Janice Payne ARPS
A warm welcome to UPP!
This is the official website of United Photographic Postfolios of Great Britain to give it the full title, or “UPP” as most of us now refer to it. We were originally founded in 1931, at that time it was an entirely postal group which is why we have this slightly unusual name.
As with all things, times change, digital now lives alongside film and other processes. Our membership is currently standing at 244 from all over Great Britain (now more correctly known as The United Kingdom (UK)) and beyond. Many members have been with us for over 40 years, members range between the distinguished and very experienced to those just starting out and wanting to learn.
We operate in “Circles” with up to 15 members in each (see “about us” for more information). Most of these Circles are “open” or general interest but there are specialised Circles for such as Natural History, monochrome, AV, and pictures from mobile phones. Most with Folios circulating monthly.
There is a total of 14 Print Circles to choose from, and these can be made from digital or negative images, light-room, dark-room or trade-processed, mostly up to A4 or A3 size but there are also “small print” Circles for A5 or 12 square inches.
We have 8 pdi Circles made up with several ways to view the images including online, drop box and memory stick. As previously mentioned, there is also an AV Circle which produces folios quarterly.
Due to restrictions that were imposed upon us all in 2020 and with normal club meetings and activities being stopped, UPP - the “Club that comes to you” continued to “meet” online and most of the postal circles resumed after a couple of months.
One positive result of the lockdown has been the idea of Zoom Circles, these have proved to be a popular way of holding non-judgemental group discussion. The number of these has now grown to 11, including some that specialise in monochrome, infra-red and the latest ones for panels: they are generally non-competitive, though still choose an entry for the annual Exhibition. The Zoom Circles meet monthly, and of course continue the principle of bringing the Club to members’ homes.
As a Club we meet in person annually, just outside Birmingham, for the weekend Convention, AGM, Exhibition, lectures, and semi-formal dinner. This is a great way to meet others from your own Circle and beyond. We also keep in touch by posting out a well-illustrated magazine, the “UPP Journal”, twice a year. This year marks the introduction of an “Exhibition Catalogue” which has proved to be a popular addition.
There is also a “social” element in the Circles where members are able to chat in a “notebook” or ask questions about anything photographic – someone is sure to know the answer – and many lifetime friendships are made.
Regardless of experience, everyone takes part on an equal basis, and it is an excellent forum for developing your photographic skills, in both picture-taking and assessment. While for some it is still their only Club as they can’t get to a local club (hence our logo representing the single photographer operating on his/her own), for many it is also an ideal addition to membership of a conventional club, and it provides an opportunity to “try out” pictures before entering them in the local club. Critiques are in more depth and broader than from a single judge or a “like” from social media.
Please see elsewhere on this site for other details, including members’ pictures and an application form if you wish to join.
I hope you will enjoy the time you spend with us.
Janice Payne ARPS