Having been told many times by family and friends that my printed images were very good, I started to think that I needed a more unbiased opinion. After seeing a photographic exhibition by a local camera club at SavaCentre, I decided to take the plunge and join. Having seen some of the Club’s work I believed that I may have been an average photographer but after briefly attending for a few months I found that it didn't really help me find the advice and critique I was looking for I quickly moved on to another club, Parkwood Camera Club. Whilst there I was quickly introduced to the Royal Photographic Society and decided I would look into this process - I was lucky that a couple months later, Parkwood sponsored a Licentiate Advisory Day.
What is a Licensure Advisory Day?
Advisory days are intended to provide guidance to RPS members and non-members who are considering applying for a Distinction. They offer an opportunity for you to view successful submissions and receive personal guidance on the standard of your work and preparation of your panel.
The RPS offers three levels of Distinctions which set recognised standards of achievement throughout the world: Licentiate (LRPS), Associate (ARPS) and Fellowship (FRPS). Both members and non-members can apply for Distinctions (non-members will need to join The Society if they gain a Distinction).
You may attend an Advisory Day as a Spectator or as a Participant. As a Participant, you should take a minimum of 15 mounted prints for the LRPS group that you consider could form the basis for a panel. This will enable the advisors to comment on the quality of your work and also offer advice on how the prints may work together as a coherent panel. All advice on the day is given by experienced Distinctions panel members.
If at first you don't succeed...
Having understood the objectives of an advisory day I decided that I would attend this day as a Spectator. On the day there were around 10 photographers that had their work examined. Having seen the panels, I decided on the spot that I would prepare a submission for an advisory day in the near future! By the middle of 2012 I put together a panel of 10 mounted prints (with a few spares) and turned up to an advisory day. The RPS representatives suggested that I had could produce a panel that might pass the full Licentiate Assessment. So the day came and with high expectations, I took my panel to the venue but alas two of my images had technical faults so home I went with a deflated ego.
I took some advice from a local RPS adviser and went away to put together a new panel. This took me a year to produce and I only use one print from my first submission in the new panel.
So in 13th September 2013 I entered a LRPS Assessment day at Foxton. Having sat through 17 assessments of other people’s work I nervously watched as a number of panels failed to meet the required standards. After lunch my panel was the first up. Watching the Assessors go over my panel was nerve racking but eventually the Chair called out my name to inform me that my panel would be recommended for approval... I had achieved my goal and what a day that was!
Now four years on I am still trying to produce a submission for the Associate Distinction but I'm working on it.