What We Do

The Society exists to promote photography and to help everyone realise their potential as a photographer. It does this through exhibitions, distinctions and workshops and its public activities.

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.