The Association of Photographers was first formed in 1968 as the Association of Fashion and Advertising Photographers and is one of the most prestigious professional photographers' associations in the world.
The Association's aims remain the same today as they were almost 50 years ago: to promote and protect the worth and standing of its members, to vigorously defend, educate and lobby for the interests and rights of all photographers, especially in the commercial photographic industry.
Membership is open to:
Professional and Assisiting Photographers working in the creative sector, Agents, any Indviduals working in the photographic industry, those starting out in the profession, those in education and anyone with an interest in professional photography.
Our members' clients include:
advertising agencies, design groups, corporate sector companies, publishing houses and music publishers.
Our members' work is:
published worldwide in magazines, newspapers, books and advertising campaigns. Many members produce work as fine art, sold and collected through traditional galleries and online.
The Association brings professional photographers together and provides a sense of community that is simply unavailable anywhere else. We promote the highest levels of achievement and we lobby for our members' interests at all levels.
The Association also provides the following to its members:
Business and legal advice
We provide help, guidance and up-to-date legal and business information. We inform members of their rights and the rights of others who they may come into contact with during the course of undertaking commissioned work.
We provide paperwork, template letters and forms and guidance. Members can get advice on issues with contracts, non-payment of invoices, copyright, licensing and usage and, if required, be put in contact with our retained specialist IP lawyers at a subsidised rate.
We publish the widely-acclaimed and well-respected book, Beyond The Lens, which is included in the syllabus of all our affiliated college/university courses (BTEC or Degree). We also run workshops and seminars for students, assistants and for professional photographers, as well as portfolio critiques.
We have a series of dedicated links, industry insights and downloads that are accessble to our Student Members. We also work closely with the lecturers that run the courses that are affiliated to the AOP as well as produce the AOP Student Awards.
Campaigning and lobbying
Since our inception in 1968, we have worked hard to protect photographers' rights. We lobby and influence and are regularly asked by legislators, both within UK Government (the IPO) and the EU, to inform them of photographers' concerns and requirements and contribute to shaping legislation. We take an active role on the British Copyright Council (BCC) in providing views and opinion from our sector.
Successes include the implementation of the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act itself in 1988, which we were active, along with others, in helping to secure; working with the photographic community to secure the exclusion of Clause 43 from the Digital Economy Act and we are currently working on solutions to the problem of Orphan Works as well as consulting on a whole raft of EU legislation concerned with copyright.
We run one of the most prestigious and influential awards in the industry and have done so for more than 30 years. To be chosen for the Photographers Awards' Exhibition and Book is still seen as one of the top accolades possible for any professional photographer despite there being so many competitions today!
Non-members can enter the Open Awards category, which is open to professionals and enthusiasts alike.
The AOP Student Awards celebrate the wealth of talented photographers enrolled in courses in the UK and from around the world.
Our Online Gallery showcases AOP members' work, their personal projects and specialist skills.
Image has been published by the Association since 1981, most recently moving to its new home on the AOP website.
Image is produced for all photographers but with the professional in mind, showcasing the very best photographers and their work.
For more information on how to join, click here.