A challenge of distinction


One year ago today, my heart was pounding and I was gripping the hand of my ever-supportive husband rather too hard for his comfort! What momentous event could have prompted this anguish, I hear you cry? Merely the awarding of a Royal Photographic Society (RPS) distinction! I know, perhaps a bit of an overreaction, but it was the culmination of nearly a year’s planning and I didn’t want anything to go wrong. Besides, watching a panel of ten of your favourite images being assessed by five distinguished photographers in front of a roomful of other photographers would be nerve-wracking for anyone!
The Royal Photographic Society offers three levels of distinction. I was being assessed for the entry level, success at which would make me a Licentiate of the RPS, known for short as LRPS. This is my panel. Each image and the panel as a whole have to satisfy a list of technical and visual criteria. First the five judges look at the whole panel as hung and then approach more closely to examine the images individually. Fortunately, they were quite quick in their deliberations on my panel so I wasn’t kept on the rack too long! It’s a great feeling when they announce your name and everyone claps. My husband commented on what a supportive bunch he found the other photographers to be.
Afterwards, many people asked me if I was going to move on to the next level, or Associateship. But I was happy with my LRPS and just wanted to bask in that feeling for a while. A year on and I am starting to think about the next step. I have some ideas brewing at the back of my mind…
If you fancy a new challenge, then a RPS distinction might be for you. If you want to know more, the RPS website has lots of information. Also, if you put them in a comment to this post, I will happily answer any questions.