day period, and in doing so, gain all benefits granted for full Membership. Please note than the Provisional Membership period does not count towards Association Membership tenure.

When does my Membership begin?
Your Membership benefits shall begin upon receipt of your payment or fee waiver. Annual Membership lasts for 12 months and can be renewed annually. Monthly Memberships are renewed automatically on the monthly anniversary date of your initial enrollment.

Can I upgrade my Membership mid-year if I have an annual plan?
Yes. The Membership site allows for upgrades. The site though (due to the way the system was built), can only facilitate payment of a new Membership rather than merely paying the difference between the two. Trust us, we’re working on it.

Our current workaround is to allow you to pay the upgrade fee i.e. the difference manually via credit card, check or Paypal. Please contact us Membership Services via email or phone and we will assist you to get your upgrade done. (Again, sorry for any inconvenience here.)

What benefits will I receive when I become a Member?
Our primary goal is to promote our Members, the amazing photographs they make and to create business, social, educational and other opportunities for them. Members become part of a well-recognized national and international photography network and community where they can learn and grow from peer feedback and support. Flickr and other similar groups prohibit the promotion of accounts for business or commercial endeavors. We’re the opposite. We want to drive traffic for and to you and help you grow your business.

We promote and support our Members in a number of ways including the Association website, print and electronic media and direct mail & email to constituents of the Association Photography Network. The Network includes photography buyers, artist, advertising & model agencies, photography and art organizations and an enormous assortment of relevant target recipients that can help you get discovered.

We frequently send press releases regarding Member achievements, Featured Members and contest and Festival winners. In addition, we maximize the use of Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn and other social media channels to tell the world about you and your business.

Our benefits don’t just pertain to professional photographers. Non-professionals are able to develop their talents and rise to a higher level. We also offer non-professional Members the ability to enter national and international photo contests and Festivals. Usually, participation in most art and photography shows is restricted to professional artists and photographers (categorized as those who earn more than 50% of their income from their art & photography).

Both professional and non-professional photographers can also further their knowledge and understanding of intellectual property rights, liability and insurance.

Check out all the other benefits Members receive here.
Our goal at the Association is to provide you with exposure and attention like you have never received from a Membership organization before. We want to serve and impress you.

I’m an amateur/non-professional photographer or a student. Does it benefit me to join?
Our Memberships benefit all levels of photographers. The Association’s resources and community provide several educational opportunities to advance your knowledge and appreciation of photography. You can learn from some of the best photographers in the world here. You can benefit from a number of our programs including participation in a number of photo contests & Festivals, accreditation, equipment insurance coverage and a number of others. Plus, you become a Member of one of the most recognized and respected photography organizations in the world.

Many students, particularly those applying for graduate or under-graduate admission are able to build their portfolios on the Association site. Students also have the opportunity to have their work published on Association media platforms and be considered for Association scholarships and grants.

We’re positive that you have thousands of spectacular photos sitting on your hard drives. Now is your opportunity to do something with them. Maybe you have a photo Festival winner somewhere in there…

Do I get an online Portfolio? How can I get my photos to be included in the Association Archives?
Yes. All Membership levels have the ability to create an online photo portfolio within their Membership profile. Members can create up to 5 portfolios. The Association requests that Members restrict file sizes to 1 Mb per photo and include no more than 20 photos per portfolio. 100 Mb total storage capacity per Member please. Up to 5 images may be uploaded simultaneously.

In addition to the Membership profile portfolio(s), Members also have the opportunity to upload photos to the Association Archives on an invitation-only basis. Total storage capacity is currently limited to 1 Gb (for all photos per Member). Please contact the Association at archives@ americanphotographyassociation.org if you would like to participate in the Archives.

Who retains copyright for photographs and other content published on the Association website and in other official Association media platforms?
We promote, support and respect photographers’ rights. Copyright for all photographs published on the Association website and in other official Association media platforms is retained by the individual photographer(s) and/or existing rightsholder(s). Copyright for all articles and editorials published on the Association website and in other official Association media platforms is retained by the respective authors. We adhere to and support all DMCA policies and regulations.

Will I be recognized for my work and talents?
We recognize our Members’ achievements both via Association and the North American and international media. In all cases possible, we contact national and international media, local newspapers, magazines and other organizations to inform them of your successes and accomplishments.

Your existing clients and friends know how to find you. Our goal is to provide you with new exposure and attention that you didn’t have before so that may translate to potentially more customers.
Will my photography be more visible to others? Will I get more visitors to my website?
We believe so. Many of our Members and their businesses are recognized on the Association website and collateral and via a number of social media channels. If you are selected as a spotlighted member, you and your site receive recognition among our Network and the photography community including prospective customers. We urge our Members to install Google Analytics or other traffic-tracking tools to monitor their own sites to see for themselves.

Can I participate in national & international Association Photography Contests & Festivals at no charge?
Yes. Premium, Industry/Retailer and Organization Membership levels receive two complimentary entries (i.e. photographs) per Member to enter nationally & internationally renowned Association Photography contests. This is on a per event basis, for all Association sanctioned contests so the complimentary entry fees alone generally cover the cost of annual Membership.
General and other Membership levels (excluding Provisional) receive one complimentary entry, per contest.

All Membership levels are eligible to be selected for participation in Association -sanctioned Photography Festivals on an invitation-basis. Invited Members are not charged any fees for their participation in Association Photo Festivals. Non-Members who may be nominated and selected for participation incur a fee.)

