One day last fall, one of my trade organizations, the ASMP, had a little contest. Tell us what benefits you get from membership... I never answer these kind of contests/surveys but for some reason I did this time. Guess I should more often as I won! Albeit the cover of our trade magazine... still, I won! You can see my quote below and I have to give my food stylist a shout out for the photo they chose, without Ed Gabriels I am not a food photographer at all.
"The biggest non-monetary benefit that being a member of ASMP has would have to be the copyright advocacy and other work that ASMP does with government. It was sad that the Orphan Works Bill passed but ASMP was in the lead working for all of us, to be our voice. When I first joined back in the 90s I did it for one reason really, that was for a discount on Insurance. And while I admit that can be a nice benefit, I am more interested in the long view issues these days. Do I use my membership benefits for car rentals? Of course, but photographers tend to be a disparate group of loners more concerned with the newest gear. It is nice to know that my dues go, at least in part, to fighting for the big picture."