Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.
Find out more
Natural Abstracts Koi Carp Commotion

Your Committee

Western Region Committee - 2024

The Western Region is run by a small team of volunteers who plan and organise the various activities within the region, including our monthly meetings, various social activities, and other projects such as exhibitions, competitions etc. Scroll down to meet the Western Region committee

Core Team

Mark Stothard MA ARPS
CREDIT: © Mark Stothard MA ARPS
Mark Stothard MA ARPS

Regional  Organiser

Hi there, I'm Mark, a Visual Practitioner, who specialises in capturing stories through my lens.

My passion for photography lies in my ability to use images to tell compelling narratives and I believe that every photograph should convey a message and strive to create images that not only capture a moment but also evoke emotions and convey a story, capturing the essence of the subject, telling their story in a way that words cannot.

I hold a Master of Art in Photography, from the University of Plymouth and have received the distinction of Associate from the Royal Photographic Society. I'm returning to university to study for a PhD in Photography, researching emotion and affect theories relating to posthumanism and psychogeography within my practice.

Today I share my years of knowledge, experience and research as a Visual Practitioner within my mentoring programme, adventures and workshops, together as a guest speaker at Universities, Colleges, and Camera Clubs.

Email Mark :


Deputy Organiser

Vacant, interested in this role just email

CREDIT: © Deborah Hammond
Deborah Hammond

Regional Secretary

I am excited to become the new Secretary for your region, simultaneously to "give something back" and to learn more about and participate more in my region. I firmly believe that we only get out of anything that we put in. Since taking up photography about 10 years ago  (not long after retirement)  it has become a most fulfilling hobby, but I appreciate there is always more to learn and enjoy. 
My working life was in finance, the last 20 years within the Prison Service, where there is little scope for creativity. During this time I did a lot of textile work, dying, screenprinting and stitching and the love of colour formed here has led to my Photography. 
I achieved my LRPS in 2019 and am now working on my ARPS. My main interests lie in Nature and Landscape, but I recently had an old camera converted to Infrared and I find the "false colour" acquired in post-production the most appealing. Another current interest is Slime Molds, so small they are almost invisible to the naked eye. They take some finding so they are challenging my photographic skills, another learning curve! 
I look forward to meeting many members in our region and making new friends in the process.

Email Deborah :

CREDIT: © Denise Bailey
Denise Bailey

Regional Treasurer

After leaving Bath University I qualified as an accountant and spent many years working as an accountant and auditor for an accountancy practice in Somerset. In later years I joined some of my colleagues managing the finances and business enterprises of a prominent West Country family.


I have been interested in photography since the age of eleven when I had my first ‘box Brownie’ camera. On retirement this interest was rekindled, first by joining various photography groups through the U3A, this lead me to doing the RPS/Open University Certificate in Photography, which is how I came in contact with the RPS. I am currently working towards achieving my LRPS Distinction.


Email Denise :

Extended Team

CREDIT: © Joan Waller
Joan Waller

Events Coordinator

Hi, I am Joan and I'm delighted to introduce myself as your Regional Events Coordinator. 

Being a massive dog lover & whilst I do not have my own 4-legged friend, I have been fortunate enough to have fostered over 40 dogs from my local Dogs Trust, in addition to looking after friends' & Neighbour's dogs.  The joy I get from seeing my residents find their forever home is truly rewarding, but can sometimes be very emotional as well.

My journey into the captivating world of photography may be relatively recent, but my passion and eagerness to learn are boundless. 

Embarking on this exciting role, I am keenly aware of the incredible talent and creativity that our Region offers & I hope to be able to contribute to this & to meet as many of you as possible.

I am particularly excited about creating a dynamic calendar of events for our Region.

Email Joan :

CREDIT: © Jo Shepherd ARPS
Jo Shepherd ARPS

Distinctions Coordinator

I’ve had a camera around my neck for over fifty years now but it was only once I retired that I became serious about my photography.

In 2017 I gained my Licentiateship (LRPS) and in 2020 I achieved my ARPS (applied). Both distinctions benefitting greatly from attending advisory days.

I am just finishing a two-year, part-time, MA programme with Falmouth University.  My prior learning; undertaken in  RPS workshops, courses and distinctions, together with my portfolio, secured me a place without the need for formal academic qualifications.

I’m looking forward to my new volunteer role of Distinctions Coordinator with the RPS Western Committee.

Email Jo :

Richard Olpin LRPS
CREDIT: © Richard Olpin LRPS
Richard Olpin LRPS

Regional Training Advisor; Social Media

An RPS member for more than 10 years, Richard is a professional photographer and tutor from Gloucestershire. 


Interested in becoming the RPS Western webmaster - more details

Exhibition Coordinator

Interested in becoming the RPS Western Exhibition Coordinator - more details

Artist in Residence

Vacant, interested in this role just email

Publication Editor

Vacant, interested in this role just email

Membership Coordinator

Vacant, interested in this role just email

Without Portfolio

CREDIT: © Mark Stothard MA ARPS
Photowalk host

Interested in hosting a Photowalk

Steve Townsend

Without Portfolio