Fine Art Photography

02 August 2016

Region: Headquarters

From 2017, The Creative and Pictorial categories* will merge under a new name, called “Fine Art Photography”

The criteria and Assessment dates for 2017 are detailed below;


Submissions in this category will consist of photography produced to fulfil the creative vision of the photographer in expressing and sharing perceptions or emotions.

All applications for the Associate and Fellowship Distinctions of The Society will be assessed against the criteria set out in the Associate and Fellowship outline document. The following criteria are in addition to, not instead of, those criteria.

  • Images can be produced either solely in the camera, or may be subsequently creatively altered by the photographer.
  • Each image in the submission may be based on one or more original photographic images.
  • The applicant must own the copyright to, and be the creator of, all the photographic elements in the images submitted. The Society reserves the right to view the original files.
  • There is no restriction on the subject matter or techniques used. However, your portfolio should present a cohesive visual statement on your chosen subject or subjects, communicating a clear personal vision or style, and sharing a sense of design, emotion, mood or meaning which encourages the viewer to look beyond the subject.
  • Submissions may be based on a single or a small number of themes or techniques, although this is not essential.
  • Assessment of your application will include whether it meets the criteria set out in your statement of intent, and whether the techniques used are appropriate and suitably controlled.


Assessment dates for 2017 are

ARPS - Prints – 15th March, 21st June and 18th October

ARPS – Images for Screen/Books  – 16th March, 22nd June, and 19th October

FRPS – Prints/Books  – 16th March, 22nd June, and 19th October


*Anyone who has applied or applying in 2016 for Creative and Pictorial, that has either received a re-submission or referral will still be able to apply in 2017 for Creative or Pictorial, and if successful will be awarded a Pictorial or Creative Distinction. These applications will be assessed on the same assessment day as Fine Art Photography.

images by Drew Doggett ARPS, Robert Gibbons ARPS, Michael Palmer ARPS.

Comments (3)

RPS Distinctions
18 August 2016

In the past we have been approached by many specialist sections to offer distinctions that suit their tight sphere of photographic practice, these include alternative printing processes, landscape etc etc.

These have all been rejected on the basis that we offer distinctions in areas of specialist photographic practice. We do not offer image led distinction in areas of technical practice with the exception of Printing Panel.

Where will it stop, will we have distinctions in Macro lens use, telephoto lens use, a wide-angle lens use and so on the mind boggles.

If the photography is good enough it will be rewarded, we have plenty of experts in all fields and I would suggest the majority of our assessor have worked in the darkroom.

Roger Reynolds Hon FRPS

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RPS Distinctions
18 August 2016

A lot of the panel members have worked in the darkroom (some still do) and quite understand the processes of analogue work. It is the resulting image that is important rather than the process. It is likely that IF such a category were to be added the same panel members would asses it so there is not really any value in complicating matters with another category.

The standards are well documented and can be achieved equally in analogue as digital, in my view.

Panel Member

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18 August 2016

Is it not time, considering the possibilities of image manipulation, to have a new distinctions category for pure analogue photography which will run alongside.
Whilst I don't intend to go any further than I have done so at present, presenting colour or B&W images that have been 'worked on' puts the analogue photographer at a a possible disadvantage.

John King ARPS

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