The Family Photojournalist Association® exists to accredit and promote the expertise of professional family photographers who deploy still-photography family reportage and documentary authenticity to tell the story of the family.
WHY FAMILY PHOTOJOURNALISTS JOIN THE FPJA
The FPJA seeks to increase business opportunities for its members and to generate greater demand among potential clients for the use of a documentary approach to family photography.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A FPJA MEMBER
The member photographers of the FPJA represent the association for as long as their membership remains in good standing.
We believe that photographers who consider their family photography approach to be documentary, photojournalistic and overall candid in nature, should create and present work that strongly favors the many authentic family moments.
The FPJA member’s online portfolio should convey a documentary impression in the work it features prominently. While creative talent in “portraiture,” still-life “details,” and camera-aware “group shots” are part of every family photographer’s toolbox, we primarily present ourselves and our work as professional family photojournalists telling the authentic story of a family, not directing it.
STANDARDS AND GUIDELINES FOR FPJA MEMBERSHIP
The standards applicants must meet for membership in the FPJA are the same standards all members will uphold while they remain members.
A FPJA member exhibits exceptional originality, creativity and judgment in family photojournalism; it is only through the integrity of his or her work and client relations by which the association may maintain its and its other member photographers’ reputations. An application to join and rationale for renewal should observe the following guidelines:
Web Site/Online Portfolio
Out of respect for our clients’ needs, we give high priority to the online, digital representations of our work.
Members must maintain an up-to-date and professional web site portfolio that continues to meet FPJA standards. The domain must be owned by the photographer (e.g., photographerstudio.com), not a subdomain owned by another company (e.g., photographerstudio.companyname.com). In addition, the site needs to have a clean design with intuitive navigation. Member web sites must load with all images and links functioning. They must also be compatible with most browsers. A member’s web site represents the photographer’s talent and professionalism and therefore reflects on the FPJA as a whole.
We are Experts in Family Photojournalism
As FPJA members, our digital image content, curation and picture editing meet FPJA standards for family photojournalism as a profession we practice. For example, the online portfolios of FPJA members (and of applicants to membership) must feature a minimum of 25 sample images of their family photojournalism work. (Note that this is a requirement of more than 25 family-related images, not for images from more than 25 different families.) Understanding the differences between Moments, Portraits and Details categories of images can help in marketing one’s own family photography business and in joining and representing the Family Photojournalist Association.
- Moments: Candid, observational examples of the family members, emotions, interactions, reactions and juxtapositions in rich supply at family day-to-day events, captured as they occur and appear.
- Portraits: Camera-aware subjects and photographer-controlled situations, subjects performing for or looking at the camera, people gathered or arranged by the photographer, etc.
- Details: Tights shots of legs, feet, hands, fingers, etc.
The FPJA recommends applicants consider creating other, separate galleries labeled Family Portraits if the photographer has a profusion of these types of images among their body of work.
To demonstrate another common situation for some photographers, a Client Featured Family gallery will likely have a variety of different types of images from the same family. For a FPJA member or applicant, best practice for curating such a gallery would be to select more of these images that would be considered Moments rather than Portraits or Details. Similarly, a site with only a general Portfolio or Gallery category for all family photography will probably contain a variety of different types of images. For a FPJA member, most of these pictures should be examples of Moments, rather than Portraits or Details. As a general guideline, a portfolio of family photography on a member’s or applicant’s web site should be composed of about 60 percent or more Moments images involving a person or people, and not more than 40 percent of the total should come from the Details and Portraits categories. (In separate galleries appropriately labeled as such, as many Maternity or Family Portraits as the photographer needs to represent the portfolio are permitted and encouraged.)
The essence of family photojournalism is in capturing moments involving the family members and their daily activities. Yet even our on-location family portrait and details reflect our preference for opportunistic “found” lighting and settings.
Photographers offering a variety of photographic services oftentimes categorize their family images within subcategories on their sites, an effective practice provided the galleries are appropriately labeled.
As a professional, a FPJA member presents only good image quality on a portfolio web site. Image files should be properly saved for the web for easy viewing.
Technical and Creative Skills
An online portfolio web site for a professional family photojournalist should avoid the pitfalls of on-location photography, including but not limited to:
- Indoor images with amateur on-camera lighting and direct flash shadows.
- Redundant images or sequence shots with minimal change in content.
- Images where subjects are poorly cropped.
- Overuse of an F8 stop with a 50mm lens throughout a portfolio. (The good use of a variety of lenses can help exhibit the expertise of a photographer who seeks to become a FPJA member.)
ETHICAL BUSINESS CONDUCT AND PRACTICES
Creativity in our craft, integrity in our work, honesty in our dealings, and professionalism in our behavior are the conspicuous hallmarks of FPJA membership.
Honesty and Integrity
Members must make factual and knowledgeable statements in the course of representing their work, our trade, the association and other photographers. Examples of communications that would constitute dishonest or misleading communications could include:
- Misleading or confusing information about family photojournalism, such as using the word “photojournalism” alone to describe “family photography,” or identifying oneself as a “photojournalist” but failing to post work history or images to support the assertion.
- Claiming use of a style or approach that doesn’t match or isn’t included in the work shown in one’s online portfolio or other published work.
- False representation of photo credits.
- Copyright infringement.
- “Borrowing” web design elements and text without permission, i.e., violating copyright. (This does not include elements used in a web site template that has been installed with permission by a public license or a purchased license.)
Obligations and Communications
This association of family photojournalists accepts and insists upon only responsible business ethics and complete professional integrity among its members. We agree that we do not and will not:
- Fail to uphold family contract obligations with clients.
- Ignore communication from clients.
- Fail to respond to specific communications from FPJA personnel concerning issues important to the integrity and reputation of the association. (This excludes communications that may be sent by the FPJA administration as regular or announcement communications to all members.)
- Communicate publicly through words (written or spoken) in a negative manner against other members or the association as a whole.
- Establish a web-based family photography business that directly competes with the FPJA; persons or entities “directly compete” with the FPJA if they are engaged in the promotion of family photographers (excluding a studio of collocated photographers).
The FPJA reserves the right to refuse, revoke or terminate membership at any time if it deems a member contravenes the terms set forth by the FPJA membership requirements, standards, codes and/or guidelines.
COST OF FPJA MEMBERSHIP
The cost of Family Photojournalist Association membership is $45 USD per year, or $25 USD for 6 months.
Wedding Photojournalist Association Members: Free to qualified and current WPJA.com members.
Making Membership Payments
FPJA membership fees can be paid using the following:
- American Express
Accepted members will be contacted with more information on their preferred payment method.