The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain and the East Anglian Federation
Bedford Camera Club belongs to the East Anglian Federation of Photographic Societies (EAF), which in turn is a member of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB). On the PAGB site you will find information about the PAGB and about the other federations which make up the PAGB. Links to other clubs in the EAF are on the EAF site. Details of activities organised by the EAF are on the site. On the other federation sites you will find links to the clubs within that federation.
To submit images to gain a distinction, e.g. CPAGB, DPAGB and MPAGB, with the PAGB you must be a member for at least 2 to 5 years of an affiliated camera club, e.g. Bedford Camera Club. Once you have gained a distinction the letters are yours to keep even if you are no longer a member of a camera club. Before submitting any images it is recommended you seek advice from the PAGB and preferably attend assessment days to fully understand the requirements.
The Royal Photographic Society
The Royal Photographic Society was formed in 1853, membership is open to everyone with an interest in photography. The Society holds a photography collection which is now at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford, now the National Media Museum, which is a part of the Science Museum.
To submit images to gain a distinction with the RPS, e.g. LRPS, ARPS and FRPS, you need to be a (paid annually) member of the RPS but you need not belong to a camera club. Once you have gained a distinction the letters are yours to keep only for as long as you remain a (paid annually) member of the RPS. Before submitting any images it is recommended you seek advice from the RPS and preferably attend assessment days to fully understand the requirements.
The Societies of Photographers are a group of organisations incorporating the interests of all aspects of photography, e.g. Weddings, Fashion, Wildlife. Typically these are aimed at professional photographers within the appropriate group.
You can gain distinctions within the Societies, of which there are many, e.g. LSWPP, ASINWP, FSIFGP. Before submitting any images it is recommended you seek advice from the Societies and preferably attend assessment days to fully understand the requirements.
The United Photographic Postfolios of Great Britain (UPP)
The UPP is a photographic club that comes to you by post or electronically at regular intervals. The UPP’s roots go back to about 1931 and it is currently Britain’s largest postal photographic club. Membership is spread throughout the length and breadth of the UK as well as a few overseas members.
Each month, members receive a ‘folio’ of photographs to view, comment on and, of course, add their own picture to for comment by their peers. To enable manageable circulation of folios the Club is subdivided into a number of smaller clubs, known as Circles. Each Circle, typically, has 12 to 15 members and works to a specific ‘discipline’ or format.
A great way to receive valuable critiques and to help others within your circle. Membership details and costs.
The Global Photographic Union
GPU is formed for those photographers who wish to take part in an international organisation where photographic art allows and encourages cultural exchange. The GPU also awards its own distinctions.
The Open Photographic Society
A non-profit, online-only society. Founded 2007. Anyone can “join”, there is no formal membership. I have no way of assessing their viability, they held their last online exhibition in 2014 and updated their whole website in 2016.
They offer distinctions roughly along the lines of the RPS, the panels are judged by appropriately qualified photographers, e.g. FRPS level. They aim to offer distinctions that are the equivalent to others, e.g. RPS. The cost, as of 2020, is around £25 [er distinction and this remains yours for your lifetime, unlike the RPS there are no requirements for an annual fee to retain the distinction (the PAGB distinctions do not need an annual fee.) The distinctions offered are Merit, LOPS, AOPS and FOPS.
The OPS website has a lot of interesting photographic information
Bedford Art Society
The Bedford Camera Club and the Bedford Art Society presented a successful joint exhibition of work in November 2014
National and International Exhibitions
Colin Mill (http://www.colinemill.co.uk/) and Ian Mellor (http://www.ianmellor-photography.co.uk/) gave talks in December 2013 for those wishing to enter exhibitions beyond the BCC and local external events.
More information: National and International Exhibitions PDF
On 12th March 2013 the Club had an interesting talk from Tom Perrett about the The Higgins, the combined Bedford Museum, Cecil Higgins Museum and Art Gallery, to be re-opned in Spring 2013 after extensive redevelopment. Tom gave a very interesting talk which included how photographers can benefit from The Higgins, including exhibitions (look out for the Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition to be shown here), they are permitting photography within the museum and “Higgins Inspired” photographs are welcome in their FLICKR gallery.
Bedford Borough Council
Our local council’s web site with links to a town guide, maps and photographs of Bedford.
The British Press Photographers’ Association
The BPPA is a members’ organisation run almost entirely by working photographers. An interesting set of resources that would interest anyone in photojournalism, street photography etc.