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A vibrant and relaxed club that welcomes all newcomers
When was the club founded?
Cheltenham Camera Club is one of the oldest and largest camera clubs in the country. It was established in 1865.
What does it offer new members?
Guests and new members are made welcome; we encourage a ‘new buddy’ atmosphere for new members. We understand that all our members have different aspirations and our programme accommodates this. We run tuition courses on subjects ranging from camera techniques through to post processing. We also have sub- groups focusing on Nature, Studio and Audio Visual work, and arrange photographic outings.
Describe a typical club meeting.
Our weekly club meeting, held each Thursday, lasts for around two hours. The theme varies on a weekly basis; we have guest speakers, internal and external competitions and two ‘member print appreciation’ meetings. We also supplement our weekly meeting by holding a meeting on the first Tuesday of each month.
Do you invite guest speakers?
We generally invite upwards of 12 keynote speakers, all with different disciplines. In the last few years we have also held external events with speakers such as Charlie Waite and David Noton.
Do members compete in regional or national competitions?
Our members are actively encouraged to enter such activities. The club holds ‘Battles’ against other clubs in the South West, and we compete against clubs in Australia, the US and Germany on an annual basis. Many of our members also enter national and international salons. Indeed, the club hosts its own International Salon, with over 7,000 entries from 55 countries, now in its sixth year.
Has the club, or individual members, ever won any big competitions?
Several individual members have won gold medals and other awards in national and international salons.
What about national photographic society distinctions?
We have 31 members who have gained a photographic distinction, and we encourage and support members who wish to gain them. We also appreciate that many of our members just wish to enjoy their hobby, so there is no pressure to obtain a distinction.
What are the most popular photographic genres among your members?
Our members display a broad spectrum of images. Landscape, Nature, Portraiture and Still Life, followed by Sport and Altered Reality are the most dominant.
How old are your members?
The age profile ranges from late 30s to mid-80s, but the majority are in their 60s. We try to encourage younger members by hosting and running such events as the Gloucestershire Young Photographer of the Year Competition.
What are the club’s goals for the future?
Having just completed our 150th anniversary celebrations, we would like to think that our predecessors would find the club still vibrant, a place to exhibit and learn, and a place where members feel relaxed.
Award-winning members of the Cheltenham Camera Club