…It was with smiles that I was warmly greeted by Veronica Ballard MBE, Honorary President of Horley Photographic Club, and Secretary Audrey Whiting, two members of the Club’s 10-strong committee.
Had I met these ladies in any other situation I would never have imagined that outdoor-loving Veronica has a passion for rust and decay, and cookery fan Audrey, for urban street life and digitally-mutated flowers! Yet such is the creative power of their hobby – photographers like these see the world in a different way to the rest of us.
Although surrounded by photographers, myself (my husband and son love all things photographic!) my capacity for the art mainly involves decapitating my nearest and dearest in holidays snaps, and posting charity shop finds on Instagram, yet even I can recognise a good photograph when I see it, and I saw plenty when I discovered the work of Horley Photographic Club members.
Not to be mistaken for a specifically tutorial group, their weekly meetings are for photographers of all abilities who share a passion for photography whatever their personal style and approach. They have regular professional speakers like Gavin Hoey and Ann Beauchamp, they run Ayala and other competitions, and also ‘challenge’ evenings.
Members swap tips and develop practical skills such as lighting, Photoshop and model/studio work. They also organise field trips and outings. Most importantly though, whatever members’ experience and skill level, all can encourage and learn from each other.
The Club is long-established having been founded in 1958 and it is part of the Surrey Photographic Association. There are currently 32 members with room for plenty more of any age (under 16s should be accompanied by an adult). They meet weekly every Wednesday at Horley Methodist Church at 7.45pm for 8.00pm from September to June.
Annual full membership is £45 (full members can enter competitions) and social membership is just £25. However, as a taster, enquirers can attend up to 3 meetings before committing themselves to any membership at all so to be sure that it is the right club for them.
One of their most recent ventures is a competition run in conjunction with local schools which slots in nicely with the Art curriculum. The theme, ‘A Day Out’, aims at encouraging youngsters to capture images of the world around them through the eye of their cameras – digital, film, even on their phone. Who knows where the next young Salgado will pop up?[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]For more information, visit the club’s Flickr page, or www.horleyphotographicclub.co.uk, or, email: firstname.lastname@example.org[/box]
By Sarah Ballingal