Documentary photography communicates a clear narrative through visual literacy.  It can be applied to the photographic documentation of social, cultural, historical and political events. 

Documentary photographers’ work always has an intent; whether that is to represent daily life, explore a specific subject, deepen our thinking, or influence our opinions.   


Nothing creates more discussion amongst documentary photographers than the definition. This is because documentary photography covers a wide range of subjects. 

All images are bi-monthlycompetition entries
from RPS Doc Group members 

Whether you take individual documentary photographs (photojournalism, street or urban photography) or photographic essays (a group of images that hold together as a story) all documentary photography tells a story, with or without text. If this sounds like the type of photography you enjoy then this is the Group for you. 

As a Group our aim is twofold:  to promote documentary photography and to provide a forum for our members. We do this in a variety of ways: 

Decisive Moment
Our quarterly online publication via issu

Published around 7-8 times a year, in the months when there is no Decisive Moment publication.

Documentary Photographer of the Year 
Our flagship competition open to all RPS members, held every two years.

Bi-monthly competition
A Doc members competition for single images, with regular prize.

Social Media
We keep connected as a group through the Doc micro-site on the RPS website, Facebook and Flickr, Twitter and Instagram.

Workshops and Distinction Advisory Days
We organise various workshops throughout the country, where there is interest. Starting in 2020 we will also host Advisory days for the new Documentary RPS Distinction.

Regional Sub groups
Sub-groups helps us to bring together small groups of members who have a common interest to meet and discuss documentary photography. Some regional sub-groups meet with other groups such as Contemporary or Travel. We currently have the following sub-groups: Doc York,Doc South, Doc South East, Doc Central, Doc Thames Valley, Doc East Midlands  and Doc East Anglia.