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I enjoy my photography and would like to aim for some accreditations/awards.

Both of the LRPS and BPE awards seem to fit the bill; there may be other awards I am missing but these are the first two I looked at in the UK.

Of the two awards: which has the most prestige, and which is the easiest / quickest to achieve?

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  • Please elaborate. What do you mean by achieve? – Hugo Sep 19 '14 at 15:24
  • Just updated the question :) – chris Sep 19 '14 at 15:27
  • Given that not many readers are British, could you elaborate on the awards? – JenSCDC Sep 19 '14 at 16:42
  • These tags seem — not right. – mattdm Sep 19 '14 at 18:06
  • What is LRPS? What is BPE? I assume not Live Role Playing Society club and Bachelor of Physical Education degree? – Dan Wolfgang Sep 19 '14 at 18:35
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Because of the way these distinctions work you can include them as letters after your name as you would a degree, they are recognised and verifiable which make them good to have and give you recognition among the UK establishment.

The answer to which lies in describing what they are and what is available to you...

The LRPS is a Licenciate of the Royal Photographic Society. It is widely recognised around the world, especially former commonwealth countries, and is awarded on a pass/fail basis after the presentation of a panel of images to a board. They describe it as demanding but achievable for most dedicated photographers. To retain your award you have to remain a member of the RPS although many continue to display they have achieved the award after allowing their membership to lapse. The RPS has a page describing their distinctions. Of the two awards this is easier to achieve but is more widely recognised.

A BPE award is given at various levels depending on acceptance of individual works to one or more exhibitions held nationally. It is not a measure of your work achieving a specific or measurable standard but instead of how your work compared to others at that event. Because your award is not tied to your membership you can retain it indefinitely.

There are also various accreditations available through your regional photographic society if they are PAGB members as they offer their own accreditations and a route to the international FIAP accreditations. They will be easier to achieve but are more accessible so give you the experience of how to present your work and receiving critique. You'll also get to see the work of LRPS and BPE holders to get an idea for the standards you'd need to achieve.

Which one to go for? There is no requirement to restrict yourself, they are not mutually exclusive and come from different organisations. Many good photographers on the PAGB circuit enter competitions both nationally and internationally and have a raft of distinctions to their name.

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