On January 1, 2015, ASMP welcomed Tom Kennedy as its new executive director. Tom Kennedy comes to the helm with 40 years of experience in print and online journalism and an international reputation as a visual communicator.
“I’m eager to build on ASMP’s position as an industry leader in education, advocacy and information that supports fair compensation for creators. -The Huffington Post”
Kennedy took immediate action visiting members of the ASMP Tucson and ASMP Phoenix chapters in a joint meeting in Tucson, AZ on January 8th. Kennedy came to visit Arizona to speak to photographers to ask them where we need help, how he can help and to get input. Members in attendance took advantage of a rare opportunity to meet in person with the executive director of ASMP national. Letting our voices be heard through participation. “I am your servant, not your leader.” Kennedy said. The discussion focused on listening to our concerns at both the national and local levels then making changes on the national level.
Photography is a not a regulated industry and we rely on ourselves often times to educated our clients and other just what it’s like to be a photographer. Educating others on copyright, licensing, cost of doing business as a photographer, etc. My own personal experience with networking with thousands of photographers is that, photographers are generally concerned about what happens in the photography industry, yet many do not want to be involved in the industry. Many may not like to hear this but this is why you need to get involved with organizations and associations. It is why I’m a member and have served on the boards of associations like ASMP, PPA, AZPPA and other local photographers groups.
A few highlights of Kennedy’s recent interview, available to read on ASMP
ASMP: WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS THE BIGGEST HURDLE FACING PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS AND IMAGE MAKERS TODAY?
TK: I think too often companies and other types of organizations are seeing professional visual communicators as producers of a commodity product that can be obtained elsewhere now at much less cost, thanks in part to the way technology has enabled amateurs. In addition, they see the images themselves as a potential revenue stream that can be generated without full, fair compensation being returned to photographers as part of the bargain. Both are real threats and, in my opinion, they represent a complete misreading of the value proposition offered by professional visual communicators.
Our members can be immensely valuable to brands and publishers as full service visual communicators, and they need to be respected for the expertise they offer to companies seeking to use visual content to reach an audience with a compelling message.
Both of these major areas of concern can be further subdivided into specific issues reflected in our advocacy work, such as maintaining ownership and possession of key rights associated with the act of creation throughout the publication and distribution processes.
ASMP: WHAT DO YOU VIEW AS THE MOST VALUABLE BENEFIT FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO ARE NOT YET ASMP MEMBERS BUT ARE CONSIDERING JOINING THE ORGANIZATION?
TK: I believe strongly in the power of community to offer wisdom and knowledge crucial to navigating one’s way in today’s world, from both a creative and career management perspective. While creativity and defining success for oneself are individual actions, both areas can be affected as well by larger forces. I see ASMP as a valuable mechanism for building one’s skills in all professional dimensions and I see the mutual support within our community as a real value when professional photographers face personal challenges individually.
ASMP is a well-known leader on current issues, regularly representing the industry on legislative matters nationally and internationally, and providing members with state-of-the-art information and education. Over 7,000 strong with 39 chapters throughout the country, members range from students to imaging professionals, working in still photography and motion in a variety of specialty areas. ASMP is a community of forward thinking professionals whose members include the world’s foremost visual artists.