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Membership FAQs

Q. Why join APA?

APA is a non-profit trade organization built by photographers for photographers. Now in our fourth decade, APA exists to provide business tools and creative inspiration which help photographic artists of all levels run a smarter, more creative, and profitable business.

APA offers education, community, inspiration, and opportunities for networking and social engagement through local chapter activities.

In addition, membership in APA helps keep our profession strong. APA amplifies each of our voices on the national stage and advocates on behalf of all members, keeping the industry dynamic, influential and robust.

Our membership structure gives every photographer, and those affiliated with photography an affordable way to belong to a community of like-minded professionals.

For membership questions, please contact:

Q. What are the APA member levels?

Professesional level is the preferred plan and what is designed for most photographer members of APA.

ProPlus: $500 or $45/month (monthly plan billed in 30-day intervals)
Professional : $350 or $32/month (monthly plan billed in 30-day intervals)
Emerging: $225 or $21/month (monthly plan billed in 30-day intervals)
Supporter: $125 or $12/month (monthly plan billed in 30-day intervals)
Contributor: $50

View the membership table with Benefits.

Or, view the Benefits by Member Levels.

Q. How do I upgrade or downgrade my membership?

If you are on our Annual pay plan and would like to upgrade, you will need to purchase a new membership plan. We will pro-rate: refund the balance of your current membership; refunds take 5 to 10 days to appear in customer accounts.

To upgrade, please email

Your Profile will stay intact and you will immediately be able to access your new benefits. 

Q. How do I join as a student?

You can self-select the Student category. Schools can contact APA to set up multiple student and educator memberships. 

Q. How are chapter affiliations determined?

All APA members are part of APA National. Additionally, you are automatically affiliated with an APA chapter based upon your address when you join. This allows you to stay involved at the local level and receive communications and invitations. If you move to a different chapter territory, please log in and update your address, then email to request a chapter change.

Anyone can receive Chapter Event Announcements and other Updates from any APA Chapter. Use the sign-up links below:

APA New York
APA Los Angeles
APA San Francisco
APA Chicago
APA Atlanta
APA San Diego
APA Washington DC
APA Charlotte NC

For membership questions, please contact:

Q. Who is eligible to join APA?

APA is designed for professional photographers and image-makers, primarily those working in the advertising, editorial, entertainment and corporate sections. We invite others in the photo community to join. 

Ful-time professional photographers are expected to select the Professional level membership. 

Q. Can I pay by check?

Sorry, no -- we no longer accept checks for dues. It's simpler, more efficient and cost effective to operate the organization through the e-commerce solution built into our website.

The exception for this is for schools purchasing multiple memberships at one time.

Q. Does APA help provide O-1 Letters of No Objection for USA Visas?

APA can assist international members in documenting their professional status and photographer requirements in their USA Visa application for an Advisory opinion in support of the O-1 petition (letter of no objection). The applicants must be professional photographers with exceptional work. 

Follow these procedures:

  1. Contact our National Executive Director, Juliette Wolf-Robin  for approval. Examples of exceptional photographic work are required. Include information about awards, education, clients, and other supporting documents.
  2. Once you have received approval, purchase an annual (not monthly) Professional ($350) or Pro-Plus ($500)  level membership. 
  3. There is a one-time $200 fee for the letter.

Q. Does APA provide a membership card?

To do our part in reducing plastic worldwide, APA no longer produces plastic member ID cards.

If you need to show proof of your APA Membership, you can access a virtual APA Member ID Card by logging in and scrolling to the bottom of your MY APA webpage.  

If you are traveling by air, consider purchasing an APA Member Pro Media Photo Identification Card, available to Associate, Professional, & Leader members, for just $25.

There are many advantages to having an APA Professional Media Photo Identification Card:

  1. Photo ID validity—Many airlines only accept Pro Media Cards that contain a headshot.
  2. Our Photo ID is more secure, offers enhanced authenticity, and can expedite airport access.
  3. Use your APA Pro Media Photo ID to facilitate the pro media discount on excess baggage, which is available through many airlines.

You will likely receive your APA Pro Media Photo ID Card in under a week. Faster delivery is also available via FedEx.  We only ship cards in the U.S. 

Upgrade to our Associate member level or above to take advantage of the APA Pro Media Photo ID Card and other valuable APA Photographer Member level benefits by emailing

Q. Do APA memberships auto-renew?

For your convenience (and, as it states in the required click-through Join page Member terms) APA will continue to auto renew your APA Membership dues subscription until you tell us otherwise.

  • Please verify that your credit card account number and expiration date are current; simply login and click on Edit My Account and / or Update Billing Details (in the right side vertical navigation menu -- the white box with a red stripe on top).
  • A reminder for Annual Renewal charges is sent via email within 30 days prior to renewal.  Please keep your email address current. 
  • You may cancel your auto renew subscription before it renews ONLY by contacting the APA Membership Representative, at least 2 days prior to your auto renew date, only in writing (via email) to An email with the cancellation confirmation will be sent to you.
  • Please do not attempt to cancel your membership by contacting your local chapter.
  • When you cancel your APA membership, you will be removed from Hire an APA Pro, and will no longer be entitled to receive membership benefits and discounts. 

For membership questions, please contact:

Q. How do I update my credit card information?

For your security, we don't have any direct access to your credit card info, so we can't update it for you.

Simply please login, and in the right side vertical navigational menu (the white rectangle with a red stripe on top) click on Update Billing Details. This will take you to the secure area where you can update your billing info. If you also change your address, please email us so we can update your Chapter affiliation. 

Q. Does APA offer professional business insurance?

APA has a dedicated business unit to handle our members' insurance needs. Karen Stetz is the insurance agent specializing in working with professional photographers for equipment, liability and rental coverage. 

 APA Insurance Services (AIS) never charges for COI (proof of insurance certificates). Get a free no-obligation quote and compare rates today. More info is here.

Please note: Insurance is not included in membership.

Q. Does APA have partner discounts?

Yes, lots of them!  Our long-standing aim has been to partner with like-minded companies that strive to contribute to the success of our members. In so doing, we are selective in that partnership. We make it our priority to assure an appropriate match between our members and brands. 

Discounts are based on APA membership level. Most discounts start for the APA Supporter level memer and above. 

Simply login to your MY APA page, and in the right side vertical navigation menu, click on Discount Codes. APA partners either provide a code or the person to contact. Codes change regularly, so please let us know if any are not active and we will update it. 

Note, the APA Apple online store is a link. The prices listed in the APA Apple Online Store include the APA member discount but the discount is not clearly indicated.  More info is here.

For membership questions, please contact::

Q. How do I reactivate my APA membership?

To rejoin, simply use the Look Up Account feature in the Join section on our site.
Login using the same email address, select a member level and payment plan and checkout.

All APA profiles are self-updateable so you can login and make changes anytime. Start here:

Q. How do I cancel my membership?

You may cancel your auto renew subscription before it renews ONLY by contacting the APA Membership Representative, at least 2 days prior to your auto renew date, only in writing (by email) to:

An email with the cancellation confirmation will be sent to you. 

When you cancel your APA membership, you will be removed from Hire an APA Pro, and will no longer be entitled to receive membership benefits and discounts.