style="-webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased; box-sizing: border-box; color: #424242; line-height: 1.25em; margin: 25px 0px 15px; font-family: Lato, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; background-color: #f5f5f5;">
Describe what your organization does
Katie - The St Albert Photography club's been around for 31 years, it was started by John Vanveen who is still currently a founding member, we have three founding members left. It's a club for anybody over 18 that has any skill with any any skill level with photography and an interest in photography. We're a small group that likes to go out and teach and learn and shoot around St Albert and area.
John started the club when he came over from Holland and as a photographer and there was any clubs to join in and around this area so he started on and it continued 31 years later.
What is your current member count?
Kath - We're a fairly small intimate club we like to keep our numbers a little bit lower so that we can really get to know each other. We're not just a club of people taking pictures we're a group of friends as well so we like to keep it in that so that we can maintain all those friendships.
What do you guys do and how often do you meet?
Rick - We're meeting three times a month and meeting in St Albert Catholic High School. Our meetings entail everything from guest speakers to workshops to what we call submission night, where it's a friendly coemption amongst club members. At that time we also critique one another's photos so that everybody can learn from what's happening. It's not just here is my picture.
Kath - I think that's an important piece of information for people, this is about learning. What of the things that was important to me when I joined the club. I've only been in the club for a year, I wanted somewhere I can improve my skills. I've been taking pictures for years and I've got some good pictures that actually turned out to be photos. But over the last year with the people in this club and their willingness to teach and help others, my skill level has been improving and one of these days soon I'll be calling myself a photographer.
Rick - Speaker night would involve looking around to find out who we can get and what's available. We've had speakers such as Ian Plant, very well know photographer speak to us. It would also range as far as people talk about Studios, how to set up a Studio, how to do macro work and that spins right off into the workshops. We set up in small groups and share our expertise. There are numerous club members that are very food at macro photography and they bring in some trinkets along to take pictures of. They would just filter through the club asking if anybody wanted some advice and help and just generally helping people out.
Kath - I can add attest to that being one of our newer members, everybody has been super helpful. In each of these meetings, there's a different focus for each of them. But it's really important to understand that it's all about learning how we can be better at this practice.
Submission night are pretty amazing because they involve critiquing but it's not critiquing to say here's what I think of your picture, it's more here's how I see it and we learn both the artistic elements but also the photographic elements of how somebody came to take that picture. So for me personally that is a huge learning opportunity. At each of these meetings I learn a ton, it's always fantastic.
What are some of the new changes coming for 2023/2024 Season?
Katie - Well the club has ben around 31 years and there just really hasn't been a lot of movement in development of behind the scenes and the administrative aspect of the club. That's where we started, President, Vice President and Kath and all the other members at large and the executives identified that we need to bring this up into the 21st century, and just be able to have a better access to the club. Like for instance yesterday we launched the new online registration which puts a lot of work behind the scenes and Kath had did so much work on that. We're pretty proud of that fact that we are now online registrations so please if you go to the website you'll be able to see that you can sign up online. It just makes everything so much easier, so that was one changes the other change that I want to note, is to have the club known in St Albert and surrounding areas. Right now you could walk up to anybody and they don't even know that there's a club there which I find is totally strange being that I'm immersed in it so much that other people don't know. So my goal is to make sure that people of St Albert are aware that the club there and how we can reciprocate what we can do for you , what can you do for us kind of thing.
Kath - I also want to call on the website, there's been a lot of work that's taken place on the website, it is very user friendly, it invites you into it, the way it's set up and we invite people to go and check that out and look for St Albert Photography Club.
Katie - You can join for two meetings and see what the club's like and if you don't like it then you don't have to come back.
Kath - Oh but your going to love it.
Katie - You're going to love it and come back. There is a button, hit that two free meetings and come on over.
Kath - I only did one free meeting and I decided at the end of that meeting that I was going to be a member.
Rick - We also publish a brochure, its located in McBain Camera, St Albert Mall, Visteck, also put into various businesses and places like the visitor center, so we can get our name out there more.
What do members love most about your organization?
Kath - For anybody that's nervous, we have some really good people. I was nervous day one you know am I good enough and I tend to be a little bit on the shy side. But the club was the club was so welcoming that l lost my shyness almost immediately. It also embraces new members and invites them in and make you feel welcome and it all about learning and teaching and I have learned so much. So anybody that's a little bit nervous please come on down and I think you'll find we are quite friendly bunch.
Katie - We all start at the same place when we're learning this new craft so we'll all have an understanding of where you're as a beginner, if you're a beginner and so on.
Is there other events or activities you do in the club?
Rick - Part of the club as well is what we call SIGS - Special Interest Groups, there's landscape, macro, portraits, and night photography right now and each group will organize it's own outings. But these outings are also open to the club, so if you want to just show up for something which you're more than welcome. We talk about friendly aspects of the club, it is very common for any one of us to say I want to go shooting today, you want to come along, and those times you really get the mentorship you get that one-on-one. That both people learn from the seasoned photographer to the beginner photographer, it doesn't matter that beginner has something to offer tht seasoned as well. So its two-way street.
Other ways to participate
Katie - We have about 40 members
Kath - Par of the reason is this year the opportunity to join remotely. So for anybody that can't get there because they've got something going on, or their kids are not well that day they can join in remotely.