Join the Cooperative

Magnum Membership

Magnum Photos is a cooperative agency, owned and operated by its Member photographers. The agency is self-selecting. Only around 100 photographers have ever become full Members since the founding in 1947.

To become a full Member of Magnum Photos, photographers partake in a minimum four-year process and must be voted to the next level three times. First as a Nominee, then as an Associate, and finally as a full Member. Applications are reviewed once a year during Magnum’s Annual General Meeting in June, when a dedicated day is reserved for considering and voting on potential new Nominee members’ portfolios.

While Magnum Photos accepts portfolio submissions from all professional photographers, applications supported by existing member photographers tend to be the most successful.


Successful applicants are invited to become “Nominee” members of Magnum, a category of membership which presents an opportunity for Magnum and the individual to get to know each other, but there are no binding commitments on either side.


After two years of Nominee membership, photographers then present an updated portfolio to apply to become “Associate” members. If successful, those photographers become bound by all the rules of the agency and enjoy all the facilities of its offices and worldwide representation.


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.


An “Estate” is a category designated for deceased photographers, such as our founding members, who remain a strong part of Magnum’s legacy through their extensive archives and posthumous projects.

Magnum also has an affiliation with a number of selected photographers globally who act as “Correspondent” and “Distribution” members. While Magnum represents these photographers’ work, they are not part of the governance of the agency.

Photographer membership statuses are listed on their photographer profile pages.

For more information on how to submit your portfolio, click here.

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