The United Photographic Postfolios of Great Britain (UPP) is a photographic club that comes to you by post or electronically at regular intervals. The UPP’s roots go back to about 1931 and it is currently Britain’s largest postal photographic club. Current membership, around 300, is spread throughout the length and breadth of the UK as well as a few overseas members. Each month, members receive a ‘folio’ of photographs to view, comment on and, of course, add their own picture to for comment by their peers. Naturally, with a membership of this size it would be impossible to circulate one set of pictures among every individual. To enable manageable circulation of folios the Club is subdivided into a number of smaller clubs, known as Circles. Each Circle, typically, has 12 to 15 members and works to a specific ‘discipline’ or format. More about Circles Here. In effect, each Circle is a club in its own right and, as such, can determine its own method of operation within the broader rules of the parent organisation. Because the Club reaches into your own home, your participation can be enjoyed in comfort over a few days. For those photographers who live too far from a town with a photo club, or those with a disability who find travelling difficult or access to club rooms inconvenient, postal folios are an ideal means of gaining active participation in their hobby. Of course, if you already belong to a local club, UPP participation can be an excellent supplement to your existing activities and a great way to expand your photographic friendships. Folio circulation is either by post or by use of the internet using e-mail or dropbox. Using the internet obviously reduces the significant cost of monthly postage but, of course, images can only be viewed on screen and not by high quality print. There is also an A-V circle. At the end of each UPP year we hold an annual convention and annual general meeting (AGM). This usually takes place over a weekend in September. During this event, the monthly (Gold Label) winner of each folio from each Circle is exhibited or projected. The exhibition is competitive, with a number of trophies awarded and is judged by three independent judges. The trophies and circle certificates are presented at the AGM. As well as the formal aspects of the event there is also entertainment with lectures by very prominent photographers. More information on this is available on the AGM page. Also, during the year, members receive two issues, in spring and autumn, of the Club magazine 'The Little Man'. This is always an excellent read with content including reports from Circle activities, profiles of award winning members, the occasional photographic tip and, of course, examples of superb photography. Of course, like any club, there is a membership fee to pay: an annual subscription plus the cost of posting the folio each month. Remember, though, that postal costs could actually be less than the cost of travelling to a conventional club on a regular basis. The United Photographic Postfolios of Great Britain (UPP) is affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB) through the Surrey Photographic Association.
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