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ASPP Mourns Prominent Nature Photographer, Former Audubon Director

(November 5, 2007) Alexandria, Virginia--The American Society of Picture Professionals is profoundly sad to report the death of Jane S. Kinne. She died on November 3rd from cardiopulmonary failure as a result of complications from recent surgery. 

Jane touched many lives, especially through those organizations that meant so much to her and to which she gave infinite time: PACA (Picture Archive Council of America), NANPA (North American Nature Photography Assocation) and of course ASPP. She served as director of Photo and Film at the National Audubon Society early in her career, and pursued a life-long passion for birding.

She was president of Photo Researchers, Inc. and vice president of Comstock. She has received Lifetime Achievement awards from NANPA and PACA, and in 2003 became the first ASPP Picture Professional of the Year. At the time of her death, Jane was legal chairperson for both ASPP and PACA and the director of development for the NANPA Foundation.    

Jane’s legal knowledge and wisdom was a mainstay of ASPP’s organizational life: for years she advised the board and individual members on legal issue, and potential pitfalls. In 2003 she teamed up with copyright attorney, Joel L. Hecker, to take a very successful ASPP Legal Seminar on the road.

Many of us in the photography profession owe Jane a debt of gratitude. As ASPP executive director, Cathy Sachs, explains: “I can speak for dozens of my colleagues who have repeated the same things over and over: Jane was a mentor, a mother, a role model, an advisor who cautioned and shared the wisdom she had accumulated over the years. She was someone who encouraged, supported, guided and guarded you – a friend. I personally have been the recipient of Jane’s special brand of care for twenty years or more, and will miss her immeasurably.”

Jane’s diminutive height belied the enormous stature she had in the industry. To many she was the wise woman of photography who worked fearlessly in the 70’s to bring structure and professional regard to our industry. The field of stock photography and issues of copyright law owe an enormous debt to Jane’s hardwork. She may have “retired” from her last position at Comstock in the early 1990’s, but that just gave her more time to work on hundreds of legal cases over the ensuing years, testifying as an expert witness all over the country on many issues relating to photography – copyright protection, liability, contracts, and more - right up until her recent illness.

There are no formal services, but a celebration of life memorial service for the entire industry is currently being discussed. The ASPP board will be considering how best to honor Jane’s legacy, perhaps through the ASPP Education Program. Contributions in Jane’s memory may be made to the NANPA Foundation at

The American Society of Picture Professional (ASPP) is a community of image experts committed to sharing their experience and knowledge throughout the industry. This non-profit association provides professional networking and educational opportunities for those who create, edit, research, license, manage or publish pictures. For more information go to or contact the Executive Director Cathy Sachs at