Can I pay my Membership dues monthly, rather than up front?
Yes, we offer monthly installment payment options. Please see our Membership enrollment page.
A small fifty cent ($0.50) fee is added per month to offset additional credit card fees that we incur.

Are Membership fee discounts available?
Yes. We may offer discounts via our website and social media channels. Please note that the discounts are only able to be applied to annual Memberships. We frequently offer Membership fee waivers to other not-for-profit organizations and companies that provide in-kind benefits for our Members. Other discounts are available via our Referral program below.

Can I purchase a gift Membership for someone else?
Yes. Please complete an application form on the recipient’s behalf and complete the section which asks whether the Membership application is for a gift Membership. You only need to complete the basic required sections of the application. We will contact the recipient and notify them how to complete the application process. The beneficiary of the gift Membership can always complete or modify their profile with the updated information.
Please contact Membership Services for any assistance or questions.

How does the Association Affiliate Network referral program work? Do I get rewarded for referring new Members and subsequent renewals?
Yes. Active Members can offer a 10% discount to prospective new Member applicants and receive a new Member referral fee (i.e. commission) based on the gross annual Membership fee.

The Member receiving the referral fee can choose to receive a credit to their Membership account at a 10% rate (of the gross annual Membership fee referral) or receive a payment via check or PayPal at a 7.5% rate (of the gross annual Membership fee).

For example, an annual Premium Membership costs $99. An existing Member refers a new Premium Member. The new Member gets a 10% discount (or in this example, $9.90) off their annual Membership fee. The existing (referring) Member receives a credit to their Membership account for $9.90 OR a payment via check or PayPal for $7.43.
The existing (referring) Member also continues to receive referral fees for subsequent renewals of the original referral Membership, as long as the new Member continuously maintains their Membership.
No strings attached, period.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • The new Member discount can be applied to any paid annual Membership level.
  • The new Member discount is not available with monthly subscriptions.
  • Only active (non-Provisional) Members can participate in the Affiliate/Commission program.
  • Every Member receives a unique referral code to give to their friends or prospective new Members. The new Member applicant can also include the active Member’s name in the ‘Referred by’ section of the application (during the initial application process) to receive credit.
  • All Member applicants must be approved by the Association before commissions can be issued.
  • The Association contacts each referring Member to determine how they would like to have their referral fees applied/distributed.
  • Members can receive a payment by check, Paypal (International only) or a credit to their Membership account.
  • Referral fees are paid on a quarterly basis or when earnings reach $50, whichever comes first. Please allow 7-10 business days for a check or PayPal payment to be issued.
  • Referral fee credits are applied within 3-5 business days after the Member has indicated they would like to receive a credit.
  • There is no limit to the amount of referral fees that can be earned in a Membership year. Referral fees earned in excess of the cost of the referring Member’s annual Membership will be paid directly to the Member.


How does the Equipment & Liability Insurance Program work?
Members have the opportunity to obtain Association Equipment and Liability insurance directly from the exclusive Association insurance broker, Keen Battle Mead & Company. Coverage is offered through CNA insurance, one of the most respected carriers in the insurance industry. These insurance policies are elective and all policies are between the carriers and Members directly. Please contact the Association Membership department for enrollment details.

Is my personal information secure? Is it ever sold to third-party marketers?
Your personal information is always secure with us. You have the ability to control the public view of what appears in your Membership listing, so if you don’t want your email address or phone number or anything else for that matter to be visible, you can fix that.

Your privacy is of the utmost importance to the Association. Your personal information is never, ever sold or provided to any third-party marketers. Please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for more information.   

I want to pay my Membership dues online. Is the Association website secure?
Yes. We use industry-standard SSL encryption and use multiple security certificates to ensure secure transactions. All credit card transactions are processed by Authorize.net, one of the top processors in the United States and worldwide. All our Membership and content management systems utilize secure encryption to protect your data.

Whom can I contact at the Association regarding Copyright or DMCA questions or matters?
Please contact us at legal@americanphotographyassociation.org or toll-free at 877.6.272.360

Our Refund Policy
We are dedicated to our Members and the photography community. Our goal is to serve our Members and ensure their complete satisfaction with their Association Membership subscription purchase.
Our Membership Department is more than happy to resolve any enrollment or other Membership questions or issues you may have. Please contact us at membership@americanphotographyassociation.org or toll-free at 877.6.272.360.

If, for any reason, however, you are dissatisfied with your Association Membership subscription purchase, you can request a full refund within 10 days of your initial application date. During that time, you have the option of changing your Membership level or receiving a refund for the full amount of the Membership subscription purchased for the respective annual or monthly subscription. Refund requests that occur after 10 days following a Membership purchase will be considered on a case-by-case basis. In such approved cases, refunds will be issued on a pro-rata basis, where applicable.

If original payment was made by credit card, please allow 7-10 days after the approval of your refund for a credit to appear on your credit card statement. If payment was made by check, the refund check will be issued within 10 business days after the approval of your refund. As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions.

How to Contact Us
If you have any questions, comments, great news or accomplishments you would like us to be aware of, please contact our Membership Department via:

Email:      membership@americanphotographyassociation.org
Phone      877.627.2360

or

American Photography Association

Attn: Membership Services
PO Box 951777
Lake Mary, FL 32795-1777

We will add more FAQs & answers as we receive more feedback. We look forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,

Membership Services Department
American Photography Association