Confirmation..

I think my postman must’ve been psychic this morning as no sooner had I said “hmm, I wonder when I’ll get my confirmation letter from the RPS” than the doorbell rang and it was Phil the postie with a mailer tube, addressed like so:

There’s my first clue on the address label :)

Inside was an official confirmation letter, certificate (complete with unfortunate typo on my surname) and a special RPS lapel badge to wear to official ‘suited & booted’ events too.

They also sent a proper press release for the local papers so I’ll send that out next week, though I’ll get one of my photographer friends from Bristol to take a few snaps when we set up for our exhibition at Broadwalk Arts next week (more on that in another post..)

The man from the RPS, he say “Yes!”

Phew, am I glad that’s over!

So today I had my panel assessed by the Royal Photographic Society and I’m chuffed to bits to say that after a very nerve-wracking morning I was recommended for my LRPS distinction.

I’ve got to wait for my confirmation letter from the RPS council and when that arrives I’ll stick up a page with some more details of the process. The main thing is a review of your portfolio by a panel of expert judges, which comprises five Fellows of the Royal Society.

My panel consisted of a selection of some of my recent photos. They weren’t necessarily my favourite shots, but rather a selection which I felt showed an appropriate cross-section of my skills which is quite an important requirement of the L panel.

I don’t mind admitting I was bricking it about today!

It’s mad, I’ve done all sorts of scary things over the years ranging from all the crazy martial arts competitions to dangling off cliffs and throwing myself out of planes. None of them even came close to how nervous I was about this.  It didn’t help the fact that mine was the last panel assessed this morning. Each panel takes about 10-15 minutes for the assessment and there were 14 assessed before mine came up.  We were coming up to lunchtime and at that point they were about 50/50 on successful recommendations. It was about 1pm so I figured they were about to have a lunch break when the distinctions manager said ‘just one more before lunch..’ and then I saw my first image go up… Gulp.. “this is it”

After the longest 15 minutes of my life the chairman announced  that I was successful and they were going to recommend me for the distinction.

Cue one very happy chappy indeed.

I was really quite pleased with the feedback they gave me. They were pretty complimentary about the individual shots. The only area they had some small criticism was in the layout of the panel itself (i.e. which image goes where) which was the main thing I’d already identified as a weak point  and so I was very happy  that I was clearly thinking on the right lines and the actual quality of my photography was up to standard.  Interestingly, the one shot I thought was a bit weak was picked out as one they really liked!

[button link=”http://www.richardolpin.co.uk/my-lrps-panel/” color=”#000040″ text=”light”]View my successful LRPS panel[/button]

Nerves aside, it was a great experience and I’ve learned a huge amount from the panels I’ve seen over the past year or so and it’s given me a lot to think about for the future.

So, what’s next on the agenda?

Well the next step up the RPS ladder is the Associate level Distinction. I’ve got a lot to learn before I’m up to that standard but with what I know now I can see that’s going to be a fairly major project which is certainly going to take many months of work and hence it’s a good goal for next year.  It’s a very different mentality needed for the Associateship as it’s very much more an appraisal of your personal style rather than the predominantly technical assessment for the Licentiate award.  I think that I need to work on some more in-depth projects to get a feel for the area I’d like to specialise on for that one and then it will be a specific project in itself just for that panel. My early thoughts are that I may look at doing some documentary style street photography but anything’s possible. More news on that as I begin to form a plan.

Right now though I need a couple of days chillspace and to crack on with some projects for the day job!  Some of that will be web-stuf for the school so I may well be blogging about them here if they’re appropriate.

Watch this space..