We believe the Guild's assessment processes are the most industry relevant for photographers today as they are based around the actual work delivered to customers (if in business).

You don't need any qualifications to join the Guild of Photographers, as you can enter as a Registered member committed to our standards and professional Code Of Conduct.

Please note that at the time of joining the Guild, qualifications from other respectable organisations are transferable from 'Licentiate' (an 'L' as they are commonly known) to our 'Qualified Status'. 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.


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 skilful 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 in each of the above areas is aligned to that historical context ...

Our Membership levels are - Registered (ie untested) / Qualified / Craftsman /Master Craftsman and 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 but weddings, newborns & babies)
  • The Guild of Photographers (for those not not in business).

Certification, relevant logos and letters that can be used after your named are issued on achieving each level.


HOW THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS WORKS

Some see photography related qualifications as a controversial issue, for how do you judge an art form? The Guild is unique - By aligning our levels to the 'Guild concept' we can apply assessment criteria that reflect the underlining principals of competence and skill the original Guild's employed! In other words ..

  • Our 'Qualified Status' is 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.
  • Our 'Craftsman' title 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.

WHAT IS REQUIRED FOR THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS

(Please note that this is a summary only)

Qualified Status

  • 21 images taken in the past 24 months relevant to the area you seek qualification in
  • A short purposeful written brief is required to assist our evaluation of your submission.
  • If you are in business the images should be what you have taken for customers.
  • If you are in business a copy of your PL and PI Insurance Certificate is also required.

Craftsman / MASTER CRAFTSMAN

  • 20 images taken in the past 3 years (for Craftsman) or 5 years (for Master Craftsman) relevant to the area you seek qualification in
  • The images must be presented both digitally and as prints.
  • A short purposeful written brief is required to assist our evaluation of your submission.
  • If you are in business the images should be what you have taken for customers.
  • If you are in business you also need to submit a finished product or products that a customer would get from you
  • If you are in business a copy of your PL and PI Insurance Certificate is also required.

Transfers of qualifications attained from other respectable organisations whilst a member of the Guild can be considered in the format submitted to that association, and we can sometimes accommodate differing circumstances, styles or genres that cannot meet the above criteria by arranging a bespoke submission.