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Merit Member Chad Batka

Web site:
Current location/For how long: New York City/10 years. School/Degree received: Columbia College Chicago, Illinois.

© Chad Batka
All photos © Chad Batka

Recent awards or distinctions: Merit Achievement Award at Eddie Adams Workshop, Barnstorm 2007.
Recent Clients: Bald Freak Music, Guitar World, Institutional Investor, Time Out.

© Chad Batka

How long have you been working professionally?

3 years.

What has been your favorite photographic assignment or project to date?

Hubert Sumlin. I got an e-mail in the morning for a noon shoot asking if I might be interested. This was my kind of assignment. I went down to the studio and set up. When Hubert arrived, we talked about his years of touring, and his Holwin’ Wolf days. It was amazing to hear first hand stories of that era. He didn’t have any walls up and I think this came through.

© Chad Batka

What has been your most challenging photographic assignment or project to date?

Orin Kramer. The magazine needed a strong portrait that they might use for the cover, and they didn’t have one they liked from the first photo shoot they did with him. It was tough because I was the second photographer that the magazine sent and I was told that he wasn’t totally into a re-shoot. When Orin arrived for the shoot, he agreed to be photographed, though not alone — with his colleague. What was funny was that after about 5 minutes of shooting, his phone rang; then he looked at me and said, “The phone is more important than you,” and walked away. Before he got too far, I checked the LCD and made sure we had something that would work. The shot ended up being the cover.

Please describe any special photographic projects or assignments in which you are currently engaged.

I’ve been enjoying working on a project photographing local Wal-Mart shoppers.

© Chad Batka

What is your greatest photographic aspiration?

It’s a cliché — but there is truth to it. I try to keep pushing myself to take the best picture I can take; keep a fresh outlook and enjoy the work in the process.

What is your primary source of news about the photography industry?

PDN and EP.

In your opinion, what is the most critical issue affecting photographers today?

How stock agencies dictate terms and pricing that are not in the best interest of the individual photographer, and how photographers’ are (or are not) compensated for online usage.

© Chad Batka

Were you aware of the ASMP before receiving a Merit Membership?


Since receiving your Merit Membership, have you taken advantage of any of the resources, services or discounts that ASMP offers to members?

No, not yet but I’m looking forward to.

Do you participate in any of the existing ASMP specialty groups or listservs?


Do you belong to other photographic associations or online groups?


© Chad Batka

What do you consider to be the most valuable aspect of your Merit Membership in the ASMP?

I think it is really great to have access to the Web site, its resources and being closely connected to the photographic community.

Is there any particular resource or information that you would like to see ASMP implement as an added service to the members?

Product reviews from photographers/ASMP members in real world situations would be helpful.