About the AOP

The Association of Photographers is a membership organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and educating photographers of all levels – from those starting out, to experienced professionals, and everyone in between.

The Association of Photographers was first formed in 1968 by a group of photographers who came together to address issues affecting them in the late 1960’s and is one of the most prestigious professional photographers’ associations in the world for those working in the creative image-making industry.

Our members are drawn from professional photographers, assistants, students, agents and associated professions and affiliated companies in the creative industries, and we have a large number of accredited photography courses. It has grown to be one of the most highly regarded photographic bodies in the sector. Our members’ work is exhibited in galleries, published in magazines, newspapers, books and advertising campaigns worldwide.

We lobby on behalf of photographers, helping to protect their rights and were instrumental in obtaining positive changes in the 1988 Copyright, Designs & Patents Act strengthening the copyright protection to photographers as creators. We provide business and legal advice to members and sit on a numerous forums and bodies including the British Photographic Council, British Copyright Council and government advice panels. We are truly independent – we have no shareholders and can set our own agenda.

The AOP Awards

There are a great many photography competitions out there for professionals and non-professionals alike, but the AOP Awards continues to be regarded as the original and the best – a celebration of exceptional work by the industry’s elite. 
Being selected for entry into the AOP Awards Book and accompanying exhibition is one of the highest accolades available to photographers around the world. All the revenues generated from our Awards activities go back into the Association, so by entering the Awards you are not only gaining additional exposure for yourself through one of the best platforms there is, but you are helping support all photographers and creators.

We have four Awards:

The Photography Awards

Open to AOP Accredited and Assisting Photographer Members, they are a celebration of the best from those working professionally in the commercial, fine art and creative sectors.

The Open Award

Open to the everyone, the public and those both professional and amateur, young or old, new to photography or a seasoned artist. These awards have no restrictions, the images, be they still or moving, are the stars. Exciting and innovative work is encouraged.

The Emerging Talent Award

New for 2020, the Emerging Talent Award is a new award, separate from our Photography, Open and Student Awards. Open to anyone, this award celebrates the new wave of photographers, who have been practising as a photographer for less than 3 years.

The Student Awards

A celebration of the best in photography amongst students, helping to provide that all important step up to the professional arena. By supporting new emerging talent, the Awards are an opportunity to get a first look at the potential stars of tomorrow.

Competition is high

  • 3500 images were entered into last year’s competition
  • 274 finalist images were selected
  • 50 images selected as winners (54 including the Student Awards)
  • 1,000 guests from across the British photographic industry attended the Awards presentation party in October at the stunning East Wintergarden at Canary Wharf
  • Over 70,000 people in total attended the 7 week exhibition at One Canada Square, Canary Wharf