The Royal Photographic Society has just announced the recipients of its prestigious yearly awards. Since 1878, the RPS has celebrated individuals who work in both film and photography and the 18 categories recognize significant achievements, showcase new and emerging talent and highlight notable contributions from RPS members.
This year’s virtual award ceremony was hosted by RPS president Simon Hill, who had the honor of announcing the winners. The RPS is one of the longest-running photographic societies in history. Now based in Bristol, its mission is to bring inspiration, creativity and connection through photography to people of all ages and backgrounds.
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While some awards focus on an individual's contribution to the science of photography, such as the Progress Medal, others center around actual photos that explore topics such as personal heritage, natural phenomena, relationships and society.
Each year, the RPS Awards (opens in new tab) also bestow three different bursaries to outstanding creatives. This year the Joan Wakelin Bursary, in partnership with The Guardian, was awarded to Supratim Bhattacharjee. Joanna Vestey was the recipient of the Environmental Bursary, in partnership with Photographic Angle, while Jimmi Ho received the Postgraduate Bursary supported by MPB.
You can watch the full awards ceremony in the video above, or scroll below to see a selection of this year's award recipients.
Awarded to Dexter McLean, a photographer with cerebral palsy who is advocating the disabled community through his documentary and portrait work.
This year, Vanley Burke, Valie Export, Lola Flash, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Dana Lixenberg, Alec Soth and Mitra Tabrizian were awarded honorary fellowships for their exceptional and innovative work connected to the art or science of photography.
Scientific Imaging Award
For her photography dedicated to the phenomena of soap bubbles, Kym was awarded the Scientific Imaging Award having previously appeared in the RPS Science Photographer of the Year exhibition.
Editorial, Advertising and Fashion Photography Award
Tyler Mitchell, photographer and filmmaker, for his work that spans genres to explore and document a new aesthetic of Blackness.
Katie Bouman's work in the science and technology of photographic imaging, with the International Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration in April 2019, led to the first image of a black hole 53.5 million light-years from earth. This year she was awarded the Progress Medal for her contribution to the science of photography.
Phoebe Boswell was awarded the Lumière Award for her major achievements in film and video. Her multidisciplinary practice centers upon drawing but spans animation, sound, video, writing, interactivity, and performance to create immersive installations.
Vic Odden Award
For her work exploring her personal history, heritage and origins, Silvia Rosi was awarded the Vic Odden Award which recognizes notable achievements in the art of photography for individuals under 35.