We offer a diverse education and exhibitions programme at our world-class gallery and auditorium as well as at venues across the UK, internationally and online.
The Royal Photographic Society, one of the world’s oldest photographic societies, was founded in 1853 to make the art and science of photography more widely available.
Our mission is to bring inspiration, creativity and connection through photography to people of all ages and backgrounds. This strategy has been created to provide a clear and ambitious direction for the next five years.
All members are welcome to join our specialist groups that concentrate more closely on particular areas of photography including Landscape, Documentary and more.
We have 16 regional hubs across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Led by an active team of volunteers, they are an opportunity to join local photographers and activities.
We are a world-wide community of photographers. Our international members are part of Chapters which offer events, activities and support.
Meet the team
Our governing Council, which is also our Board of Trustees, is responsible for the strategic leadership of the RPS as well as our charitable objects and governance.
Our friendly and dedicated staff team, based in Bristol, are responsible for the day to day operations of the RPS. They also work with the Board of Trustees and over 500 volunteers.
The Royal Photographic Society is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive organisation. We aim to ensure that everyone can take part in photography, regardless of their ethnicity, their sexual and gender identity, age or any other aspect of their identity, background or circumstance.
What we do
The RPS runs hundreds of exciting and educational events a year. From exhibitions at our Bristol gallery to online talks and workshops - there is something for everyone.
The RPS offers qualifications, Distinctions and certificated courses to cater for every level of photographic experience. We also partner with the OU, OCA & Falmouth University.
We organise internationally recognised competitions, from the Science Photographer of the Year to the International Photography Exhibition, and support some by other agencies.
The RPS Awards celebrate individuals who have made a significant contributions to photography. Categories continue to evolve, reflecting new ways of seeing, making & sharing photography.
As an educational charity, bursaries are an important element of what we do. We currently offer four bursaries and work with partners including the Photographic Angle and Guardian.
The first RPS Collection, now held in the V&A Museum, London, was largely formed from c.1890s-2002. With the RPS's move to Bristol, we have started to form a new RPS Collection.
We welcome support from like-minded corporate partners and enjoy collaborations with a range of organisations which share our passion for photography and its transformative power.
RPS President Simon Hill HonFRPS, talks about his photographic interests and activities on behalf of the Society in his regularly posted news features and blogs.
Information on planning your visit, contacting staff and access. We are located in Paintworks, Bristol. Our building is beside the Martin Parr Foundation.
As the UK's leading photography organisation, we are well-placed to provide comment to the media on photography, photographers and issues surrounding photography.
The Royal Photographic Society is a company incorporated by Royal Charter, and also a registered charity. It is regulated by the Charity Commission.
Our world-class gallery, auditorium, education and resource centre at Paintworks, Bristol, is a fantastic environment in which to work. Come and join us!