President’s Message




ASP President’s Message

“Adapt or Succumb”  ​



Just spent the weekend celebrating my birthday, it prompted an opportunity to reflect. I found myself aged to my mid-sixties. Previous to our era, most people did not live this long, I would have been considered an elderly man.  

This analysis of the past took me in a journey that I didn’t quite anticipate. It made me realize that I have evolved into a person with somewhat of a low tolerance and a short fuse.  The concept of the “grumpy old man” suddenly became clear!

Wake up in the morning in a good mood, turn on the news, Grumpy!

Get in the car, watch people drive, Grumpy!

Watch young people disrespect their elders, Grumpy!

Go to the mall and sit and watch people walking like robots with their face in their phones, Grumpy!

Listen to the radio and before long the fact becomes apparent that we are engaged in a cultural civil war, Grumpy. And so on, and on!

I guess that as we age and we acquire experiences and knowledge, we form an educated opinion of how we believe things should be, and as we continue to live we are faced with more and more things that do not conform to the concept of what we believe it is to be right. It is a big bowl of grumpy soup for dinner!

Also this weekend, my wife and I binge-watched the wonderful TV series Genius: Picasso, on the National Geographic channel.

It was evident to see how things are always changing around us. What we thought was a lasting concept, soon is shattered and gone.

The only constant is change. 

We have experienced a similar dynamic within our noble profession of professional photography. The revolution brought forward by the rapid development of the photographic digital technology forced this last dramatic change. In just thirty years, we went from professionals that had to learn the science of the craft and study of the art, to drops in an ocean of people declaring themselves to be professionals simply by purchasing the latest model camera and having a Facebook page with their business name. Wait a minute, was that another “grumpy” rant?

I suspect that it was, and it didn’t fix anything. I suppose that the thing to do is to evolve and adapt into an individual that can assess the current situation and business climate and respond accordingly to continue to live with joy in this brave new world and maintain a positive attitude. Easier said than done, right?

I have the pleasure to know many fine folks in our profession that never experienced what it was like pre-computers and digital sensors, and they are doing great things in our profession and have very successful Professional Photography enterprises. As a “fossil in the works”, I find that inspirational and motivating.

We must strive to be come the agents of change instead of being squashed by change itself. Picasso stated that: “We need to master the rules, so that we can brake them”. Let’s go break some rules, but let’s break them like a master would!


Gabriel Alonso, 2018 President

American Society of Photographers