The winners of the 143rd Royal Photographic Society Awards have just been announced. These prizes, the oldest in photography, are a bit different from most of the photography competitions we are featured on. Pop Photo. The RPS Awards celebrate photographers and their works and contributions to photography as a whole, rather than single, top-of-a-category images.
In addition, photographers do not enter themselves, they must be nominated by their peers. With that said, let’s look at some winners.
The price categories
In keeping with the Royal Photographic Society’s approach of celebrating photographers, not photographs, the categories are broader, more global and, dare I say it, prestigious. Here, no submarine or insect category, but the LumiÃ¨re Award and the Centenary Medal.
The 18 categories are:
- The Progress Medal (Prize for the scientific or technological advancement of photography)
- The Centenary Medal (Award for a sustained and significant contribution to the art of photography)
- The Exceptional Service Medal (Award for sustained, exceptional and influential advancement in photography)
- RPS Honorary Scholarship Award
- RPS Award for Film Production
- The Combined Royal Colleges Award
- RPS Award for Photographic Conservation
- RPS Award for Editorial, Advertising and Fashion Photography
- RPS Award for Photographic Education
- The Fenton Medals (award for outstanding contributions to the work of society)
- The Hood Medal (Prize for a group of works promoting or raising awareness of current issues)
- The J Dudley Johnston Medal (Award for Achievement in Photographic Criticism or Photographic History)
- The LumiÃ¨re Prize (Cinematography, Video and Animation Prize)
- The member’s award (award for extraordinary and sustained support of society)
- RPS Prize for Photographic Editing
- The Royal Photographic Society Prize for Scientific Imaging.
- The Selwyn Prize (Scientific Imaging Research Prize)
- The Vic Odden Award (Award of Excellence in the Art of Photography for those 35 and under)
As you can see, that’s a hell of a list. And if you want to see all the recipients, we suggest you check out the latest edition of the RPS Journal (available online for free). We’re just going to pull off a few of the winners that we’ve found to be the most interesting or inspiring.
RPS Award for Editorial, Advertising and Fashion Photography: Tyler Mitchell
Tyler Mitchell, according to RPS, “is transforming the way black culture is represented, from the art world to the cover of Vogue. ”
This BeyoncÃ© cover photo made history in 2018 because it was the first Vogue cover taken by a black photographer. The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery has even acquired an image from the series for its permanent collection.
The Progress Medal: Katie Bouman
Katie Bouman was one of the main members of the team that produced the first image of a black hole in 2019. Not surprisingly, given the RPS’s emphasis on the scientific side of things. , whether she won the prize for “the scientific or technological advancement of photography.”
The Hood Medal: Dexter McLean
Dexter McLean, a photographer with cerebral palsy, won the Body of Work Promoting or Raising Awareness of Current Issues award for his documentary and portrait work in support of the disabled community.
Vic Odden Prize: Silvia Rosi
Silvia Rosi, a photographer of West African descent, won the âAchievement in the Art of Photography for 35 and Underâ award for her âself-portrait photography that explores personal history, heritage and origins “.
(Yes, we’re delighted to see such a compelling self-portrait recognized like this).
RPS Prize for Photographic Conservation: Azu Nwagbogu
Azu Nwagbogu won the award for his creative work from the African Artists’ Foundation, a Nigeria-based non-profit organization that promotes and develops contemporary African art.
How to participate in the RPS Awards
Although you cannot participate in the RPS Awards yourself, you can try to convince your friends to nominate you for free on the RPS website. They will need to describe your contributions to photography and explain why you deserve such a prestigious award, so make sure they know the merits of your work. All applicants are reviewed annually in January, and an application is valid for three years.
If you don’t win within three years, you’ll need to convince your friends to come forward again (and you’ll need to have done something new and worthy of a prize in the meantime).