Common Photographic Acronyms

Most of the acronyms you hear fall into one of two categories

  1. Photography Organisations
  2. Photographic Honours or Qualifications (generally awarded by one the organisations above) 


  • RPS – The Royal Photographic Society was founded in 1853 (making it the world’s oldest) ‘to promote the Art and Science of Photography’. It is based in Bath but many regional groups meet both in the UK and throughout the world.
  • WPF – The Welsh Photographic Federation was formally known as the Welsh Photographic Alliance prior to 1951 The federation’s motto is “Heb Wawl, Heb Waith”, which in translation means “Without Light, Without Work” The Federation joined The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) soon after and the Federation Internationale de l`Art Photographique, (FIAP) in 1971.
  • PAGB – The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain the umbrella organization that provides benefits and co-ordinates specific events for the majority of photographic clubs and societies in England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. It does this through 15 regional organisations known as federations.
  • FIAP – Federation Internationale de l`Art Photographique  (translation-  International Federation of Photographic Art) was  founded in 1950 to ”to recognize in photography an ideal approach for friendly international contacts.”
  • PSA – Photographic Society of America was founded in 1934 out of the earlier Associated Camera Clubs of America.

Photographic Honours and Awards

  • LRPS
  • ARPS
  • FRPS
  • AWPF
  • FWPF

Here you will find a more detailed explanation of how to gain an award and how the system works