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Please note: RPS House is closed for our exhibition install. We will be open again from 10am on Friday 9th August 2024.

DM Cover Feb21 Ed21 Fiona Willoughby ARPS
CREDIT: Fiona Willoughby ARPS

The Decisive Moment February 2021

Fiona Willoughby ARPS - Appleby Horse Fair

This edition features distinctions panels from Mark Phillips FRPS and Fiona Willoughby ARPS, including insights from the photographers and also Simon Leach FRPS, Chair of the RPS Distinctions, Documentary Genre. Ian Wright ARPS discusses the work of Mik Critchlow and Larry Fink; and Ray Hobbs ARPS reflects on his Sofa to Shed project. This edition also includes details of the forthcoming Documentary Photographer of the Year 2021 competition.

Welcome to another Decisive Moment.

Under the Royal Charter, the RPS objectives are to educate members of the public by increasing their knowledge and understanding of Photography and in doing so to promote the highest standards of achievement in Photography in order to encourage public appreciation of Photography.

The Decisive Moment is an important part of our contribution to that, by publishing online, via Issuu, we regularly engage an audience well beyond our RPS Membership. Our successful Engagement Talks are free and routinely fully booked, so we have increased the places available. Our first talk this year, with Arteh Odjidja had over 130 attending. We have talks by Melanie Friend, John Walmsley and Alys Tomlinson available to book and filling up fast. Our re-branded Storytelling Workshops are also popular, so we have added more events up to June 2021. These workshops cover three key stages - how to start and plan, how to build a series and field work, and finishing up with the edit and sequencing.

Our most important event this year is our biennial Documentary Photographer of the Year. It starts in earnest on 6 May, when entries open. This year we are making it more diverse and inclusive by adding Open and Student categories, to the existing RPS Members category. Our panel of judges includes well-known photographers, curators and picture editors; we have a truly world-class and diverse judging panel. We have also secured sponsorship from Fujifilm and will be offering a Fujifilm X100V to the winning RPS member. We have valuable prizes for the Student and Open categories focussed on supporting their development and careers. Fujifilm will also help host the Award Event and our first Exhibition at the House of Photography in London, before we head out in 2022 with a Touring UK Exhibition. Recognising the challenges of Covid-19, we have no limit on when the images could be taken. We are simply looking for excellent, engaging documentary and visual storytelling projects. We look forward to seeing your work.

After a year of on and off lockdowns and disruptions we can also hopefully look forward to more opportunities to work on our projects, to photograph and to meet up. Until then stay safe.


Mark A Phillips FRPS

Chair, Documentary Group