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Author Topic: Institutes and Societies  (Read 1555 times)

picsfor

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Institutes and Societies
« on: November 05, 2009, 09:54:19 AM »
This is very much a throw back to the 'bad wedding' story.
It is intended to be a discussion point and not an 'i'm after info...' type of thread.
It was just i remember reading how said 'Wedding Photographer' was a member of some organisation or other and read some contradicting views.

Given all the various institutes and societies being advertised, are any of them of any value, and will/ do/ have they help9(ed) improve your photography in any way or improve your chances of making a living out of photography?

« Last Edit: November 05, 2009, 12:27:32 PM by picsfor »



skellum

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Re: Institutes and Societies
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2009, 10:25:16 PM »
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   ;D. 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 !  ... :legit:
« Last Edit: November 06, 2009, 01:34:44 AM by skellum ( Dave ) »

picsfor

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Re: Institutes and Societies
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2009, 07:43:12 AM »
Interesting points there.
I have already considered the RPS at some point in the future  - but mainly as a point of achievement for me.

I can appreciate that you would be afraid to 'criticise' an organisation for fear of legal reprisals, but again this is a forum, and free speech is still allowed.
If a point is made from the 'i found that membership did not require assessment of my work to ensure minimum standard before being allowed membership', or 'membership benefits seemed all about utilising membership logo etc to marketing my services' then their is nothing those organisations can do.

All that is required to comply with the law is 'if the organisation complains that the comments are derogatory and damage their good name' is for admin to pull the thread when the comments are pointed out to them.
The other point is that people who use this site do not seem to be the fools that appear on some of the other sites.

The question occasionally pops up about this society or that organisation and i genuinely thought/ hoped this thread might be able to provide a single repository of information whilst also exposing the weaknesses that allowed said 'wedding photographer' to advertise their services with a logo but no apparent expertise in the service they were offering.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Institutes and Societies
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2009, 08:11:49 AM »
I can appreciate that you would be afraid to 'criticise' an organisation for fear of legal reprisals, but again this is a forum, and free speech is still allowed.

Go read this.

And you're not going to get me to comment on the SWPP I'm afraid.  I'm considering whether I have a case for legal action against them..........

IN GENERAL no society is going to improve your photography or "your chances of making a living out of it".  However, joining and being an active member of a society can do both those things.  It's amazing how many people believe that paying £99 to get a certificate and a free reflector will make them a photo rockstar :)  But the process of working towards a measured goal (submitting a panel, mounting an exhibition, producing some pics for selling on a market stall) is bound to help especially when it's backed by advice from industry experts.

Quote
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.

I just wish people would understand that the very best run scheme like this would guarantee them mediocrity.  I left the MPA because I believed that to achieve qualifications I would have to work in their way.  People who qualify with them either do so and then go off and do their own thing (i.e. it's like an MOT - their usual work may be much better in the eyes of their clients but would never pass a judging panel) or conform and produce safe technically correct work which is often indistinguishable from other similarly qualified photographers.
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picsfor

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Re: Institutes and Societies
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2009, 08:52:02 AM »
Interesting reading there Jonathan. I'm taking that the SWPP does not come with a ringing endorsement amongst those in the know.

What was more interesting was that the commentator was interested in being a member of the Federation of Small Businesses which he found more beneficial to his career as a photographer than joining or having your work assessed by any panel of a society, club etc.

Offline ABERS

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Re: Institutes and Societies
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2009, 08:53:33 AM »
I'm a member of the RPS and was pointed in its direction by several photographers way back in the '80s and I rejoined three years ago when I returned to photography. I don't use the wide range of facilities that it offers, workshops, seminars very much, but I do subscribe to one of the many groups (digital) that exists within the overall organisation.

I see the distinction categories, LRPS, ARPS, FRPS as a challenge to your photographic abilities because none of them are awarded lightly and none of them can be bought. Your submissions are scrutinised by photographers that have achieved the top distinction and are among those that practise photography at national and international levels. Of course to be a photographer of note you don't have to have any of those letters after your name, but if you do, as Dave says, you can have the satisfaction of knowing that you have achieved a recognition amongst your peers.

There are those of course that pooh-pooh the RPS as a fuddy duddy old fashioned organisation always asking what's in it for me? I usually reply, " a bit of a challenge if you're up to it!" :tup:

When we come to the 'professional' side of photography of course it's only natural that there should be some form of marketing organisation and as far as I can see the SWPP and all the other SW's provide that at a cost. Whether that generates business can only be assessed by those that are members.

Never forget you don't need any qualifications or distinctions to become a professional photographer, just the ability to offer a professionally produced product, and as we all know that's not easy.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Institutes and Societies
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2009, 08:58:34 AM »
Interesting reading there Jonathan. I'm taking that the SWPP does not come with a ringing endorsement amongst those in the know.

Some people love it some people hate it.  I think that's probably in direct relation to how much effort you put in.  I was a member for 2 years and didn't put any effort in and I didn't get much out of it.

Some of their business practises have cased alarm to some people.  But I believe that they have changed a lot since I was a member.
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Offline krennon

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Re: Institutes and Societies
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2009, 05:00:41 PM »
I am a member of my local camera club (no pro qualifications req'd) we have some "just for the fun of it" comps, we have some inter-club comps (taken semi-seriously) and we enter into the PAGB comps (which is taken very seriously of course).
We have a mixture of L/A/F RPS's & various levels of the PAGB within our membership etc....Since joining the club I am giving serious thought to going for my LRPS (I said this before on the old DC forum) but purely for my own satisfaction and to get to have some letters after my name, as I am going to have to wait until I either win the lottery or am retired to do a degree now..... ;) My father is an ARPS and he is a retired pro, but photography was his hobby when he was a boy so it was the natural "course" for him to turn pro..Did being an ARPS help him in his business I don't think so but it certainly didn't do his business any harm, and the certificate always looked nice in his office...
If you want to go for a "qualification" but not the degree route I would say either go for the RPS or one of the PAGB ones but don't expect them to boost your earning potential 'cos they probably won't....if time and expense is not so much of an issue think about a distance leaning degree with the OCA or some such course.pays your money takes your choice,or don't do a course and spend the money on some shiny new kit  ;)
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Offline Sandy

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Re: Institutes and Societies
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2009, 12:05:34 PM »
Iam also a member of a local camera club and have been thinking for some time that I would like to join the RPS and go for my LRPS. I do however keeping having self doubts of whether I could achieve this level of photography and thinking next year will be the better time.

Sandy

 

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