Inspiring Case Studies

Discover how photographers like you made a big positive change to their work

The road to an Associateship

Brett is a retired technology and design lecturer who approached Andy after Andy had given a talk at a regional Royal Photographic Society meeting. Brett was looking for help with his application for Associateship of the Royal photographic Society. This distinction is the primary aspiration for many photographers as it signals a very high degree of proficiency and, indeed professionalism.  He had achieved the first level of distinction (Licentiateship) a few years previously and had developed an interest in interest in making books about the work of local artisans.

After an exchange of emails Brett and Andy agreed to meet in the centre of Bristol to discuss his outline ideas for his panel of 15 images required for the distinction. At the first meeting they discussed the process of generating ideas. Brett’s first idea was based around the workings of a pottery near to where he lived in Leicestershire and the idea he had for the panel was to provide a linear progression from preparation of the clay to the finished pot.

Begin with the end in mind

After discussion they agreed that the panel of 15 prints should be in three basic sections where the number of prints in each section is not necessarily five (the Associateship rules specify a maximum of three rows for displaying the panel). The whole of their discussion was based around the idea of “begin with the end in mind” from the writings of Dr Stephen Covey. They talked a great deal about the use and the location of the pottery products when they are with their eventual owners, and worked back from there. They also discussed the relationships between the potter and his clients, and the potter and the clay provider at the local brickworks.


The storyboard that Brett had prepared for his original idea of the linear progression of clay from brickworks to kiln was greatly expanded to make a much more interesting photographic project to those other than students of pottery. The benefit of discussing ideas and relationships with others is that it expands the possibility of what can be achieved. No one person knows everything or necessarily thinks the same way as somebody else.

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