Search Our Website

AOP Member Login

Beyond The Lens
The AOP as publisher

The AOP was formed in 1968 by a small group of photographers. United by a common aim to challenge the then unreasonable demands of model agencies, it brought together professional photographers, to protect their rights and promote photography.

Constituted as a non-profit distributing trade association, today its membership exceeds 1,000 photographers and photographic assistants covering advertising, fashion, editorial, architectural and design sectors and is supported by photographers' agents, manufacturers and suppliers of photographic equipment and services. The AOP also has a number of affiliated college and university courses and plays a significant role in promoting, maintaining and developing relationships between all levels of higher and further education and the professional industry. A board of directors comprising 7 photographer members, three non-member directors and an assisting photographer member governs the AOP.

The AOP's principal aims have remained the same over the past 46 years and, through its campaigning and education work, has improved rights for all photographers creating a unique community of professionals. We are proud of our history, and rightly so: we negotiated reforms which led to the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988; we developed the widely accepted Standards of Practice, which afford photographers greater protection and ownership of their work; produce 'Beyond the Lens'; created the OPEN awards and the AOP Awards, the most prestigious accolade in the photographic industry, now in its thirtieth year.

Recognising the many pressures photographers face, the AOP Legal, Education and information service aims to provide members with practical help to reduce the administrative burden of running a business; it includes workshops, guidance on how to resolve business and rights matters, and a database of worldwide services. We also act as a forum for discussion and exchange of information about changes in the industry and the impact of new technologies.

Membership details and further information about the AOP's activities can be found here.


This book is intended as a guide for those people involved in photography and it is not intended to take the place of legal advice. The authors, publisher and consultants can take no responsibility for the consequence of any reliance placed on its contents.

The editorial content of Part 3 ‘Making a Living’  (except Chapter 8 Standards and Codes for Assisting Photographers & Chapter 9 Negotiating Licences and Usage) does not necessarily reflect the attitude of the AOP Board or the membership.

Join our mailing list for free access to this resource.