Posted by Paula Hulme

Not because I was particularly interested in photography, holiday snaps was all that I took, making the family line up for the usual photo for the album so that we had a reminder of where we had been, much to the disgust of my Husband and Kids. I’m sure even the dog rolled his eyes when I got the camera out. No, I joined Willfield along with our daughter, who in her last few years of high school was interested in photography and so I got dragged along to the only “Photography Club” that I could find on the web, and also one which would accept children.

Paula Hulme

Paula Hulme

When we went along to the club, which was then held at Willfield High School, we were greeted by approx half a dozen male members and one female (Marg & Tom being two of these members). I had no camera, my daughter Tanya had a small compact, however, within weeks we had purchased, from one of the members, a Canon Film Camera. Using this we learnt all about aperture priority, shutter speed, depth of field, and the basics of photography, rule of thirds, etc. Although everyone was very nice, the evenings were very, very informal, usually ending in a discussion about politics, pensions (as there were several elderly members) and not a lot of photography was done. The Club had been previously run as a class, however, due to funding the class had been cancelled and therefore the members had become a Club. One of the plus points of the Club was that we had a “dark room” at the Willfield Site, and whilst some members discussed the news the rest of us were able to create our photographs using the wonderful dark room.

Just after we started the Club had a slight influx of female members, which was not I feel accepted lightly by some of the former members who did not appreciate women taking over their discussions. My camera progressed from the old film camera to a digital SLR and hopefully my knowledge improved….. although slowly haha. Over the next few months we had a few members leave the club and a group of new members joined. The Club improved once again with lots of new blood offering lots of new ideas. We purchased lots of new equipment with our lottery grant money which we were able to obtain, enabling us to learn about lighting, portrait photography etc. We began to organise night shoots, and a few of us “women” went on a trip to the lake district, where we instructed one another on what we were doing to take the photos whilst enjoing a weekend break. Numbers increased over the next year, however, the school was due to be demolished and we needed a new venue………..

Moorville Hall became our new home. Here, with quite a decent sized group of members we were able to split groups up, offering a beginners/learners class followed by a full group discussion. We enjoyed many an evening, enabling us to do several activities at any one time. However, Moorville also had its disadvantages………the rooms offered very little natural light, and although we had a great deal of room to spread out our activities we also found the venue wasn’t exactly ideal.

From Moorville we moved to the Bentilee Neighbourhood Centre, where we currently reside. Having a light classroom facility, with the option of booking a double room has given us much more scope for our evenings. The Club has progressed, and progressed. Changes in Committee Members, lots of new members bringing plenty of knowledge to our club. Evening visits, Weekend visits, knowledgeable speakers. We now have a really friendly club, one of which I am glad to be a member!