A very good reason for joining the Guild is to submit your work for assessment and progress through our membership levels. It is a way to measure and evidence your skill level, as well as show your customers that you are committed to providing them the very best service. Please note that when joining the Guild, Qualifications from other respectable organisations are transferable at 'Q' or 'L' level . They may also be at higher levels, but this is not guaranteed as it is subject to a review of the relevant submission or members work. Finally, do remember that an initial application to achieve Qualified status in the category of your choice is currently free of charge (if you have been mentored) as we really do want you to apply!


OVERVIEW AND CONTEXT

People working in crafts have organised themselves into Guilds as far back as Saxon times, and by the medieval period, Guilds had a fundamental role to 'protect the quality and reputation of a trade'. Most Guilds would consist of those seen as being able to produce a good standard of work (those Qualified to work in the trade), those who were very skillful and experienced (the Craftsman) and those who could go beyond even that and create a Masterpiece (the Master Craftsman).The Guild Of Photographers is no different than the original Guilds in that it wishes to protect the quality and reputation of our trade (the photographic profession), hence our Assessment structure is aligned to that historical context ...


The Guild's Membership levels are -

Registered (ie untested) / Qualified / Craftsman / Master Craftsman


These are available in 4 main sections -

The Guild of Wedding Photographers

The Guild of Newborn & Baby Photographers

The Guild of Professional Photographers (covering all other professional areas except weddings, newborns & babies)

The Guild of Photographers (for those not not in business)


Whilst photography related qualifications have always been a controversial issue (for how do you judge an art form?), by being aligned to the Guild concept we can apply assessment criteria to our levels that reflect the underlining principals the original Guild's employed!

Our 'Qualified' status is therefore aligned to standards of competence that reflect a level where the customer should be 'pleased with the results', when employing the services of a skilled tradesman (the photographer). In other words 'Qualified' indicates professional 'competence' to a level where the Guild is willing to recognise the photographer as an ambassador of the association , so those who achieve that level should be proud of doing so.

Our 'Craftsman' status is, as one would imagine, aligned to the exacting standards of a true 'Craftsman'. Therefore to attain this level we add an increasing level of professional critique to evaluate our members work. In other words we get increasingly 'fussy' and look in minutiae at all the elements of photographic understanding. Those that achieve this accolade have demonstrated the finest technical skills and an exceptional creative and artistic 'eye'.

Finally, in the same way as when a 'Craftsman' was granted the highest accolade of 'Master Craftsman' having created something truly exceptional (their 'masterpiece'), a 'Craftsman' within the Guild of Photographers can only achieve the acknowledgement of being a 'Master Craftsman' by producing their own photographic masterpiece.



BELOW IS AN OUTLINE OF WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR ASSESSMENT AT EACH LEVEL -


QUALIFIED STATUS

In basic terms you need to submit a total of 21 images taken by you in the past 2 years and relevant to the area you seek qualification in.

If you are in business the images should be what you have taken for customers and a copy of your PL and PI Insurance Certificate is also required.

The images must be presented digitally and a short purposeful written brief may assist our evaluation of your submission.

Our judging process involves three judges reviewing your submission and can be made at any time of the year.


CRAFTSMAN

You must hold Qualified status to apply and you need to submit 20 images taken by you in the past 3 years relevant to the area you seek qualification in

The images must be presented as mounted prints as well as in a digital format. IIf you are in business the images should be what you have taken for customers and a copy of your PL and PI Insurance Certificate is also required, as is a finished product that a customer would get from you

Our judging process involves a panel of judges reviewing your submission so can only take place on set dates scheduled through the year.


MASTER CRAFTSMAN

You must hold Craftsman status to apply and you need to submit 20 images taken by you in the past 5 years.

They must have a theme and be relevant to the area you seek qualification in. The rest is up to you - You need to create your signature masterpiece befitting of Master Craftsman status.

If you are in business the images should be what you have taken for customers and a copy of your PL and PI Insurance Certificate is also required, as are 2 finished products that a customer would get from you

The images must be presented as mounted prints as well as in a digital format, plus a short purposeful written brief is required to assist our evaluation of your submission.

