associate logo small - What photography society should I join?

UK Photography Trade associations – a brief synopsis

I am delighted to announce that I have been accepted into the prestigious Association of photographers based in London. I have had options to join other associations (and there are a lot). In my frank opinion some of them are not worth their salt as truly prestigious associations. My background is originally a degree in photography from university and then 10 years freelancing so my thinking was not to join a “semi pro” organisation. Here is my run down of the options I had.

Royal Photographic Society (RPS) – Prestigious and comparatively ancient organisation with roots in the 19th century photographic pioneers. One must applaud the corinthian spirit that still occupies the society and the sheer diversity. Alas a professional it isn’t for me unfortunately.

Master Photographer Association (MPA) – Well regarded and very much with the idea of getting photographers up to standard and prepared for life as a photographer. Frankly, I found it a little 20th century and having spend 5 years studying photography I don’t want to be going through hoops and being judged endlessly.

Guild of Photographers – Seem like a lovely bunch of people with a very active participation and very social. However the majority of photographers shoot weddings and pets or both. Most of the banter is on facebook. Upon joining I received a printed certificate and lapel badge (no really) and having signed up for SEO purposes I quickly got out of there as a didn’t especially feel the need for mentoring and seeing endless airbrushed pictures of dogs and other pet creatures.

British Institute of Professional Photographers – (BIPP) Antiquated body with ancient website and half the photographers had missing profiles. Nuff said.

Society of Photographers – (SOP) Very popular organisation with endless sub groups. I would imagine as a hobbyist or as a place to start learning photography this is an excellent group but not as an experienced professional. I did a photo course years back and was slightly weirded out as it was led by a well established photographer (Damian McGillicuddy) who had “minions” who were frankly sucking up to him and we had a great time in Portmerion shooting models and started trying to sell me some crop censored Olympus camera and when I told him its about the photographer as much as the camera I was “branded” A “tosser” and I said you have over 600 photographic awards and you still haven’t learned any manners !

Association of Photographers (AOP) – The only association in photography in the UK that is truly modern and professional. High standard of creativity.  Thank you.