Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The American Society Of Magazine Photographers

As usual that photo of me on the card with the impish grin was a self portrait. There was a certain amount of prestige in being a member of ASMP. You had to have a history of published photos and be sponsored by members. You couldn't just mail in your money and join. They published a magazine, Infinity, and were one of the sponsors of the annual Wilson Hicks Photojournalism Conference at the University of Miami. You'd see the latest work by the world's top journalistic photographers, listen to picture editors discuss trends, look over and handle the newest cameras, perhaps even get some sample rolls of a newly introduced film. You'd meet up with old friends, make new friends. A lot of those people are gone now, a few I'm still friendly with although we rarely see one another.

As the news magazines got replaced by TV news many photographers startedshooting other things. ASMP became The American Society Of Media Photographers, but that common thread was gone. Wilson Hicks, the last picture editor of Life Magazine, put together a good photojuornalism department at the University of Miami, but the market had changed, Wilson passed away, and an era came to an end.

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