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December 9th, 2010

Letter Salad: Finding The Best Pro Organization For You

Posted by Jamie Rose

By Jamie Rose, Director of Momenta Workshops

Trust me when I say this: I know how busy you are!  There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the week between client relations, editing, post production, invoicing and photographing. However, even the busiest photographers will agree, you still need to make time for professional development. The easiest and most fun way to accomplish this is to get involved with your professional community.

Be a Joiner

Joining a photographic organization can provide you with many professional resources you don’t get by working in isolation. You will have access to other photographers, editors and multimedia producers in your area. You can find mentors, editors, assistants and even job opportunities. Many professional groups have a vast array of educational and learning opportunities normally free or discounted for members. As a former board member of the WHNPA: White House News Photographers Association and the current President of WPOW: Women Photojournalists of Washington, joining a professional organization is a great way to develop your network, expand your leadership skills and meet other passionate photographers.

Think Big!

You can start by getting involved in large international organizations like NPPAAPAASMPASPP and PPA which provide regional groups, seminars, workshops and learning experiences for photographers from all parts of the country and the world. These groups are great for finding resources for projects you are working on, getting discounts on gear and insurance or even having access to job listings.

Think Globally, Act Locally

Local chapters of these organizations are also a great way to increase your business presence in your hometown. For example, ASPP DC-South is very active in Washington, DC and offers seminars, lectures and membership slideshow events. City- or region-based organizations in your region are another great asset. In many cases, the dues are smaller and the networks are easier to navigate for new photographers. WHNPA , for example, is open to regionally based photographers in Washington but offer wonderful networking opportunities, members-only contests and grants, and local event-based support like Inauguration resources.


Consider starting your own group or organization. You can create a LinkedIn or Facebook group, like the Maryland Photographer Ladies. Help it grow by offering opportunities to group members. WPOW started as a small group of local female photojournalists who wanted to gather quarterly to share their work, encourage young photojournalists and learn from each other’s experience. Today, the organization has grown into a nonprofit with over 200 members and offers exhibits, mentorship, workshops and educational opportunities for its members.

Take the Lead

After you’ve been a member for a while, consider joining a committee. If you are really ambitious, take the plunge by running for an officer position or heading a committee. You will expand your leadership skills and be seen as a leader by your peers. No matter whether you choose a large or small organization or to create your own, you won’t regret the free time spent on this part of your career. Once you start getting involved, you’ll be amazed at the great experiences, great friends and great connections you will make!

For more suggestions or questions about starting your own organization, please feel free to contact Jamie Rose directly at

Photo courtesy Allison Shelley and WPOW. At a WPOW (Women Photojournalists of Washington) quarterly meeting. Left to right: Karen Kasmauski, Juana Arias, Mary Calvert, Annie Griffiths-Best, Aude Guericci and Barbara L. Salisbury discuss how to balance work and family successfully.


  1. December 9th, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Tweets that mention Letter Salad: Finding The Best Pro Organization For You | RESOLVE — the liveBooks blog --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by liveBooks Inc., liveBooks Inc.. liveBooks Inc. said: @Momenta workshops Jamie Rose has suggestions on how to find the best pro organizatio for you on @livebooks RESOLVE […]

  2. August 26th, 2012 at 6:09 am


    Tammy, you guys always take great phtoos. Love the one of the two guys on the boards .Name should be a T with two syllables to match the rest of the family. Tyler would be perfect. Then two of you have five letters and two have six letters in your names.Or Taylor would work too.Love you,Jaclyn

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