Resident Organisation

Association of Photographers

The Association of Photographers is a membership organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and educating photographers of all levels – from those starting out, to experienced professionals, and everyone in between.

South Wing
Somerset House

The Association of Photographers (AOP) is one of the most prestigious organisations supporting professionals in the creative sector.

We bring professionals together and through supporting them, provide a sense of community that is unavailable elsewhere. We promote the highest levels of achievement and we lobby for our members' interests at all levels.

Our members are drawn from the creative industries and include photographers, assistants, agents, companies, supporting trades, educational establishments and students. They work across all sectors, from advertising, editorial, fashion & beauty to fine art.

We work closely with commissioners of photography to ensure that our members get the exposure they need, be it through the AOP Awards or our Find A Photographer gallery pages.

The AOP was formed in 1968 by a group of photographers as the Association of Fashion and Advertising Photographers (AFAP), in response to shifts in industry practice at the time.

Our work continues in the promotion and protection of photographers and those working in our vibrant industry. We vigorously defend and lobby for the interests and rights of all photographers, placing particular emphasis on those working in the commercial sector.

© Garrod Kirkwood, AOP Awards 2019.jpg

© Garrod Kirkwood, AOP Awards 2019
© Garrod Kirkwood, AOP Awards 2019

Membership is open to everyone
Professional and Assisting Photographers working in the creative industries, Agents, any individuals working in the wider photographic industry, those starting out as professionals, and those in education.

Our members' clients include:
Advertising agencies, design companies, the corporate sector, publishing houses and the music industry.

Our members' work is:
Published worldwide on digital platforms, online and in print, whether as advertising campaigns, editorial content or news. Many members produce personal work which is curated, collected and sold as fine art through galleries, both traditional and online.

AOP Awards
The AOP Awards remains one of the most prestigious and influential awards in the industry. Now in their 36th year, to be selected as worthy of inclusion into the AOP Awards Book and Exhibition is seen as one of the top accolades possible for any professional photographer.

We have member-only categories as well as those that are open to everyone.

The AOP Student Awards celebrate the emergence of new talent from the UK creative sector.

Beyond the Lens
Beyond the Lens is the essential guide to rights, ethics and business practice in professional photography. Currently in its fourth edition, it is seen as the gold-standard for best practice for photographers and commissioners and is used by our accredited courses as a fundamental part of their core teaching materials.