Membership in the Professional Aerial Photographers' Association provides a wealth of services and benefits to participating photographers. The quarterly PAPA Newsletter provides up-to-date information on tips and techniques, as well as commenting on issues that affect our profession. Each year, PAPA holds an educational conference, where aerial photographers meet and exchange ideas. The Annual Print Competitions provide a showcasefor outstanding and creative work. Our online member database is an excellent resource for potential clients searching for aerial photographers in many parts of the world.
Keeps members up-to-date with what's happening in the aerial photography industry. It Includes interesting technical data and classified ads. Many of the articles are contributed by our members who have developed a particular specialty that the rest of the association may learn from.
The camaraderie generated from this one event alone is worth the membership in PAPA! This yearly meeting of the minds of PAPA members brings together aerial photographers from around the world to discuss issues that impact our profession. During this three day event, members enjoy discussion groups covering topics that range from marketing and money making, equipment reviews, copyright infringement, safety concerns, practical business practices and technical expertise! The image competition provides a showcase for outstanding and creative work. The conference is held in either February or March in different locations and venues around the US.
PAPA's email discussion list run by PAPA International exclusively for its members is organized and managed by PAPA members. The purpose of this list is for PAPA members to discuss anything and everything related to the business of aerial photography. There are tentative plans to expand the abilities of this on-line tool to a forum type system that will allow better search and archive capabilities.
One of the most eagerly awaited and planned for sessions at the annual conference is the very popular image competition. All year, members watch for their own extraordinary shots to bring to the competition. A panel of judges assesses the images using accepted grading criteria including title, impact, composition, and technical expertise awarding the images a variety of points. The award winning images each year can be viewed on our Gallery page.
The popularity of the annual conference has generated three additional events with the purpose of having ongoing educational opportunities that could reach more members by being held closer to more members' homes and businesses. These workshops are held across the country drawing members to their choice of three locations across the contiguous United States with meetings planned on the West Coast, the central US, and on the East Coast. Smaller by design, Regional meetings can touch on more location sensitive issues such as flight restrictions and can even include pre-planned photo flights. These meetings turn competitors into colleagues. They are held in the fall in the above listed areas plus an International destination if conditions permit. Members can go to any or all of these conferences. These events are usually hosted by the Director of that Region and are always fun and interesting because each host tries to out-do the others with tours, parties, Bar-B-Q’s, dinner boats, and aviation museums.
PAPA also hosts events outside the U.S. for our international members. In 2006, our first international meeting was held in Australia, in 2007 Montreal, Canada, and in 2008 San Juan, PR.
PAPA’s current information in all areas can be found here. There is a public side that makes available information about PAPA, its Board of Directors, benefits, corporate partners, and membership applications in pdf format. It also describes past and upcoming events, awards earned by our members and much more. Potential clients can also search the PAPA database for an aerial photographer by name or geographic area. There is a members’ only side that contains announcements, pictures and articles about recent events, rules and details for the image competition, and many more member services.
When you join PAPA, an existing, long-time member of PAPA is assigned to you as your PAPA Pal to introduce you to other members and the opportunities that are available to you with your membership.
As a large group of professionals, we have collectively "seen it all" and "done it all" in aerial photography! Get the advantage of friends with experience - help is only a phone call away! Our website also features aerial photography equipment that has been recommended by our members.
Our unique Certification Program greatly enhances your professional standing. The core certification was recently established which includes classes and testing on aircraft safety, federal aviation regulations that relate to aerial photographers, and advanced photography for the professional aerial photographer. Initial certification occurred at our March 2010 National Conference in Sugar Land , Texas. It was offered to those members in attendance. Other PAPA members will be earning their certification in the near future.
PAPA members are encouraged to earn points toward the PAPA Master Aerial Photographer Award. Through association involvement such as presenting clinics or classes, and successfully entering and competing in the PAPA Print Competition, members earn this highly regarded distinction.
Participating PAPA members expand their coverage area by helping out with shooting assignments in their own geographic region. Imagine being able to offer international photo coverage to your clients!
Show your colors! Decals, patches, shirts, caps, camera-ready art... they are all available. They’re great for promotional giveaways and for displaying your status as a true professional aerial photographer.