How I obtained my Licentiate distinction from the
Royal Photographic Society after 40 years
I began my photographic career working as a sales assistant in a photographic store in Perth Scotland in 1974 and I loved it, loved the cameras, it was all so exciting. I was awed by taking photographs using a Rollie camera with a roll of 6 x 6cm (120) film and processing the film, and then making contact prints from the negatives!
Within a year I had moved from Scotland to the Southern England to work in a classical photographic store selling top of the range photographic equipment like Leica, Hasselblad and Nikon. I also had use of a darkroom and a certain amount of film and paper to practice so that I would be knowledgeable when dealing with customers. This wasn’t a shop like any other and a Saturday morning was probably our least busy as far as sales because customers would come along to show their prints, talk about them and it was then I was encouraged to go for my LRPS. I didn’t know how lucky I was working and being surrounded by the level and competence of the photographers that I encountered, now when I look back it was quite amazing, but it wasn’t to be, I had to wait nearly 45 years before attaining my LRPS.
I had to select 15 images and get them ready for submission, 10 would eventually go forward, and I was quietly confident that I would easily get this qualification, however I wanted to do this right, and I booked a 1 – 1 with a RPS volunteer who helps in the selection of a submission and points out where images might be improved. I was surprised at how bad my selection was and how much my images could be improved! I was glad I went into this with an open mind in the knowledge that I always have something to learn. The help that was freely given was invaluable and I was awarded my Licentiate.
I chose five colour images and five Black and White, my submission back in the mid 1970’s would have all been Black and White printed and mounted by me because of Covid I was able to make an online submission which I believe is still possible now.
I attained my qualification in August 2021, my submission date for evaluation had to be moved due to the death of my father. The world was also at the height of the Covid pandemic, nonetheless I moved onward with the help and understanding of the RPS.
The RPS offer three levels of distinction; Licentiate, Associate and Fellowship so, my next goal will be the Associate. I would urge any photographer to join the Royal Photographic Society as there is so much going on for any level or type of photography, you cannot help but be motivated to be better in any photo goals you want to set for yourself.
Have a look at the RPS site it just might be what you’re looking for!