An Ide man has been awarded the prestigious Fenton Medal by the Royal Photographic Society

Peter Hayes FRPS said he was honoured that his work had been recognised. Peter only took up still photography in a serious way ten years ago when he joined the RPS. He then achieved the three photographic Distinctions, Licentiate (LRPS), Associate (ARPS) and Fellowship (FRPS) in just over a year.

Peter Hayes FRPS at RPS House

The Society was founded in 1836 and is the oldest photographic society in the world.

Only 121 people have ever been awarded the Fenton medal. Peter said:

“This is a great honour for me and a lovely reminder of all the fun I have had with the RPS. Nowadays I just take images with my iPhone because my bad back won’t allow me to lug heavy cameras around. The picture quality is excellent!”

His time at the RPS followed a career in television as a journalist. He was political editor of TSW and Westcountry TV for some years. He then took on the same role for Carlton TV and Central TV, based in Westminster.

Andy Moore, the Distinctions Manager at the RPS, commented:

“Peter has an unrivalled understanding of our Distinctions programme, which is widely regarded as the gold standard for photographers throughout the world.  He was chair of the Distinctions process and revolutionised how we analysed images. He also brought more diversity onto assessment panels than ever before.

Seoul Railway station 2

“He introduced Distinction videos for the first time and changed the format of Distinction Roadshows by interviewing successful candidates in front of an audience. He has achieved national publicity and praise in the House of Commons for the RPS.

Cancer patient

“During the pandemic, he created a Distinctions Facebook group and Distinctions Talks Live (interviewing leading photographers) which led to more engagement with both members and non-members than ever before. We would like to sincerely thank him for all his work with us.” 

This award, named after Roger Fenton, one of the RPS’s founders, is made for an outstanding contribution to the work of The Royal Photographic Society. It carries with it Honorary Membership of the RPS. The Royal Photographic Society is based in Bristol. Its patron is Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. The RPS has many members in Devon, especially in Exeter Camera Club.

Farm scene 2 Cambodia