ASMP-NY and the Future of Photo Trade Organizations: The B&H Photography Podcast


On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome two members of the New York chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers, otherwise known as the ASMP-NY, and we discuss the society’s evolving role as a trade organization for photographers, as well as a recent photography exhibit the Society sponsored.

Our guests are Liam Alexander, President of the New York chapter of ASMP, and Harper Bella, ASMP-NY board member and co-curator of the exhibit “Uncovering the Laws of Perseverance.”

From Alexander, we learn a bit about the history, structure, and benefits of the organization and discuss his initial reasons for joining. We also talk about the group’s mentorship programs, photo law workshops, and recent initiatives to include a new generation of artists, whether that means inviting photographers from underrepresented demographics or opening the organization’s membership criteria to include “new media” makers, who don’t necessarily operate with traditional media outlets.

In the second half of the show, we speak with Harper Bella about the impressive exhibit she co-curated and how it was born from the anger and uprising sparked by the George Floyd murder, and then nurtured through difficult yet fruitful conversations with other ASMP-NY members. We also learn about her curatorial process, the diverse styles of photographers involved, and the varied artistic responses to the idea of protest, including healing and community building as a form of resistance.

Join us for this interesting conversation and learn how this photography trade organization, founded in 1944, is listening to its community and adapting to the new media landscape.

Guests: Liam Alexander and Harper Bella 

Above photograph © Harper Bella

“Invocation of Happiness” from Uncovering the Laws of Perseverance © Awuku Darko Samuel
“Traditional Dancer, Ghana,” 1973 from Uncovering the Laws of Perseverance © Chester Higgins
“Mama Zando” from Uncovering the Laws of Perseverance © Harper Bella
“We Must First Be Brothers,” 1997 from Uncovering the Laws of Perseverance © Jamel Shabazz
“Passion of Water” from Uncovering the Laws of Perseverance © Malick Kebe
“The Wonders Inn” from Uncovering the Laws of Perseverance © Nyasia Sylvester
“Pequeño Davi” from Uncovering the Laws of Perseverance © Ronald Santos
Harper Bella, Gabby Vazquez, and Liam Alexander. Photograph Courtesy ASMP-NY
Photograph © Liam Alexander
Photograph © Liam Alexander

Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris
Senior Producer: Jason Tables
Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner