Royal Photographic Society 2021 Award Winners
The recipients of the 143rd Royal Photographic Society Prize just announced. These awards – the oldest in photography – are a bit different from most of the photography competitions we feature on pop photo. The RPS Awards celebrate photographers and their works and contributions to photography as a whole, rather than single, top-of-a-category images.
In addition, photographers do not enter themselves, they must be nominated by their peers. With that said, let’s look at some winners.
The price categories
In keeping with the Royal Photographic Society’s approach of celebrating photographers, not photographs, the categories are broader, more global and, dare I say it, prestigious. Here, no submarine or insect category, but the Lumière Award and the Centenary Medal.
The 18 categories are:
- The Progress Medal (Prize for the scientific or technological advancement of photography)
- The Centenary Medal (Prize for a sustained and significant contribution to the art of photography)
- The Exceptional Service Medal (Award for the sustained, exceptional and influential advancement of photography)
- RPS Honorary Scholarship Award
- RPS Award for Film Production
- The Combined Royal Colleges Award
- RPS Award for Photographic Conservation
- RPS Award for Editorial, Advertising and Fashion Photography
- RPS Award for Photographic Education
- The Fenton Medals (award for outstanding contributions to the work of society)
- The Hood Medal (Prize for a group of works promoting or raising awareness of current issues)
- The J Dudley Johnston Medal (Award for Achievement in Photographic Criticism or Photographic History)
- The Lumière Prize (Cinematography, Video and Animation Prize)
- The member’s award (award for extraordinary and sustained support from society)
- RPS Award for Photographic Editing
- The Royal Photographic Society Prize for Scientific Imaging.
- The Selwyn Prize (Prize for Research in Scientific Imaging)
- The Vic Odden Award (Award of Excellence in the Art of Photography for those 35 and under)
As you can see, that’s quite a list. And if you want to see each recipient, we suggest you check out the latest edition of RPS Journal (available online for free). We’re just going to take away a few of the winners that we found most interesting or inspiring.
RPS Award for Editorial, Advertising and Fashion Photography: Tyler Mitchell
Tyler mitchell, according to the RPS, “transforms the way black culture is represented, from the art world to the cover of Vogue. ”
This Beyoncé cover photo made history in 2018 because it was the first Vogue cover taken by a black photographer. The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery even has acquired an image from the series for its permanent collection.
The Progress Medal: Katie Bouman
Katie Bouman was one of the main members of the team that produced the first image of a black hole in 2019. Not surprisingly, given the RPS’s emphasis on the scientific side of things. , whether she won the prize for “the scientific or technological advancement of photography.”
The Hood Medal: Dexter McLean
Dexter McLean, a photographer with cerebral palsy, won the Body of Work Promoting or Raising Awareness of Current Issues award for his documentary and portrait work in support of the disabled community.
Vic Odden Prize: Silvia Rosi
Silvia Rosi, a photographer of West African origin, won the “Achievement in the Art of Photography for People 35 or Under” award for her “self-portrait photography that explores personal history, heritage and origins “.
(Yes, we are delighted to see such a fascinating self-portrait recognized like that).
RPS Prize for Photographic Conservation: Azu Nwagbogu
Azu Nwagbogu won the award for his work in setting up the African Artists Foundation, a Nigeria-based non-profit organization that promotes and develops contemporary African art.
How to participate in the RPS Awards
Although you cannot participate in the RPS Awards yourself, you can try to convince your friends to nominate you for free. on the RPS website. They will need to describe your contributions to photography and explain why you deserve such a prestigious award, so make sure they know the merits of your work. All applicants are reviewed annually in January, and an application is valid for three years.
If you don’t win within three years, you’ll need to convince your friends to come forward again (and you’ll need to have done something new and worthy of a prize in the meantime).