Our judging process involves a panel of judges reviewing your submission so can only take place on set dates scheduled through the year.


PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE ABOVE IS JUST AN OUTLINE. BEFORE APPLYING YOU WILL NEED TO READ THE FULL REQUIREMENTS WITHIN THE GUILD'S SUBMISSION HANDBOOK RELEVANT TO THE GENRE YOU ARE APPLYING FOR -

Wedding Submission Handbook

Newborn & Baby Submission Handbook

Professional Member Submission Handbook (ie genres other than Weddings or Newborn/Babies)

Enthusiast Membership Handbook (ie for non-business related submissions)


Whichever level you apply for, hopefully, you will pass. Unfortunately however, not everyone is successful, so in the instances where a submission does not meet the required standards, a more in-depth verbal critique will be offered along with assistance with development plans towards a further submission.


WHAT DO THE JUDGES LOOK FOR?

The judges have set criteria to consider. The criteria are based around the fact that photography is a combination of art and science. There are 12 points that the judges look for which are explained in the Submission Manuals or you can see them on our 'judging' information page HERE

There is also an over-riding arch relevant to all submissions 'Congruence or Harmony'. In other word all the components above must work together to create 'one'. The strongest submissions are cohesive and evidence consistency in all areas.


IMPORTANT NOTES REGARDING ANY APPLICATION

Any awards apply to the photographer not to the business they work for or represent.

All submissions must be your own work and accompanied by a completed application form certifying that, along with the appropriate fee.

Submission's will be judged "as presented", so please ensure that presentation is good as it reflects commitment and pride in ones work.

Postage costs and suitable packaging must be included if you require your submission to be returned.

The decision of the Guild is final and no correspondence will be entered into about this.


ASSESSMENT DAYS

Submissions for Qualified status can be made at any time if a digital entry as judging takes place once per month. Craftsman and Master Craftsman submissions can only be judged on certain dates in the year, as we have a bring together a number of judges in person, to assess these submissions. Places on these days and are limited so are allocated on a first come first served basis to those making a firm commitment to submit. Re-submissions can sometimes occur on additional dates.


APPLICATION COSTS

Qualified Status

*SPECIAL OFFER* - Your FIRST submission is FREE if you have had any Guild mentoring sessions. The price otherwise is £50 + VAT (£60).

A brief written summary of why a submission did not succeed will be given to those not fortunate enough to pass and a verbal 121 critique of your submission with a Judge (after the result is known) can also be arranged for more in-depth feedback - £25 + VAT (£30)

**PLEASE NOTE THAT LAST YEAR THE PASS RATE FOR THOSE WHO HAD AT LEAST ONE GUILD MENTORING SESSION BEFORE APPLYING WAS 96% AS OPPOSED TO 44% FOR THOSE WHO DIDN'T TAKE ADVICE BEFORE SUBMITTING - THERE IS A SKILL IN SELECTING THE 'RIGHT' IMAGES FOR A SUBMISSION AND EVEN ONE MENTORING SESSION (WHICH ONLY COSTS £25 + VAT ) CAN GIVE YOU THAT INSIGHT. WE WOULD STRONGLY RECOMMEND YOU CONSIDER AT LEAST ONE SESSION BEFORE APPLYING HENCE IT IS FREE TO APPLY FOR QUALIFIED STATUS IF YOU HAVE HAD MENTORING FIRST .. WE WANT YOU TO PASS!**


Craftsman / Master Craftsman

Submission for each category - £82.50 + VAT (£99)

Subsequent re-submissions in the same category within 12 months of an initial attempt that failed to meet the criteria - £41.25 + VAT (£49.50)

A verbal 121 critique of your submission with a Judge (after the result is known) - £25 + VAT (£30)


All the prices include VAT but exclude postage and packaging costs which are to be paid by the applicant.



Please contact sabrina@photoguild.co.uk if you have any questions or wish to make a submission.