Association of Photographers

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Association of Photographers
Association of Photographers logo.png
Abbreviation AOP
Formation 1968
Legal status Not-for-profit company
Purpose Industry support for professional photographers, predominantly in the UK, although with overseas reach.
  • Studio 9, Holborn Studios, 49/50 Eagle Wharf Road, London N1 7ED
Region served
Professional photographers and assisting photographers
Executive Officer
Seamus McGibbon

The Association of Photographers (AOP), often referred to colloquially as the AOP, is a trade association for British & European professional photographers predominantly, but also has members based globally.


It was formed in London, United Kingdom in 1968 as the Association of Fashion and Advertising Photographers by a small group of photographers (later joined by editorial photographers to become AFAEP). United by a common aim to challenge the then unreasonable demands of model agencies, it brought together professional photographers in order to protect their rights and promote photography.


Constituted as a not-for-profit trade association, today its membership is around 1,000 photographers and assisting photographers. It is also supported by photographers' agents, printers and industry service-providers, as well as manufacturers and suppliers of photographic equipment. The AOP also has 52 affiliated courses at HE and FE level and plays a significant role in promoting, maintaining and developing relationships between all levels of higher and further education and the professional industry.

It is situated at Studio 9, Holborn Studios, 49/50 Eagle Wharf Road, London, N1 7ED


Since its formation, the principal aims of the AOP have remained the same, and through their campaigning and education work they have improved rights for all photographers. In so doing they created a unique community of professionals. They negotiated the reforms which led to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as well as developing the widely accepted AOP standards of practice, which afford photographers greater protection and control of their work; and wrote Beyond the Lens, the definitive guide to rights, ethics and best business practice in professional photography.

The Association publishes a great deal of information of particular interest to all photographers concerned with their intellectual property rights and business practice, such as their Copyright4Clients web pages on the AOP's website.


They also created the AOP Awards, a highly prestigious awards scheme for members, considered by many to provide the top competition in each of the areas it covers; Professional, Assisting Photographer & Student photography. In addition, the AOP runs a competition that is open to all photographers, which attracts professionals and amateurs alike. All the winning images from each of the Awards are published in a corresponding book and all images are exhibited at a prominent London venue after the winners have been announced.


The AOP produces and publishes a book, titled Beyond the Lens which is a collection of advice and guidance for best practice aimed at professional photographers in the UK, working at all levels.

Past presidents[edit]

Past Presidents of the Association of Photographers (the role was referred to as Chairman)


External links[edit]