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Reference Books
CREDIT: Mark A Phillips FRPS


Documentary photography communicates a clear narrative through visual literacy. It can be applied to the photographic documentation of social, cultural, historical and political events.

Welcome to the Documentary Group

Documentary photographers’ work always has an intent; whether that is to represent daily life, explore a specific subject, deepen our thinking, or influence our opinions.  

Our Documentary Group members have a common interest in documentary, urban and street, photography. The group offers a lively events programme (including online talks and workshops),  a quarterly e-journal and the opportunity to participate in other photographic initiatives and competitions.

The Traveller
CREDIT: Simon Revington
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CREDIT: Evan Dawson

Documentary Event Search

Liz Vaz Tattoo Project
Resources for documentary photographers

This page will provide links to useful information to support documentary photographers and development of their projects:

Online picture archives - a useful source of inspiration and research material

Useful text and resource books on conducting documentary projects - to follow


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CREDIT: Debsuddha

Documentary Photography Awards 2023

The Documentary Photography Awards (DPA)  are a development from our previous DPOTY competitions. The expanded format aims to showcase more work from documentary photographers and create a touring UK exhibition.  It is organised by the RPS Documentary Group. The awards will open for entries in May/June 2023 and will close in August 2023. We plan to announce the selected projects in late 2023 and the touring exhibition will take place in 2024. 

This year we will have Open, Student and RPS Member categories.

We plan (again) to have a diverse and recognised expert panel of judges. The successful projects will be Exhibited in multiple locations around the UK and online.

For more details click on the link below. 

Learn more
The Decisive Moment Cover May 2023 Edition 26 - Hazel Mason FRPS
CREDIT: Hazel Mason FRPS

Read our digital magazine

The Decisive Moment is a quarterly journal that showcases the work of the Documentary Group members, shares insights and reviews about exhibitions related to the field of documentary photography and contains articles and interviews with prominent members of the photographic community.



Browse our archive
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CREDIT: Mark A Phillips FRPS

Workshops - Telling Stories with your Camera

These workshops are intended to provide expert practical guidance for those considering or already working on long term projects (documentary, contemporary or travel). 

They aim to address some of the challenges in three areas: Starting out (building a photographic series, defining your intent, planning and researching your project),  The Shoot (field work, shooting to a narrative, keeping it going and staying motivated) and Editing and Sequencing (selecting images for exhibitions, panels & books, sequencing them and getting your work out there). 

Check out the latest workshops on our Events page

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CREDIT: Andrew Maxted

Regional Groups

Regional Groups

As well as centrally organised events, our Regional Groups put on local events. These include talks and presentations (currently online), local workshops or exhibitions (of members work), a group project, visits and photo walks , feedback and critique sessions and online Zoom meetings. We currently have Groups in:

East Anglia
Thames Valley
South East
and joint groups with Contemporary in Central and North West.