Online Communities

American Society of Media Photographers 
Founded in 1944, at a time when print photographers had little financial or professional organization, ASMP was created to defend the rights and interests of professional photographers. The society advocates for copyright protection, business education, professional standards and fellowship, and against work–for–hire and other abuses. ASMP has chapters all over the nation and holds valuable meetings on a range of issues of interest for photographers—pricing and administration, client relations, and technical “how to” topics, as well as talks on featured photographers. These events are not only learning but also networking and social opportunities, giving photographers, who typically work in isolation, a sense of real community.

Digital Photography Review 
Like the rest of the site, DP Review’s Forum is a comprehensive and orderly. The collection of digital gear discussions is grouped by equipment brand and technique and the active interest of the participants is measured by counters that keep track of the number of threads and messages as well as the number of minutes between postings.

Documentary Educational Resource
Documentary Educational Resource continues its longstanding mission of making cross-cultural documentary films available for educational purposes. DER supports filmmakers who engage with communities and cultures all over the world, producing and distributing their work with the goal of educating both students and the general population on many issues. The organization offers financial sponsorship of projects, workshops in film editing, consulting for filmmakers on marketing and fundraising, as well as an internship program for students and a film stock agency to help get the work out there.

Editorial Photographers 
Founded by editorial photographers for editorial photographers, EP speaks frankly and directly to many issues facing professionals today. In a field that has seen a lot of change in recent years, EP’s stated mission is to advocate for photographers’ rights and to be a voice for change in the industry. Relying on education and communication to increase awareness of the issues, the site provides ample information on everything from wise business practices to the politics of editorial photography. EP’s site also includes many member services, ranging from the “Find a Photographer” database to Outreach EP, Editorial Photographers’ excellent education and resource page, which deals with some of the most important questions challenging today’s photographers.

ICP Library Blog
It’s hard to resist a library blog called “Monsters and Madonnas,” and the International Center for Photography’s library uses this cheeky hook to present some fairly serious information about news, events, current trends and fascinating finds in the world photo book publishing.


Resources, leads, links and leaks posted by photographers for photographers. Personal recommendations for everything from body armor to camera bags, processing laboratories to travel agencies. A serious and committed group of professionals.

Luminous Lint 
Luminous-Lint is the result of one man’s laudable mission to get us all involved in the creation of “the world’s leading collaborative knowledge-base for the history of photography.” Although complex, the site is very user-friendly. Information is organized by searchable sections that include themes, photographers, techniques, galleries and dealers, as well as times lines. Luminous-Lint makes very good use of the web’s elastic nature: each link in these sections unfolds into an amazingly rich page of historical and practical information, closely connected with other pages - including eclectic photo galleries - in order to give the most complete picture possible. The most original feature of Luminous-Lint is its very personal and direct requests for input; the site is dotted with areas for feedback and ways to get involved in building the content. The interactive nature of the site, somewhat like a Wikipedia for the history of photography, opens the door to an original and more comprehensive way of researching and displaying photographic history.

North American Nature Photographers Association 
Nature photographers are playing an increasingly important role in documenting and communicating the state of our rapidly changing natural environment, and NANPA is professional association that promotes and supports this and the many other aspects of nature photography. One of the Association’s central goals is education, which it pursues through its publications Expressions and Currents, events such as the Annual Summit and Nature Photography Day, as well as student scholarships to help inspire the next generation. The other major aspect of NANPA’s mission is protecting the natural environment, and the site includes many pages devoted to keeping its membership aware of environmental news and apprised of advocacy and resources for hot button issues.

Photo District News Online - Emerging Photographer 
"The resource for professional image makers of tomorrow" 

Photo.Net Forums 
From pinhole to digital photography, photo philosophy to photo business, this surprising collection of discussion topics covers a lot of ground in the art and industry of photography. Different from other, more gear-oriented forums, there is a lot of thoughtful discussion here and it is well worth digging through the archives.

Photographic Resource Center, Boston University
Photographic Resource Center, Boston’s vigorous and independent photo non-profit, fulfills part of its wide-ranging mandate by offering an online photo discussion forum. Although this resource still seems largely untapped, the forum does offer PRC’s membership and interested surfers a place to ask general or technical questions, post classifieds and look for volunteer opportunities. The PRC’s many other activities are designed to engage a broad public with the art and ideas of photography. Located on the campus of Boston University, the PRC offers its members and the wider public up to eight annual gallery exhibitions, research resources based in the PRC’s Aaron Siskind Library and other unique events. If that were not enough, the PRC also hosts a web-based photo discussion forum, publishes In the Loupe, its stylish newsletter, and offers the annual Leopold Godowsky Jr. Color Photography Awards. Vigorous indeed!

Proof: Media for Social Justice
An organization that harnesses photography’s power to document both the facts and the emotion of a situation as means to generate awareness of the lives of people in post-conflict areas such as Darfur and Rwanda. Proof’s goals are very direct; they partner with established photographers whose work chronicles the human cost of violence, and in conjunction with groups such as Amnesty International, and institutions such as Houston’s Holocaust Museum, create a visual record – or proof – of humanitarian emergencies that demand the world’s attention. Ultimately, this spare site is a call to action and there is a page full of clearly defined ways to help and to get involved.

Social Documentary
Social Documentary, a sort of collective online gallery, investigates the “global human condition” by inviting documentary photographers to share their work. The well-designed site features an egalitarian mix of photo-reportages from an international cast of established and amateur photographers. Covering issues such as the devastating effects of Nigerian oil on local populations, stories of forced and voluntary migrations, and tales of the lives of marginalized people from around the globe, the themes are broad and the stories are personal. Photographers are invited to create their own web pages within Social, posting a slide show, information about the work, and links to groups and NGOs that are addressing the issues. The makers of this site believe in the power of images to create change in the world; the variety and depth of the work here gives viewers plenty to think about and act upon.

Women in Photography International
For over two decades this group has been advocating for women’s photography and working for its increased visibility in the world. The WiPI Member’s Network Board provides a forum for exchange on a range of photo topics and areas of interest. In fact, the WiPI’s busy website is packed with resources and useful information, a reflection of the organization’s commitment to supporting women photographers through the entire process of creation. The site is home to f2, an e-Zine that assembles news, new photo projects, business tips and book reviews related to women photographers (and women in general). Other useful sections include a member database searchable by photographic specialty and an ongoing series of juried online exhibitions. There is even a reference section of bibliographies devoted to women photographers and their art.