Whether you’re an experienced freelance photographer or are just starting out on your career path, as you delve deeper into your craft, you may begin to grow increasingly curious about what your peers and competitors are doing. Seeing how you compare in the modern market can be a great way to learn new industry tips and tricks, stay competitive within your niche, and even make connections with other creators and entrepreneurs. One fantastic way to do this is by joining an organization of photographers like the International Freelance Photographers Association (IFPO). But is it worth it to pay the one-time joining fee associated with the IFPO? And what are the benefits of joining the International Freelance Photographers Association? In this article, we will take a look at the top ten reasons to join the IFPO!
International Freelance Photographers Association: Top 10 Reasons to Join IFPO
Top 10 Reasons to Join the IFPO
While it’s true that joining an exclusive club or organization relevant to your occupation can come at a cost, there is no shortage of benefits to joining the IFPO or other freelance photography groups. Here are the top ten reasons to join the International Freelance Photographers Association:
- Community: It is amazing how valuable belonging to a group of peers can be—not only psychologically in terms of how seriously you take your career but also from a social and professional standpoint. In a group like the IFPO, members can bounce ideas off each other, look for ways to improve their game, ask questions, share stories, and more!
- Inspiration: Especially in a post-pandemic world, the majority of workplace employees have experienced some level of burnout. This can also happen creatively in the sense that when we overwork ourselves, even processes we normally find relaxing and joyful can feel tense, rushed, or formulaic. If you are beginning to feel like it’s groundhog day with each photoshoot you schedule, joining the IFPO can be an excellent way to kickstart your inspiration and look at your job through another professional’s lens.
- Competitive edge: While comparing yourself to others is generally considered a bad idea, it can still be helpful to take a look at what your competitors are doing and challenge your current thought process or way of going about your work. With tens of thousands of members across the world, you’ll not only be up on your local competition but will be able to add an international appeal to your photography as well by becoming a member of the IFPO.
- Associating with other professionals: Want connections with other entrepreneurial experts? Looking for top-tier clients who also wield the camera themselves from time to time? How about looking for international clients or potential collaborators for more ambitious projects? All of this is available through joining and networking within the International Freelance Photographers Association.
- Easy publishing: Consider joining the IFPO like a jumpstart to an idle car. Especially if you’re just getting going on your career, starting off with a freelance photography membership can help you get your work out there, get seen, and even get professionally published. For budding photographers, this difference can mean the distinction between getting their career off the ground easily or spending ages doing it the “old fashioned” way.
- Expand your portfolio: Much like how reading from an array of different authors’ perspectives can help a budding writer find their own voice, the more photography you are exposed to, the better you are able to find and define your style as a photographer. What sets you apart from your competitors? How do you make your subject shine? The clearer you understand this, the fewer doubts you will have in yourself—and the sooner you will be able to build a client-converting portfolio!
- Add credentials to your resume: It’s always nice to be able to add a little something extra to our resumes to show the world how much we are willing to invest in our business and in ourselves. This can help you win potential clients, can provide colleagues and collaborators with an idea of what to expect from you, and even help you land business at big events or with other high-profile employers.
- International recognition: Did you ever dream of traveling for fun—or even for work? Global platforms like the IFPO allow photographers to connect with their peers and associates hundreds of miles away and can provide unique opportunities for international business. Who wouldn’t love getting paid to travel?
- Career advancement through programs and further credentialing opportunities: Want to level up your game through professional programs while padding your resume with even further credentials at the same time? The IFPO offers an array of credential-boosting opportunities such as Press Credentials, Master Photographer, and IFPO Distributorship. How far will you go?
- One-time fee to join versus monthly membership: While there are several other photographers’ organizations out there, not all of them offer the global reach of the International Freelance Photographers Association that comes with just one simple initial fee. For only $79, IFPO members have lifetime access to the benefits of the organization without the annoying recurring fees once a month!
Join the International Freelance Photographers Association Today!
Investing in your career is a way of investing in yourself—and in doing so, you are better able to support neighbors, family, friends, small business owners, etc. Adding a community of supportive, creative, and experienced professional freelance photographers to your toolbox can cost as little as $79, opening up doors you might never have had access to otherwise—including international opportunities, resume building, associating with other industry professionals, creative inspiration, and more.
Are you ready to get serious about your career as a freelance photographer? IFPOʼs office is available Monday through Friday, 10 am – 6 pm EST and 9 am – 6 pm holidays and weekends at 1(800)654-9557. A staff member will be there to answer the phone in person to clarify questions or assist with whatever a member might need. IFPO members are never left “high and dry” because they canʼt reach someone every day of the year. Each member has an internet verification listing available 24-7 which is often the solution to after-hours problems.