PSA Honors

Honors Committee

Terry Carroll, FPSA·

Honors Committee
Vice Chair

✉ Janet Bigalke, FPSA·

PSA recognizes individuals who have contributed services to PSA and/or the entire Photographic Community by bestowing honors upon them.

The Honors Committee is composed of eight PSA members who serve four year terms. The President appoints two members each year and the Committee elects the Chair. The Honors Committee reports to the PSA President. Honors Committee members and members of the PSA Board of Directors cannot propose or endorse Candidates for PSA Honors.

Evidence of service is required for PSA honors. This is unlike other societies and organizations that grant recognition based only on photographic proficiency and this can be confusing to those who have been involved with other photography groups. PSA does grant recognition based on photographic proficiency through its Star Ratings and ROPA distinctions programs.

PSA Honors are formally presented each year at the Final Banquet of the PSA Annual Conference (in the year following submission of the Honors proposal).

NEW: Those who Propose or Endorse successful Honors proposals may earn Honors Service Award. Please see the section, below, for details.

PSA Honors Recipients
PSA Honors Service Award Recipients

Deadline: December 1 

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  • Types of PSA Honors

    APSA (Associate) - is awarded for contributions to the advancement of photography that are primarily service oriented. These may include service to PSA or other photographic organizations or photography related service to the general community. While a high degree of photographic proficiency and achievement are often evident, personal achievement alone does not qualify a candidate for this honor. A Candidate for this honor must be a member in good standing for at least six consecutive years prior to the above deadline. A majority vote by the eight members of the Honors Committee is required for the Candidate to be elected an Associate.

    FPSA (Fellow) - is awarded for exceptional service to PSA and photography through organizational and administrative work and the dissemination of acquired knowledge through lecturing, publication of articles, instructing, and judging. While a high degree of photographic proficiency and achievement are often evident, personal achievement alone does not qualify a candidate for this honor. A Candidate for this honor must be a member in good standing for at least ten consecutive years and must have been an APSA for at least 2 years prior to the above deadline. A three-fourths vote of the Honors Committee is required for the Candidate to be elected a Fellow.

    HonPSA (Honorary Membership) - is awarded for outstanding service to PSA and the broader photographic community in a manner that demonstrates leadership. Photographic proficiency is not a requirement. The candidate for HonPSA must have been a continuous member for at least fifteen (15) years and have held a FPSA for at least two years from the date of the award of their FPSA and prior to the above deadline before being eligible to be proposed. The Candidate’s credentials must demonstrate significant leadership level service beyond the levels documented in their FPSA proposal. Merely continuing in the same roles as before will not be sufficient. Often these Candidates will have shown independent thinking and leadership in developing a new process for performing existing roles or in launching a new service or significantly enhancing one that has existed. Leadership is key in this progression. Service on the PSA Board is common, but not a requirement for this Honor. While significant individual photographic achievement is also commonly evident in a Candidate’s credential, it is also not a major requirement.A three-fourths vote of the Honors Committee and a majority vote by the PSA Board of Directors are required for the Candidate to be elected an Honorary Member.

    HonFPSA (Honorary Fellow) - is the highest honor bestowed by the Society. It is awarded only to those PSA members who have gone far above and beyond the call of duty for many years in their service to PSA and to the photographic community. As with HonPSA significant leadership level roles are a must for a Candidate for this Honor. The credentials for a Candidate will often show extensive teaching, writing or judging service as well as extensive service to photographic organizations other than PSA although the latter is not a requirement. Candidates will also commonly have significant individual photographic achievements including distinctions they may have earned, however, these are weighed less than their service. This honor is awarded only to PSA members with over fifteen (15) years of continuous membership who have held the Honor of Hon PSA for at least three (3) years since September of the year in which that Honor was awarded to them. In addition, the total number of Hon FPSA’s is limited to twenty-five living members of the Society at any time.

  • Procedure to Propose a Candidate for Honors

    For assistance applying for PSA Honors, see our Honors Consultants page (requires MyPSA login).

    1. » Honors Proposal Instructions & Forms: (each is available either as a pdf or a doc)
      Download the required individual documents as follows:

      • Instructions and guidelines: pdf - doc (updated November 2019)
      • Proposal cover page - pdf - doc (updated November 2019)
      • Proposer - pdf - doc (updated November 2019)
      • Endorser (honors proposals require two) - pdf - doc (updated November 2019)
      • Summary of previous honors (not required for APSA proposal) - pdf - doc (updated November 2019)
      • Candidate's record - pdf - doc (updated November 2019)
      Can be downloaded, printed, typed, scanned and emailed to
    2. Each proposal requires a Proposer and two Endorsers. All three individuals (a married couple is considered one person) must be PSA members in good standing. The Proposer must know the Candidate personally through close association over a period of time. The Endorsers must also be familiar with the Candidate's work, but need not have the intimate knowledge of the Candidate as required by the Proposer.
    3. The Proposer has the responsibility of obtaining the two endorsements and submitting the entire proposal to PSA Headquarters via email by December 1 of the year prior to that in which the Honor would be conferred.
    4. The proposal must be no more than nine pages: one page each for statements by the Proposer and each of the two Endorsers, each page signed and dated; and a maximum of six pages outlining the Candidate's activities following the numbered categories in the official Candidate's Record. If a translation page is necessary for a Proposer and/or Endorser's statements, it is not added into the final count. No attached cover pages, or other material other than specified above is permitted. If the proposal contains more than the maximum number of pages, it will be rejected in its entirety.
    5. All information, including the statements, digitally prepared. Long lists of recognition and medals should be condensed. Neatness does count.
    6. The Proposer and the two Endorsers must weigh carefully the responsibility they are assuming and their duty to the Society. A proposal should not be submitted unless the Proposer and both Endorsers are fully convinced the Candidate's qualifications fully meet the requirements listed above, and the Candidate's qualifications are unquestionably above average.
  • Honors Service Award Program

    An Honors Service Award is given out to Honors Proposers and/or Endorsers for each accumulation of 25 points earned.

    Proposers receives 5 points for a successful Proposal Packet (no points are earned if the Candidate is not successful). 
    Endorsers receive 2 points if the Candidate is successful.  

    Awards earned by July 1 of each year will be given out at the following PSA Annual Conference or mailed if the recipient was not in attendance.. 

    PSA Directors and Officers, and Honors Committee members, are not eligible because they are not able to Propose or Endorse, and may be participants in approval of Honors.  

    There is no limit to the number of Honors Service Awards a Proposer or Endorser may receive, and no requirement for a five (5) year wait between awards.  


  • References and Resources to Guide You
    • Guidelines for Preparing an Honor Proposal - doc (updated May 2020)
    • Who Do you Know? Proposing a Candidate for PSA Honors, by Terry Carroll, FPSA, PSA Journal, September 2019 - pdf