Writing a Statement of Intent

by | Qualifications, Royal Photographic Society

Writing a Statement of Intent

The Statement of Intent is like a  personal statement. It’s your opportunity to tell the Assessment panel what your submission is about and to detail the purpose, objective or intent of your work.

What should I include?

There are many things that can go into a statement of intent but depends on what you want to convey to the panel. A few things you could discuss are:

If your images are creative, describe your thought process into how and why you created them, what was your reasoning, did you do anything unusual.

Is there a theme to your images, if so do you have a specific interest in the subject material.

If all the images are from one location/area, include why that particular location – does it have a special meaning or memories for you.

If you used a specific processing technique you could explain why that particular technique.

Anything I should avoid?

Yes, waffle. There is a word count associate with the statement of intent so it’s pointless to fill it with unnecessary waffle or useless information so be concise.

Try not to include anything that will deter from your images i.e. when submitting a Travel panel the assessors don’t want to know that you shot all the images on your one and only 2 week holiday to that destination. They will expect you to be familiar with the area and have a knowledge of the customs and people.

Don’t forget:

The final thing to remember is the word count.  The Royal Photographic Society requires is a maximum word count of 150 words for all Associate categories with the exception of Conceptual and Contemporary which has a maximum of 300. The word count should be included below the Statement of Intent. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in disqualification and a loss of your application fee. (Other societies and associations may have a different maximum word count.)

The most important thing about the Statement of Intent is that it matches and conveys the images exactly as you see it so the assessor sees the same thing. I suppose you could describe it as “it does exactly as it says on the tin!” I have seen panels fail, mainly through technical faults and printing problems, but partly because the Statement of Intent had very little to do with images.

The next step on your journey is to complete your application form and submit your panel for assessment, which you can choose to attend if you wish.

** Disclaimer Notice: Please note that the views and observations in this series of posts are purely my own and are not in any way, shape, or form sanctioned by the Royal Photographic Society, The Societies or any of the other photographic organisations or associations. So please check the criteria of your chosen organisation before submitting for your qualification – Good Luck.


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