I recently applied via one of The UK FIAP liaison officers for The AFIAP (Artiste Federation Internationale de L’ Art Photographique) distinction award.
FIAP award applications are made once a year from The UK, and Dave Coates who is The UK representative does a sterling job in assisting and managing the applications.
FIAP is the world governing body of International Photography Exhibitions, referred to as Salons, because FIAP is based in France! FIAP sanction Salons to run under its patronage, and as such have to meet set criteria and standards.
To apply for AFIAP there is a preclusion period of 12 months since you have your first acceptance into a Salon with FIAP patronage.
The applicant must also have had at least 40 acceptances into international exhibitions with at least 15 different pieces of work being used. These acceptances must have been into at least 15 different Salons, in at least 8 different countries. At least 10% of the acceptances must have been gained using the print medium.
My application was made and accepted with 122 acceptances from 40 pieces of work, in 17 different Salons in 11 different countries.
Distinction awards are a great way for you to develop and test yourself as a photographer. Between distinction awards and personal projects, I can think of no better route for self development.
Entries into FIAP sanctioned exhibitions come from the world over. With some exhibitions having tens of thousands of entries. If you want an honest indication of where your photography standard lays, entering your work into Salons is a great way of benchmarking against the worlds best workers.