For me doing the Licentiateship with The Royal Photographic Society helped me with the technical areas of photography & printing plus there is the added bonus of using the letters LRPS on my website & advertising etc which is a great help when trying to sell services to the general public.
I would recommend the RPS because they are very helpfull and offer genuine help and advise to get you through your panel resubmision ( meaning I failed, learnt by my mistakes and with their help and encouragement I passed the panels vote )
I had thought of trying the next stage ARPS but to be honest the general public don't really know or care if you are a LRPS or FRPS. The public seem to see "The Royal Photographic" thing first.
I suppose its a personal thing to decide how far you want to challenge yourself.
I looked into the other organisations and it seems with the " lesser " one you only have to be a member to be able to use their logo on advertsing without having to submit any work to a panel to obtain any sort of qualification . Having looked on the web & directories there seems to be a lot who say " Members of " plus logo.
So that must be how the said " photographer " had managed to get work but they do offer the means to obtain licentiateship & upwards
. They also seemed to have lots of other organisations within their own. So if you specialise in photographing "eggs" for example you could be a member of " ------ egg photographers " and because you are already a member of the " Mother " organisation you get a 50% discount on your annual members subscription. ( to the egg one that is )
I also looked at another organisation which looked " Very Professional". Wish I could freely mention these organisation without the chance of some sort of comeback so I suppose its best not to.
Basically I think Joe Public like to see something with a Logo /official stamp like a " Corgi " approved gas engineer and assume everything will be ok.
So why not have a look for yourself, but I personally would not rate any " Official Organisation " which tries to tempt new members with a cheap free gift.......... and you have to pay the postage ! ...