Guidelines for becoming an SPA Judge

These notes are intended to help prospective judges to decide if now is the right time to apply to become an SPA Judge.

The SPA is always looking for experienced photographers who, on completion of the training programme, have demonstrated a clear potential for becoming a judge who can fulfil the guidelines listed below.


  • A photographer with considerable experience. As a guideline you would normally be expected to be an established member of the Advanced Class in your club (accepting a few clubs do not have classes).
  • The knowledge to give constructive critique on aspects such as camera craft; lighting; composition and image content; mood or intent; story or emotion; image quality.
  • A basic knowledge of photography outside the club environment and of genres outside your normal area of practice. This can be achieved through experimenting and looking at images on the internet, in exhibitions and magazines.
  • An ability to appreciate and critique images across all genres.
  • Enthusiasm to encourage and give constructive critique to Standard Class (non-advanced) members.
  • Ability to critique advanced photographers’ work in a way that recognises their skill.
  • Experience of public speaking, perhaps at your own club or elsewhere is an advantage, but not essential.


All applicants will be invited to an Introductory Evening. This provides an overview of the training programme and some pre-training suggestions and strategies. You will be asked to bring a small portfolio, to show the breadth of your photographic skills and interests, to this meeting. There is no commitment on the candidate to move to the full training programme. Equally the committee may consider your experience and portfolio indicates that you should not undertake training at this time.