PhotoOrganizations FAQ

What is PhotoOrganizations?

It is a list of major pro photographer associations and imaging industry-related organizations in Japan.

Which photographers’ associations are the most prominent in Japan?

The following three organizations are the most prominent in Japan:

The Photographic Society of Japan (PSJ)
Japan professional Photographers Society (JPS)
Japan Advertising Photographers’ Association (APA)

PSJ is a mix of photographers, amateurs, photo critics, business people, etc. They hold the annual Month of Photography event in Tokyo.

JPS is Japan’s largest organization of pro photographers. Members undergo strict screening to join. The annual membership fee is around 30,000 yen. Their newsletter booklet has an English page. They are very active in promoting/extending photographic copyrights.

APA is for advertising photographers, and like JPS, it is a high-powered group with many prominent Japanese photographers.

Unfortunately, there are hardly any non-Japanese members in these organizations.

What are the benefits of membership?

PSJ offers an informative photo almanac to members.

JPS and APA are prestige organizations and require certain professional qualifications for membership. Thus, many members see membership as a defacto certification proving that they are real professional photographers. They proudly put “Member of JPS (or APA)” on their business cards and resumes.

What about photographers’ associations for foreign photographers in Japan?

The closest to this would be the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. Other than that, there are no professional photographers’ associations for foreigners in Japan. However, PhotoGuide Japan does have a Facebook Group.

What about camera clubs in Japan?

For amateur photographers, there are many camera clubs sponsored by camera makers (Nikon, Canon, etc.) and film makers. Anybody can join by paying annual membership dues.

Members receive a glossy club magazine, invitations to photo shoots, etc.

Most members are middle-aged and older.

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Philbert Ono

Owner, operator, and Webmaster of PhotoGuide Japan ( and PHOTOGUIDE.JP.

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