R-E-D-U-X: RPS 01

Once you have decided on the images that you will use, you must arrange them into a ‘hanging plan’ – this is how they will be displayed to the esteemed panel of RPS judges. I opted to display mine in a ‘three rows of five’ style – (see my Hanging Plan on previous page).

Once you’ve got your portfolio and Statement together, you must book an Assessment day to have your work reviewed and critiqued by a panel of 6 RPS judges at their HQ in Bath, UK. My Assessment was on the 21st April and we stayed in Bath the night before – the missus and I went out for the obligatory ‘Ruby Murray’ and a few nerve settling jars – didn’t help. I was pretty petrified – can’t remember when I’ve ever been that nervous… worse than the day of my driving test.

The judges have very clear criteria on which to base their assessment, for the Associate Level, they are looking for the following: “You need to show evidence of creative ability, a high standard of technical competence and a complete, expert, comprehensive knowledge of your discipline. Your work should be consistent and also make a statement of a strong personal style. A high standard of presentation is expected.”

There are six separate criteria used:В  Communication; Cohesion; Presentation; Originality; Artistic Skill, and Technical Skill.

After about 20 minutes of some pretty robust debate and discussion, the judges are asked to secretly ‘vote’ – either a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’. I swear to God, my wife could actually hear my hearting thumping against my rib-cage.

Happily, the Chairman then announced that my portfolio had been successful and that the judges decision would be sent to the RPS Council for ratification – yeah, you’ve got to jump through a lot of hoops!

The next day, I received a congratulatory email telling me that I’d been awarded the Distinction. I can’t tell you how happy I was – one of the best things I’ve ever done, and one of my proudest achievements. If you’re serious about your photography, I can’t recommend this process highly enough. Yes, it sounds pretty complex, and you have to put a lot of work in – but it’s totally worth it. If you’re interested in joining the Royal Photographic Society, or are thinking that you could aim for a Distinction, visit their website: www.rps.org for more information.

On the next few pages are the images from my portfolio. I warn you, they’re not typical skate shots – but then, I never intended them to be typical. Each image is a separate portrait but a study of skateboarding as a whole. There are no titles or trick descriptions. I hope you like it….

Harvey Mills ARPS

REDUX - Harvey Mills by Skateboarding Photo

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