Members of a Chilliwack photography club are hoping more people will join them so they can continue to shoot together, learn new techniques and get tips from expert photographers.
“We’re a little bit in survival mode at this point,” said Chilliwack Camera Club member Tracy Friesen. “Our current membership barely covers our room rental fees.”
The club has been around since 1957. They’re at about 15 members and Friesen said they’d love to see that number double.
The annual fee is $50 per person which covers the rental for the room they use for their meetings, plus fees for when they enter photo contests. In the past, they’ve had enough members and money to bring in professional photographers to speak at meetings once in a while.
“It’s nice to be able to bring in high-end speakers,” said member David Gillespie.
Since the pandemic hit and with dwindling membership, they haven’t been able to do that. Gillespie said the price of the speakers (some are about $300) is worth it, but it’s hard for a small club to be able to afford it.
“They’re amazing speakers and we learn a lot, so it’s hard when we can’t add those aspects to our meetings,” Friesen said.
But, the members also learn quite a bit from each other.
Some have a lot of experience with macro photography, while others enjoy creating multiple-exposure images. They all share their talents and skills with one another.
Sandra Peters has been with the Chilliwack Camera Club for about 10 years and said she likes the “community, social aspect and learning aspect” of the club.
She’s a self-taught photographer and before joining, she learned everything online.
“I’ve been able to expand that with the club,” she said.
Fellow member Christy Ross is new to Chilliwack and joined only one month ago.
“My box is pet photography, travel photography and wildlife photography. I joined because I want to learn more about other styles and see what other people love to do.”
They don’t just learn about other styles of photography. Members get tips from each other on new equipment they’ve purchased.
“We’re all shooting what we like but we’re also trying to support each other in our gear and our learning and our skills,” Friesen said.
She added that they do have an “open-door policy” where people can come to the meetings, but if they want to participate in competitions and workshops then they have to be a paid member.
The Chilliwack Camera Club meets twice a month from September to May on the second and fourth Wednesday. The annual membership fee is $50. They meet in the Minto Room at Evergreen Hall at 7 p.m. They also go on regular outings – their most recent one was to the Cheam Lake Wetlands.
For more, go to www.chilliwackcameraclub.com.