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Cover image from Contemporary Photography journal 76, Summer 2019
CREDIT: Andrew Page, Positive View


Contemporary Group ethos - Photography that conveys ideas, stimulates thought and encourages interpretation; photographs 'about' rather than 'of'.

Welcome to the Contemporary Group

The RPS Contemporary Group is about photography which can and often does cross all conventional genres. In 2013 the group committee adopted the following statement describing its objectives:

Photography that conveys ideas, stimulates thought and encourages interpretation; photographs "about" rather than "of".

The Group provides a forum for presentation and encouragement of its members in pursuing production of coherent bodies of work with a specific role.

Emphasis is put on photography based on expressing ideas; on meaning and purpose, with sets of images to a theme rather than individual stand-alone photographs.

It is about the “why” rather that the “what” of the photography. The Group will appeal to amateur members who look to achieve a longer standing value in their work, as an alternative to the well-trodden route of photographic salons, and to professionals pursuing work on personal projects to a theme.

Examples of role models who we see for these types of photography are contemporary Magnum members Martin Parr HonFRPS and Alec Soth, noting that Magnum now believe that much of their member’s personal projects no longer comfortably conform to the original Magnum documentary genre. An earlier role model would be Robert Frank with The Americans. Another example would be the Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken.

Contemporary Group Member Benefits

  1. Contemporary Photograpahy Our quarterly full colour group journal
  2. Concept The monthly e-newsletter of the Contemporary Group
  3. Postal Portfolios Member postal portfolios circulating in UK and Europe
  4. Sub-Groups holding local meetings Sub-Groups are currently established in the South West Region, East Anglia, the North West, North East England and Scotland
  5. Regional one day presentations Contemporary speakers presenting their work in regional centres
  6. Active Facebook Groups The groups "RPS Contemporary" and "RPS Photobooks" are open to all
  7. Active Instagram Group The Instagram pages are @rpscontemporary and are open to all
  8. Advice on submissions for RPS Distinctions Advice on submissions for Contemporary RPS Distinctions can be provided


Contemporary Blogs

Furloughed Andy Thorpe 1
CREDIT: Andy Thorpe
13 Things

Member Andy Thorpe's COVID-19 furlough project. 

Photobook Covers
CREDIT: Brian Steptoe FRPS

Brian Steptoe FRPS describes the genre of the photobook.

Find out more about contemporary photography

CREDIT: Ángel Armero
Bever, Skinningrove, North Yorkshire
CREDIT: Chris Killip


The e-newsletter of the Contemporary Group

e-news archive
CREDIT: Andrew Page, Positive View

Contemporary Photography Journal

Back issues of the Contemporary Group's high quality journal are available here.

Journal Archive
Contemporary 585X390

Contemporary Group Meeting Minutes

CG Meeting Minutes

Contemporary Special Interest Groups Around the UK

Peter Bartlett 2
CREDIT: Peter Bartlett

Contemporary North Newsletters

CN newsletters