Today two professional photography trade organizations‚ American Photographic Artists (APA) and Editorial Photographers (EP)‚ announced that they will merge to create one organization with a membership of approximately 3200 photographers.

The move will see the creation of the first national chapter of APA, which will be known as the APA Editorial Photographers chapter.

EP president Brian Smith told PDN the move would revitalize that organization while also giving APA a presence in smaller cities in the United States and internationally. (EP is an internet-based organization without a chapter structure, and has members throughout the country and the world, Smith notes.)

“It was a case of trying to revitalize everything and offer something more,” Smith said of the decision to merge. “EP was founded as an opportunity to get together and actively seek better editorial contracts. It was formed in a day when the magazines were making money by the bushellful. Times have changed in the editorial market and really the board felt the best thing we could do would be to come up with additional resources for our members.”Smith added that the administrative resources of APA will benefit EP, which was previously run by volunteers. “We had grown to the point that we very much needed administration,” Smith said.

EP was founded in 1999 by 13 San Francisco Bay Area photographers, and grew into a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and profitability of editorial photography.

APA, which was founded under the name Advertising Photographers of America, is a national organization run by and for professional photographers that seeks to advocate for, educate and support its members.

“APA is excited to have Editorial Photographers come into our association while maintaining their identity as a National Chapter of APA,” APA CEO Stephen Best said in a statement released by the organizations. “With so many core values of the two associations being the same, a merger is an ideal vehicle to build a stronger voice in the industry.”


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