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Assistant Membership

© Charlie Bettinson, Best AOP Assistant, AOP Open Awards 2013

By becoming a member of the Association of Photographers you automatically become part of a wider community of assistants, photographers and photographers' agents. You will achieve recognition from your peers as well as the industry and become recognised by those who commission professional photography.


Assistants need to have assisted at least three photographers in the last year, or, be employed full-time by one photographer. References will need to be provided and once we have had confirmation from referees we will progress your application. We would expect the procedure to take no longer than three weeks.

In summary we can provide you with:

  • Recognition as a member of a peer group that represents those at the top of their game.
  • Business and Legal support. Referral to specialist lawyers, retained by the AOP (first half-hour consultation at a discounted members rate)
  • Eligibility to apply for inclusion in our web-based Assistant Search list. A short multiple-choice test (50 mins) to be completed at the AOP HQ. This provides presence on the AOP website as an Assistant, including contact information, web and email links.
  • Eligibility to enter the AOP Awards.
  • Quarterly Image Magazine App.                                                                                                        - See Issue #1, our first 'exclusive', open free download to all members and non-members. Available through the iTunes Store here & as an online PDF here.
  • Monthly member-only e-newsletter and blog.
  • Access to our Assistant e-mail forum & the main AOP E-list; a 24/7 Private Member to Member Forum that shares advice and always has an immediate answer to a question.
  • Access to a group combined employers and public liability insurance policy. Only available to Assistant Members. This provides a very cost-effective way to getting necessary insurance cover when working.
  • Access to the AOP's Applestore where items are sold at discounted prices (UK residents only).
  • Member Industry Discounts
  • Ability to showcase your work in the AOP Online Gallery & submit images for the AOP Member Print Sales. 
  • Discounts on all the AOP's publications including the Awards book, Beyond the Lens and any future publications.
  • Free buy/sell advertisements on the AOP's website.
  • Free Job Shop advertisements on the AOP's website (not to be used to advertise for freelance assistants).
  • Access to portfolio critiques, workshops & seminars at member prices.

For more information email us at

Voting Rights:

No voting rights.


  • £165 p/a - plus VAT (UK)

N.B.  For any card payments please contact the office on +44(0)203 327 7207


Comments about the AOP:

"Being an AOP Assistant member means that I am part of a community of people that are able to support me, whether that's by giving me technical advice on the forum, showing support for my work in exhibitions, or campaigning for best practice within the photographic industry. I really love going to openings and events at the AOP where I can socialise with Photographic Agents, or photography legends, or other assistants, it always makes me marvel at how far reaching the AOP network is" - Emma Tunbridge

"Being part of the AOP allows me to belong to a community that supports and looks after it's own. With people from all over the world the AOP is rich in experience and diversity of work. Being an AOP assistant makes you stand out from the thousands of other assistants. It gives me a little extra something, photographers respect that I have to be able to work to a high level to be on the assistants list. As an assistant member I seem to get almost half a dozen enquiries for extra work a month, if I wasn't a member I wouldn't be exposed to this. It pays for itself very quickly!" - Phil Haynes

"I once got a job via a phone call from a photographer finding me on the 'AOP assistant list'. The job was a month long to Assist the Photographer doing the fashion shows in New York, London, Milan and then Paris. I got £5000 for the Job!!! This job became a regular thing twice a year! So I got £10,000 a year for two months work. Not bad for just having my name on the AOP Assistant list. Once I get one well paid job or two cheap jobs via the 'assistant list' the membership pays for itself." - Andrew John Simpson

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