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Association of photographers

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Association of photographers

Association of Photographers
Abbreviation AOP
Formation 1968
Legal status Non-profit company
Purpose/focus Professional photographers in the UK
Location 81 Leonard Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 4QS
Region served UK
Membership Photographers and photography assistants
President Simon Leach
Website AOP

The Association of Photographers (AOP), often referred to colloquially as the AOP, is a trade association for British photographers.


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, to protect their rights and promote photography.


Constituted as a non-profit distributing trade association, today its membership exceeds 1,000 photographers and photographic assistants. It is also supported by photographers' agents, printers, manufacturers and suppliers of photographic equipment. The AOP also has a number of affiliated colleges 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 off the A1202 (Inner Ring Road, London - Great Eastern Street), east of Old Street station. It is inside the London Borough of Hackney, near the boundary with Islington (Finsbury).


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,[1] as well as developing the widely accepted Standards of Practice, which afford photographers greater protection and ownership of their work; wrote ´Beyond the Lens´, the definitive guide to rights, ethics and business practice in professional photography.

The Association publishes and support many web sites of particular interest to all photographers concerned with their intellectual property rights and business practice, such as their Copyright4Clients web site.


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, Assistant & 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 Association also publishes a bi-monthly magazine called Image, which features top photographers, showcasing challenging, unusual or iconic photography and providing insight and inspiration.

Past presidents

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


External links

  • The Association of Photographers main website
  • AOP Awards
  • Copyright 4 Clients
  • Beyond the Lens
  • Image Folio
  • Photo Assistants
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