Magnum Photos is a co-operative owned and run by its members/photographers. They meet once a year during the last weekend in June to discuss the organization’s affairs. One day of the meeting is set aside for looking at and voting on potential new members' portfolios.
Successful applicants will be invited to become a "Nominee Member", a category of membership, which presents an opportunity for Magnum and the individual to get to know each other. At this stage there are no binding commitments on either side. Full details on Magnum's membership can be found below.
Magnum Membership: Nominees
Successful applicants are invited to become a ‘Nominee Member’ of Magnum, a category of membership which presents an opportunity for Magnum and the individual to get to know each other but where there are no binding commitments on either side.
Magnum Membership: Associates
After two years of Nominee membership, photographers then present an updated portfolio to apply for ‘Associate Membership’. If successful, the photographer then becomes bound by all the rules of the agency, and enjoys all the facilities of its offices and worldwide representation.
Magnum Membership: Members
Finally, after another two years, an Associate member wishing to apply for full membership presents a further portfolio of work for consideration by the Members. Once elected as a full member, this effectively confers membership of Magnum for life or for as long as the photographer chooses.
Magnum Membership: Estates
An Estate is a category of deceased photographers, such as our founding members, who remain a strong part of Magnum’s legacy via their extensive archives and posthumous projects. Not all Estates were ever members of Magnum though as some Estate collections were admitted after the photographer passed away. The non-Member Estates were admitted due to the quality of the photography or the importrance of the subject.
Magnum members who have been with the agency for over 23 years can become a 'Contributor' member. Magnum also has an affiliation with a number of selected photographers globally who act as 'Correspondents' and ‘Distribution’ members. While Magnum represents these photographers’ work, they are not part of the governance of the agency.
Traditionally Magnum Photos has accepted just one or two photographers per year, but in 2015 it accepted a record six new Nominee photographers. Each photographer's membership status is listed on their photographer profile pages.