Annie Leibovitz – the celebrity photographer who recently made headlines after she risked losing the rights to her lifetime’s work – is set to receive the Royal Photographic Society (RPS)’s top honour.

Amateur Photographer has learnt that Leibovitz will receive the Centenary Medal along with an Honorary Fellowship at this year’s RPS Awards.

The RPS presents the Centenary Medal each year in recognition of a ‘sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography’.

The move comes just weeks after Leibovitz was given more time to pay off around £15m that she owes to lenders – to avoid losing copyright in her images.

Leibovitz borrowed the money from New York firm Art Capital, using the rights to her photographic archive and the value of her properties as collateral.

Art Capital extended the maturity date of the $24m loan and dropped its legal action against Leibovitz for breach of contract.

Leibovitz has photographed some of the most famous people in the world, including the Queen.

Two years ago BBC One boss Peter Fincham resigned after controversy surrounded TV footage that purported to show the Queen storming out of a Leibovitz photo shoot.

The move followed an independent inquiry into the TV editing error which wrongly implied the Queen had walked out of the portrait session during the making of a BBC documentary.

The TV clips were shown out-of-sequence and suggested that the Queen was angry at comments by Leibovitz about what she was wearing.

Among others lined up to receive top awards from the RPS this year is Bryce E Bayer, best known for the Bayer colour filter array in digital camera imaging sensors.

He will be awarded the Progress Medal at the awards ceremony due to take place on 19 November at the Royal Society in London.


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