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Copyright Rebecca Faith
CREDIT: Rebecca Faith

About the RPS

Learn about our history, mission and key activities, governance, team, and where to find us

Based in Bristol, UK the Royal Photographic Society is a charity that exists to increase the knowledge and understanding of photography, to promote the highest standards of achievement in photography, and to encourage the public appreciation of photography.

Membership is open to all, irrespective of knowledge or experience. All that matters is a passion to learn and share with others. We have over 11,000 members in the UK and around the world, many of whom enjoy unparalleled opportunities to share knowledge, meet and learn from one another through over 600 events every year. Many members join to further their photography and to embrace the challenge of working towards our internationally-recognized qualifications.

But we reach far beyond our membership. You can learn about and enjoy photography through many aspects of our work:

We run competitions, create, and host many exhibitions for the wider public to enjoy in our wonderful Bristol gallery, across the UK and far beyond.

Education is central to our work. We run talks, symposia and workshops in our beautiful state-of-the-art auditorium and education centre in Bristol, across the UK and further afield. We support young people through school and university visits, workshops and by contributing speakers. We also have an annual bursary programme, offering sponsorship for environmental and medical photography as well as postgraduate research, social documentary issues and short films.

We have been honouring excellence since 1878, and our annual Awards ceremony has been running for decades. Held in London each November, this celebrates the most exceptional individuals across all aspects of the world of photography.

We advocate for photography and photographers by providing feedback in government consultations, work with the police on photographers' rights, and work with other organisations to increase the understanding of copyright.

We also support and work closely with partners that share our passion for photography, to share the enjoyment of photography and its value for social good.

Find out more by clicking below