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Joining the RPS, is it worth it please?


LouiseTopp 9 634 United Kingdom
27 Jul 2017 3:33PM
sorry to ask but do you think it's worth me joining the The Royal Photographic Society?

Also I would like to volunteer with them.

Many thanks.

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DaveRyder Plus
6 4.3k 2 United Kingdom
27 Jul 2017 5:22PM
It depends on what you want out of these organisations, or to contribute too.

I was a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, chaired the local section for a while.
However as my career is coming to an end and I am less active in the groups I dropped my membership.

Really only you can determine the value and worth - is this and interest or hobby or something more.

Would membership status help you in any way ?
sherlob Plus
14 3.1k 129 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2017 10:27AM
I have been a member and was never convinced about the advantages so opted to let my membership lapse. That said I don't think I put too much effort into the process of trying to get something from it. Originally, I joined as I wanted to gain either ARPS or FRPS status. However, these assessments were quite costly (as is membership imho) and again I was unconvinced about the benefit. It occurred to me that as an amateur, the status was superfluous to my needs (many professionals have posted in this forum in the past about how RPS has limited value to them professionally).

There are other organisations who would love volunteers to help - why pay the RPS for the pleasure?

A.
LouiseTopp 9 634 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2017 2:10PM
Thanks for your answers


Quote:Would membership status help you in any way ?


I was hoping it would open a few doors etc. I did want to volunteer for the RPS in Bath, but I have to be a member. I might approach Laycock instead, only problem is getting there as I don't drive.


Quote:There are other organisations who would love volunteers to help - why pay the RPS for the pleasure?


True, does anyone know of any photographic organisations please?
KenTaylor 15 3.1k 2 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2017 3:59PM
Credibility is from your work with or without the RPS. It an be rather expensive and even more so when you gain distinctions. The moment you drop out of the RPS your distinction goes with it.

An academic award is worth so much more, for life.
SlowSong Plus
11 9.0k 30 England
28 Jul 2017 4:27PM

Quote:Credibility is from your work with or without the RPS. It an be rather expensive and even more so when you gain distinctions. The moment you drop out of the RPS your distinction goes with it.


They changed this rule a while ago in that if you leave you can still use the letters you've earned if you join up again later. Before, if you wanted to go for the next level, you had to maintain membership or start again from scratch. I just thought it was rather a lot of money to pay for four magazines a year, and being countrywide it wasn't easy to get to many workshops or meetings.
Chris_L 6 5.5k United Kingdom
28 Jul 2017 4:49PM

Quote:I was hoping it would open a few doors etc. I did want to volunteer for the RPS in Bath, but I have to be a member.

What doors do you think it might open that you currently find closed?

What would a volunteer do. If it's just helping put the chairs out at meetings it's not going to be very rewarding.

Volunteer to cover charity events, photographing sponsored bungee jumps, fun runs etc. The pictures can get a large audience, you can be credited, it builds your portfolio etc.
sherlob Plus
14 3.1k 129 United Kingdom
28 Jul 2017 6:29PM
The first one that comes to mind is this:

The disabled photographers society

However a quick Google showed this article which may be of interest : Volunteering for aspiring photographers
LouiseTopp 9 634 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2017 5:09PM

Quote:What doors do you think it might open that you currently find closed?


People don't take me seriously because of my Aspbergers. Thanks for the link Sherlob, am already in the Disabled photographers society, have to renew my membership in January Smile



thewilliam2 3 1.4k
1 Aug 2017 5:13PM
Many people join the RPS because they intend to go for one of the distinctions.

That was my primary reason and I found the "working towards" my FRPS was a time of great personal and photographic growth but that was back in the 1980s.

Now that I'm recently retired from professional photography and back to an amateur, the RPS is proving valuable for the regional meetings and contact with fellow enthusiasts. We can only get out what we're prepared to put in.
Chris_L 6 5.5k United Kingdom
2 Aug 2017 4:27PM

Quote:People don't take me seriously because of my Aspergers

Let your portfolio do the talking.

Your images mean far more than any memberships of any organisations do.

I've only seen a handful of your images, the ones on ephotozine. Your composition and exposure is very good. Some images would have been better if the light had been better. Softer, a different time of day.

Post to the Critique Gallery and get valuable advice, for free.

psiman 16 574 Wales
3 Aug 2017 5:10PM
Just to add my tuppence worth. People can join the RPS for a number of reasons:

- If you're a professional if nothing else, non togs are more likely to have heard of the RPS than other organisations such the SWPP, PAGB, or FIAP)

- Joining to attain the Distinctions is probably the major reason people join. Personally I've found the process of working towards distinctions to be worthwhile, though also sometimes frustrating, requiring an approach that is outside of camera club and photographic exhibition requirements. Yes, you are supposed to maintain your RPS membership to be able to use the distinctions (though you can apply without being a member and only need to join if you gain your distinction).

- The Regions and Special Interest Groups such Landscape, Digital, Creative, Imaging Science, etc. are pretty unique and allow you to interact with local and national photographers who share your photographic interests. Personally I'd say this is the key to the RPS and to get the most out of them you need to be prepared to get involved with your Region and SIGs.

- Lastly, the Journal is now monthly and is a much better quality publication than it used to be (though I'd agree that if that was the only benefit you felt you were getting it might be a tad expensive).

Simon Cotter LRPS
Eric8255 14 3
21 Mar 2018 10:55PM
The RPS awards work on their own criteria and to attain them you must adhere to them absolutely.

This may well mean making your images in their way rather than your own.

As such creativity is penalized.

To answer the question - if you want letters after your name and are prepared to compromise your own style and ideas to get them - it is well worth joining.

If you want to become/are a creative photographer - avoid it like the plague.
thewilliam2 3 1.4k
21 Mar 2018 11:24PM

Quote:The RPS awards work on their own criteria and to attain them you must adhere to them absolutely.

This may well mean making your images in their way rather than your own.

As such creativity is penalized.

To answer the question - if you want letters after your name and are prepared to compromise your own style and ideas to get them - it is well worth joining.

If you want to become/are a creative photographer - avoid it like the plague.



If this is true, it must have changed utterly since I gained my distinctions. Creativity has always been compulsory at Fellowship level. I detect a certain bitterness in Eric's post. Has he actually been an RPS member?
thewilliam2 3 1.4k
22 Mar 2018 10:59AM
To answer the OP's question, the answer has to be "maybe".

I was originally anti-RPS but the chairman of my old club told me and a friend that we could never get any RPS distinction. We took this as a challenge and were both FRPS within a year.

The RPS did seem so much better when viewed from the inside. I've met a lot of interesting people and membership has definitely been worthwhile, perhaps because I live within fairly easy reach of the HQ and can attend meetings.

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