Last Updated May 29, 2018

RPS - The Royal Photographic Society

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Website: Visit website
Address: Fenton House, 122 Wells Road
Telephone: +44 (0)1225 325733

Entry cost: Individual membership £120 a year, Concessions £55/£90 a year.

The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) was founded in 1853. It has over 11,000 members worldwide and exists to promote photography and image-making and to support photographers in realising their potential, irrespective of their level of knowledge, equipment or skills. It does this through exhibitions, distinctions and workshops and its public activities. The RPS has an international membership. The Society also acts as a public advocate for photography and photographers.

In early 2018 it was officially announced that the RPS would be moving from Bath to a new building in the Paintworks complex in Bristol. Paintworks is a cultural centre for the creative industries in Bristol. Formerly it was the site of a major paint factory, it has been redeveloped as a mixture of working locations, studios and apartments. It has a vibrant young occupant profile, with many starting out on their professional careers. The Martin Parr Foundation opened there in October 2017.

The Royal Photographic Society is an educational charity promoting both the art and science of photography and aims to help individuals realise their potential as photographers. It is a membership organisation but, as a charity, undertakes a significant number of activities for the public benefit.

Membership is open to all, irrespective of experience or knowledge. No qualifications are required to join, simply a passion and love for photography or images, its technologies or applications.

Many of our members join to further their own photography and to embrace the challenge of working towards our internationally-recognized Distinctions (LRPS, ARPS and FRPS) or Imaging Science Qualifications (QIS, GIS, AIS and ASIS).

By attending Society events – around 650 each year - our members enjoy unparalleled opportunities to share knowledge, meet and learn from other photographers and to develop their photographic interests and skills.

The Society holds a number of exhibitions and competitions for members and non-members. The International Print and International Images for Science Exhibitions are held annually alongside exhibitions organized by Special Interest Groups, Regions and Overseas Chapters.

The Royal Photographic Society educational remit is central to its work. It organises practical workshops and lectures with its Regions and Special Interest Groups arrange additional activities, lectures, visits and field trips. The Society also supports photographers and students through its bursary programme.

Our annual Awards, held in London each September, recognise the highest achievements of individuals from all fields of photography.

We help support photographers by providing feedback to the Government in consultations, work with the police on photographers' rights, act as an advocate with the media on behalf of photographers and photography and work with other organisations to raise awareness of copyright.

As an educational charity, we support young people through school and university visits, scientific workshops and by contributing speakers. We provide indoor and outdoor exhibitions for the wider public interest which, as well as being displayed in the UK, have travelled around the world from China to the Ukraine. We also have an annual bursary programme, with sponsorship to be won for environmental and medical photography as well as postgraduate research, social documentary issues and short films. Our supplementary charitable work includes working with other charities such as Cafe Art who run an annual photography contest for those affected by homelessness.

The RPS produces a range of publications. The Journal is the world’s oldest photography magazine and all members receive a free monthly copy of the latest issue.


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