I asked Catherine to talk about her experience of achieving an LRPS during this most difficult of years. Here is her story...
"I took up photography in 2013 and the following year I decided I would to try for my LRPS.
I selected a panel, then sat on it for ages. Every time I looked at it, I knew, “This isn’t good enough, I have to get a better panel”, and so I set about trying to get better photographs.
At first I thought that every panel I put together wasn't good enough. So, I would scrap it and start again. My photography was never good enough in my eyes.
As time went on, I began to diverge away from straight photography and into highly photoshopped images.
I love them, but they hardly showcase my photographic skills. They were more of a demonstration of my post processing than my camera craft. Not ideal for an LRPS.
That meant I moved from having no panels good enough, to just having no panels!
I then realised that I did have a lot more traditional photographs than I thought but I just loved them less than my more creative images.
I had to factor out what I loved and focus more on what I had that would meet the criteria for an LRPS.
Even so, having 10 images which showed a range of technical skills was one thing. But making a working panel layout was another thing altogether.
Trying to get things that worked together as pairs to balance on each side of the panel and still demonstrate the variety of approach needed was hard.
What a job! I think that took me another year.
I agonised over it. I printed 5x7 copies of a selection of images, and spread them all over my dining room table, rearranging time and again until I thought I had my panel.
Then I printed it and sent it in for assessment. It had taken me six whole years to knuckle down and get it done!
However, by this time it was spring 2020 and Covid-19 restrictions meant that print panels could not be assessed.
When I was told I had to wait, I didn’t even know what to do with myself! When I was offered the option of my panel being judged in PDI format or waiting, I knew I had to go for the PDI choice.
I am not going to lie, when I was notified that I had been successful, some loud shrieking was done!
I felt so proud of my achievement.
Looking back I realise that I was my own worst enemy, and am so sure I could have done this much sooner than I did.
My advice to you if you are thinking of applying is, don’t overthink it, or you will hold yourself back. Be confident in your work and yourself, and go for it!
I have decided that the next step for me is an ARPS. I am determined that it will not take me another six years.
Wish me luck!"
The RPS has now restarted assessing print panels. To see what dates are available click here
To see Catherine's article "The Creative Art Nude" click here
If you are thinking about an LRPS Distinction, but are struggling to get a panel together, there is lots of information and help available from the RPS. Here are some links to get you started...