North Cheshire Photographic Society – STARTER PACK

1 Club Photography in the National and International Context

Club photography in Britain is run by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain, PAGB via its 15 regional Federations, of which Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union, L&CPU is but one.

PAGB does not deal with individual clubs, but with Federations and, when it comes to awards and the like, with individuals. The Federations deal with clubs in their geographical areas. Federations don’t deal with individual photographers (except when it comes to a few competitions and helping them with awards).

Beyond Britain, club photography is organised by the Fédération Internationale de l’Art Photographique, FAIP. PAGB is just one geographically organised member of FIAP.

FIAP only deals with National organisations and some very special competitions.

Photography in Britain is also represented completely separately by the Royal Photographical Society. The RPS has only individuals as members and at three levels Licentiate, Associate and Fellow.

So, for your average Jo club photographer, (s)he’s a member of a Club which belongs to a Federation which is a member of the PAGB which is in turn has National representation on FIAP.

2 UK Photographic Organisations (Top down)

2.1 Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) is a membership organisation that co-ordinates activities for photographic Clubs in England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland (including the Channel Islands and Isle of Man). It does this through 15 geographical Federations.

PAGB organises photographic events for its Federations and Clubs. It offers services such as Recorded Lectures and its own photographic Distinctions, known as Awards for Photographic Merit.

The PAGB has strong links with similar organisations. In the UK, it has cross-representation with the Royal Photographic Society. It liaises throughout the world via its membership of FIAP (The International Federation of Photographic Art).

The Awards for Photographic Merit (APM) are open only to members of Clubs affiliated to the PAGB through their Federations and are at three levels:

  • Credit (CPAGB) – Blue badge and certificate – Standard: Good Club Photography
  • Distinction (DPAGB) – Red badge and certificate – Standard: Open Exhibition Photography
  • Master (MPAGB) – Yellow badge and certificate – Standard: Highest Standard of UK Amateur Photography

For more information see their website

2.2 Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU) is one of the fifteen geographical federations belonging to PAGB. It was formed on the 9th October 1905, and at the time was the largest organisation of photographic societies in the world. Today there are 96 Societies in the Union with a total membership of just under 4,000 photographers.

The objects of the Union are to foster and encourage the advancement of the science and practice of the art of photography, to provide means for such to federated societies and to provide means for the mutual benefit and protection of federated societies and to form a link between them and the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain.

The Union further shall:

  • Organise or join in organising photographic competitions, exhibitions and meetings.
  • Present Awards and / or Certificates of Merit when appropriate.
  • Maintain a panel of judges for competitions and exhibitions.
  • Maintain a panel of lecturers.

For further information see their website

2.3 North Cheshire Photographic Society (NCPS) is based in Poynton but draws members from the north-west of England.

It is a formally constituted organisation which meets every Tuesday evening from September through to May. The AGM is held in May. The current office holders are listed at


For further information see our website

3 Competitions

3.1 Internal Comps

NCPS runs 6 competitions throughout its season from September to May. Each member is entitled to enter 4 images and the club invites judges to come along and judge on the night. Marks are given out of a total of 20.

Three of the competitions are for digital images (PDI) and three are for print images. The rules for entry are on our website.

Running totals are kept of marks given at each competition and at the end of the year the leading photographer is proclaimed!

3.2 External Competitions.

NCPS enters several external competitions including an annual 3-way competition with local clubs Chapel and Leek. The Sheffield Open which sees about 25 clubs mostly from Yorkshire compete. We hold two competitions as part of our annual exhibition week which also attract over 20 clubs from the area. We also enter all the regional competitions organised by the L&CPU and have on occasion qualified to represent the region in national competitions organised by the PAGB.

For all these competitions images are selected from the whole membership by the Selection Committee, largely drawing on images entered in the club competitions which everyone is encouraged to enter.

3.3 NCPS Annual Exhibition and the North Cheshire Challenges

In March every year, NCPS holds an exhibition which runs in parallel with the North Cheshire Challenges. Members submit prints and PDIs to the Exhibition. The rules of the Exhibition are on the NCPS website. The exhibition is open to the public for two days and is manned by members of the club. The North Cheshire Challenges are two external club competitions hosted by NCPS and held on consecutive evenings starting the day before the Exhibition. Further information is available on the North Cheshire Challenges website.

There is a Club dinner held on the last night of the Exhibition and members’ guests are also welcome.

4 Social Media

For those on Facebook we have our own page, NCPS Photo Share and members can use this platform to discuss photographic issues and to share images.

5 NCPS Development Group

Some three or four seasons ago, NCPS established The Development Group with the specific aim of helping our keen, but less experienced photographers develop their photographic skills.

The Group is limited to about ten or a dozen people but is otherwise open to anyone who is willing to put in time at the coal face, over and above attending our regular Tuesday evening meetings, to support the aim of the Group.

We meet primarily in cyberspace to critique images, discuss all things photographic and develop our processing skills and understanding of the needs of different photographic genres whilst also organising regular photoshoots in small groups to practice the making of images. When not restricted by Government interference with our liberty we meet every couple of months or so in a local pub to socialise and continue our discussion of photography.

The Group now has some notable graduates in our Club who have gone on to achieve photographic honours.

Dated 3rd October 2020.