Posted on 5/12/1999 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



May 12, 1999

In an effort to try to improve working relations between PACA and ASMP after the

cancellation of the Dallas stock photography seminar reported in February in

Story 203 the PACA

leadership requested a meeting with ASMP officals.

The meeting was held in New York on May 3, at the Law Offices of Nancy E. Wolff,

PACA Counsel, in New York. Attending the meeting were Allen Russell, PACA

President, Wolff, Lonnie Schroeder, PACA Administrator, Les Reiss, ASMP

President, Victor Perlman, ASMP Counsel and Dick Weisgrau, ASMP Director.

The outcome of this meeting was unsatisfactory from PACA's point of view and the

PACA Executive Committee released the following statement.

    At the May 3rd meeting, PACA representatives were told that we had no common

    ground with ASMP. We were presented with a document criticizing our recommended

    agreement with contributing artists. These criticisms were based on a seven-year

    old incomplete Joint Statement which ASMP refused to re-visit or re-evaluate in

    any way. PACA always considered this document to be unfinished in that it only

    outlined agency responsibilities to photographers and not photographer

    responsibilities to agencies, which statement ASMP was to have provided.

    Frankly, PACA representatives at the meeting were very surprised that it was

    raised as a crucial document when ASMP admitted to only publishing it twice in

    seven years and no action had been taken by either party on its completion since

    1994. For PACA-member agencies, the Code of Ethics published annually in our

    Membership Directory and available in summary form on the PACA website clearly

    outlines the responsibilities and respect we believe due all agency contributors

    as well as other agencies and vendors.

    We find the current lack of communication unfortunate in that our industry has

    been and will continue to be in the throes of rapid change and we believe

    photographers are experiencing a crisis as they struggle to develop their

    individual business plans. PACA members are willing to speak with any group of

    content providers about any aspects of the stock industry. To the best of our

    abilities, we will provide complete and accurate information to assist

    professional photographers in their decision-making. We believe there are

    critical issues which affect the entire photographic community and it is the best

    interest of every agency and every contributor to stand together in support of

    concerns like copyright protection. We are sorry that ASMP will not stand with

    us on these issues.

    ASMP's refusal to engage in meaningful conversation about shared concerns, the

    censorship of information provided to stock photographers through local chapter

    meetings, general exaggerated misinformation about agencies in general, and their

    public promotion and recruitment of photographers for a PACA agency competitor

    and ASMP-founded agency, Mira(MPCA), has caused us to view ASMP's role with


    PACA refuses to accept being publicly critiqued and criticized by a competitor.

    We regret that ASMP no longer represents the undivided interest of the working

    professional stock photographer. Their members should ask themselves what

    photographers need most; another stock agency or a trade organization

    uninfluenced by business ventures and devoted only to photographers' needs.

PACA also wishes to make it known that any group interested in having a PACA

speaker for their meeting should contact the PACA Office at 507-645-6988; fax to

507-645-7066; e-mail:

It should also be noted as we have reported previously,

( Story 209 ), that ASMP's

efforts to run a stock agency have not been very successful up to this point.

After more than six years of organizational and development work MPCA (the ASMP

stock agency) generates about $60,000 in gross sales

annually, according to Dick Weisgrau.

MPCA is proud of the fact that they offer photographers 70% of gross sales rather

than the 50% of lower that most PACA stock agencies offer. MPCA represents about

350 ASMP photographers. That would mean that the average MPCA photographer is

earning about $120.00 (one hundred twenty dollars) per year from this agency.

Copyright © 1999 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-251-0720, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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