As an educational charity, we offer free resources to all those with an interest in photography. These include our model release form (which has been downloaded over 10,000 times), inspiring teaching materials linked to our exhibitions, access to the archive of our RPS Journal going back to 1853, information on copyright and best practice for photographing wildlife. We will be adding to this section regularly.
RPS Journal Archive
Freely available and fully searchable, a digital archive of the RPS Journal from 1853 to 2018 is available, providing an unrivalled wealth of photographic history at your fingertips.
The RPS Journal first appeared in March 1853 and it has been published continuously ever since. It is the world's oldest photographic periodical and has reported Society activities as well as charting the changes in photography up to the present day.
The Society has been able to digitise the entire run of the Journal from 1853 to 2018 over 30,000 pages. Fully searchable this is a major resource for photo-historians, genealogists and Society members.
New RPS Collection
The first RPS Collection was largely formed from c.1890s-2002. The Collection - photographs, photographic technology, library and manuscript material - was transferred to the then National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in 2003 and then to the V&A Museum, London in 2017.
With the RPS's move to Bristol, the RPS has started to form a new RPS Collection. This will have a specific focus on material relating to its own history, its membership from 1853 and their work, and historic and important photographs, cameras and equipment and books that can be used for its public education and exhibition programmes.
The Royal Photographic Society Collection at the V&A
In the 1850s, founding members of the RPS started a collection that eventually amounted to around 270,000 photographs, thousands of pieces of photographic equipment, 26,000 books and many letters, diaries and notebooks.
It was announced that the Collection would be moving to the V&A in 2016. Since the move extensive work has been taking place to catalogue it, digitise much of it and display some of the most important work from the history of photography in the new Photography Centre. The Collection is also available to access in person in the Print Study Room.
An evolving record of the coronavirus pandemic as told by our members, staff, interviewees and the RPS Journal.
RPS Film Archive
Free educational interviews and lectures.
'In conversation' with RPS Award recipients. Watch
Nicholas J R White (discusses long-term personal projects). Watch
Distinctions Live Talks (including Joe Cornish HonFRPS). Watch
David Hurn HonFRPS (documentary photography). Watch
David Stewart (editorial, advertising & fashion photography). Watch
Dr Andrew Bastawrous (medical photography). Watch
Professor Caroline Wilkinson (clinical imagery). Watch
Frederic Aranda (on his portrait of Sir Ian McKellan). Watch
These resources offer practical ideas, theory and insight into creative practitioners’ work and extend the learning experience based around the subject matter.
We can also accommodate school visits to our exhibitions, please contact Liz Williams to discuss.
This exhibition is now closed, but the resources related to it are still available below.
The images on show in this exhibition provided some clues about the direction in which photography is travelling. It made for a fascinating show for young creatives to explore and respond to.
International Photography Exhibition 162
The IPE 162 resources includes artist interviews and an introduction to the exhibition and its history. You will also find learning and teaching resources, for schools, colleges and individuals.
Sugar Paper Theories
The Sugar Paper Theories exhibition resources includes interviews with the artist, curator and some of those involved in this fascinating case.
Alongside these you will find learning and teaching resources, for schools, colleges and individuals.
Science Photographer of the Year
Celebrating the close connection between science and photography that has existed ever since photography was invented.
Listen to entrants and winners and learn ways you can photograph science at home.
At our gallery in RPS House, Bristol.
Space Steps: The Moon and Beyond
Celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
5 July-29 September 2019, Bristol
Mandy Barker raises awareness about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.
4 April-23 June 2019, Bristol
Gallery Learning Resource
These downloadable resources have been created to support visits to exhibitions of photography. They are designed with students in mind, particularly visitors aged 11 to 18. However, they can be enjoyed by all and easily adapted for a younger (or older) audience.
