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ASMP Professional Category Sponsorship Guidelines

Sponsoring an applicant for Professional Members serves two distinct functions:


  1. To ensure that the applicant fulfills the criteria outlined in ASMP’s Constitution:

    1. Professional Members must be of good moral character and reputation.
    2. Professional Members must have at least 3 consecutive years of experience creating still and/or motion imagery professionally.


  2. To introduce the new member to the Society and our local members.


We encourage you to take the time to meet the applicant face to face if at all possible. Inviting them to a program or board meeting is a great way to vet them in person, while making them feel welcome and encouraging them to get involved and participate in your local chapter.


When vetting a prospective Professional Member, please keep the following guidelines in mind.


Professional Member Business types:

ASMP accepts into the Professional Member category any applicant who works as a still or motion photographer or employs any type of hybrid business model that combines photography with another related skill set. Common related skill sets may include but are not limited to CGI, retouching, editing, graphic design, web design, directing, producing, teaching, writing, publishing, etc. Photographers working in all industry fields — whether on a full-time or part-time basis — qualify for Professional Membership as long as they demonstrate the following:


Proof of professionalism for 3+ consecutive years

Applicants for Professional Membership must show that for at least 3 consecutive years they have consistently:

  1. been hired by clients, or
  2. held a staff position as a still or motion photographer, or
  3. licensed their stock images, or
  4. exhibited or sold their fine art work


Sponsors can gather a good sense of an applicant’s professional experience through a simple conversation about their background, client base and business practices. Applicants should be able to show at least two or three of the following:

  • Website
  • Blog
  • Client list
  • Still or motion projects clearly produced for clients — distributed in print, online or otherwise
  • Stock distribution site(s)
  • Resume, C.V. or Artist Statement
  • Exhibition history
  • Gallery representation or list of collectors


Please note: ASMP does not require a majority of income to be earned from photography, motion or related industry fields. We do not require submission of financial forms of any type, nor do we judge any applicant's qualifications based on the subjective quality of their work beyond what a client is willing to pay for.


Who Can Sponsor

Any current Professional Member can sponsor an applicant for Professional Membership. You do not have to be in the same chapter and you do not have to be a Chapter or National leader to act as a sponsor. Applicants who do not know local Professional Members are encouraged to contact their local chapter Presidents and Board members, who are expected to either vet the applicant themselves or help them find sponsorship. National board members are also available to vet and sponsor applicants.


Applicants Who Don’t Qualify

If you feel an applicant does not meet the qualifications for Professional Membership, please respectfully suggest they join at the Associate level until they build up enough experience to move into the Professional category.


Applicants who have been refused sponsorship but feel they do qualify may contact their chapter membership chair or the national membership chair for further review of their qualifications.


If you have any questions, please feel free to email [email protected].