About Us

The British Press Photographers’ Association was formed in 1984 by a small group of Fleet Street photographers to showcase the work that they were so passionate about. Over the next few years the Association grew staging a series of hugely influential exhibitions and publishing three volumes of  “Assignments” – collections of each year’s best work.

In 2003 we adopted a ‘mission statement’:

To promote and inspire the highest ethical, technical and creative standards from within the profession and raise awareness and appreciation of our industry outside it.

Later in the same year we staged an exhibition at a central London gallery called UNSEEN to showcase the large number of amazing photographs that, for a wide variety of reasons, never saw the light of day and were never published. We followed that up in 2005 with the seminal ‘Five Thousand Days’ – a book that sold well over 10,000 copies and showed press photography of the highest quality. Since then we have published two more books, had several web based projects and we have supported the Press Photographer’s Year competition since its inception.

In 2006 we became one of the ‘Gatekeepers’ for the United Kingdom Press Card Authority. As part of the UKPCA we have the ability to assess and potentially approve photographers as holders of the UK Press Card. We are also a member body of the British Photographic Council and have worked very closely with other organisations representing photographers and journalists to help to shape our industry and its practices.

In 2011 we made a voluntary submission to the Leveson Inquiry into the Culture, Ethics and Standards of The Press when it became clear that news photographers were being singled out for criticism from many of the celebrity witnesses without any satisfactory replies. We made an appearance at the Inquiry in February 2012 after which Lord Justice Leveson made it clear that he saw The BPPA as part of the solution rather than the problem.

The BPPA continues to make its voice heard on a range of issues that face our profession including our current work around copyright and orphan works legislation.

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thebppaAbout Us