Please download the pack here
The RPS has spearheaded a number of legacy projects. These include: Bleeding London which provided a snapshot in time of every road in London, Hundred Heroines which identified one hundred outstanding contemporary female photographers in the centenary year of when women gained the right to vote and Historical Heroines which highlighted one hundred incredible female photographers who are sadly no longer with us. If you are interested in any of these projects please click the links below or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2018, to mark the centenary of the women’s right to vote in the UK, the Royal Photographic Society ran a public campaign, conceived and led by its Vice President, Dr Del Barrett ARPS, to identify outstanding female photographers from around the globe. The response was overwhelming with nearly 5,000 people nominating more than 1,300 different candidates. From this, a panel of luminaries from the photographic world selected a final list: The One Hundred Heroines, representing the best of the inspiring women from across the world, whose work is transforming photography and visual arts.
The project was so successful, it began to generate a range of new activities, and growing interest and support. To enable the project to flourish, and to provide a platform for further related initiatives, a new organisation was created by Dr Barrett with the name Hundred Heroines, and the RPS has now passed the custodianship for all future activity directly to this organisation, at the end of 2019.
Find out more by visiting the Hundred Heroines website at: https://hundredheroines.org/
Pictured: Jillian Edelstein HonFRPS receiving her medal.
After a hugely successful public nomination drive for contemporary photographic heroines, the public were asked to nominate their most admired historical photographic figures, those women no longer with us. And this time, the public was the jury.
The Hundred Historical Heroines included: Tish Murtha, Jane Bown HonFRPS, Diane Arbus, Khadija Saye, Vivian Maier, Julia Margaret Cameron, Dorothea Lange, Zaida Ben-Yusuf, Maud Sulter, Shirley Baker, Lee Miller, Eve Arnold, Linda McCartney and Madame Yevonde.
Find out more by visiting the Hundred Heroines website at: https://hundredheroines.org/
Image: Julia Margaret Cameron.
Inspired by Geoff Nicholson’s Whitbread short-listed novel Bleeding London, in which a character named Stuart London walks the complete length and breadth London, Londoners and visitors to the capital followed in Stuart’s footsteps and photographed every street as they went.
1,700 photographers participated to produce 58,000 photographs. The images illustrate the exhilarating diversity that constitutes the fabric of the city. And the participants were just as diverse – from professionals to those who had picked up a camera for the first time. Unsurprisingly, a significant number of the photos were taken on phones.
The RPS has commissioned this GDPR compliant Model Release Form which it is making available to all as part of its objectives of supporting photographers. A Model Release Form establishes a contract between the photographer and a model, defines how and where photographs may be used and the basis of any remuneration. It protects both the photographer and the model in the event of any dispute – provided the parties have abided by the terms of the release. This form is available in both Word and PDF formats for download.
A feature by Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS, RPS Director of Education and Public Affairs. "Many people wish to research historical photographers. Perhaps you are tracing your family history, a distant relative was photographer or you are trying to date an old photograph you have."
A feature by Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS, RPS Director of Education and Public Affairs. "One of the regular enquiries we receive is: “How can I get a photograph from an old glass plate”. These are usually negatives, but sometimes positives, such as magic lantern slides."
The history of The Royal Photographic Society, its activities and membership are a key source for British photographic and social history. Dr Michael Pritchard FRPS, RPS Director of Education and Public Affairs, explains how you can research the RPS and its members.
The RPS encourages all photographers to protect their images against copying and unauthorised use. The Society works closely with other organisations and photographers to provide support and education of the issues surrounding the making, sharing and using of images. This useful guide is produced by the British Copyright Council.
"Your moral rights as author (artist, performer, director, photographer or other creator) are legal rights that protect your reputation and the integrity of your work." Produced by the British Copyright Council.
"When you perform a musical, literary, dramatic, poetic or other kind of artistic work you automatically have rights in your performance." Produced by the British Copyright Council.
"You usually need permission to use someone else’s copyright work, but there are some circumstances where this is not necessary." Produced by the British Copyright Council.
Revised in 1997 and 2007 in consultation with the RSPB and the three Statutory Nature Conservation Councils. Produced by The Nature Group of The Royal Photographic Society. “There is one hard and fast rule, whose spirit must be observed at all times. The welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph.”