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Royal Derby Hos­pi­tal Im­age Club Derby This week we fo­cus on a spe­cial club for NHS staff mem­bers

Amateur Photographer - - 7days -

The Royal Derby Hos­pi­tal Im­age Club, for NHS staff mem­bers, talks to AP about their pas­sion for pho­tog­ra­phy

When was the club founded?

In 2016 vis­ual artist/pho­tog­ra­pher Va­lerie Dalling was com­mis­sioned by Air Arts to work with mem­bers of staff on a num­ber of cre­ative ap­proaches to pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops, with the in­ten­tion of of­fer­ing staff an in­tro­duc­tion to a leisure in­ter­est in their place of work.

As a re­sult of the pos­i­tive feed­back re­ceived fol­low­ing the work­shops, she was in­vited back in 2017 to set up and fa­cil­i­tate a monthly photo fo­rum.

What does the club of­fer new mem­bers?

The group is non- com­pet­i­tive, and it en­ables staff to meet through a friendly and re­lax­ing monthly so­cial ac­tiv­ity. All mem­bers of staff and vol­un­teers who at­tend the group have ex­tremely im­por­tant and car­ing roles to play within the hos­pi­tal, and one of the mem­bers summed it up by say­ing, ‘So many things in the world use up your time and en­ergy, but Im­age Club is pure plea­sure’.

De­scribe a typ­i­cal club meet­ing.

Ev­ery­one is en­cour­aged to par­tic­i­pate, share im­ages and the sto­ries be­hind them, and help each other when ques­tions arise. But above all, the aim is to re­lax and en­joy their in­ter­est to­gether.

Do you in­vite guest speak­ers?

As a rel­a­tively new and small self-funded group, pro­fes­sion­als have been very sup­port­ive. They in­clude the won­der­ful John Blake­more who brought along beau­ti­ful black & white prints from the dark­room; Chris Up­ton, who took us on a trip around the world through fram­ing and com­po­si­tion; Caro­line Bridges, who along with daugh­ter Chloe as her model pro­vided a prac­ti­cal evening of por­trai­ture and light­ing; and Rob Knight of RK Pho­to­graphic, who spoke about work­ing on projects in prepa­ra­tion for ex­hi­bi­tions.

Do mem­bers com­pete in re­gional or na­tional com­pe­ti­tions?

A num­ber of mem­bers have en­tered com­pe­ti­tions out­side of the club and some have been suc­cess­ful in hav­ing their work pub­lished.

How many mem­bers do you have?

In this cur­rent year, there are 15 mem­bers and in­ter­est­ingly, un­like many pho­tog­ra­phy clubs, male mem­bers are slightly out­num­bered by fe­male mem­bers.

Are any trips or out­ings planned?

Mem­bers are keen to so­cialise, and there have been trips to ex­hi­bi­tions at both Quad and Derby Mu­se­ums, pho­tog­ra­phy field trips in the Peak District, and there’s much more in the pipe­line.

Are there any funny tales about the club?

Laugh­ter is high on the list of pri­or­i­ties for the club. The first time mem­bers went up into the Peak District for a day of pho­tog­ra­phy to­gether, a very happy day was had by all and while there isn’t re­ally a funny story at­tached to it as such, there were some great shots of each other, with some mem­bers now be­ing known for their ‘cof­fee stops’, a ‘thing for green’, and ‘a mas­ter of shad­ows’ when it comes to a day out with their cam­eras.

What are the club’s goals for the fu­ture?

This year the group are de­lighted to have been al­lo­cated per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion space at the Royal Derby Hos­pi­tal, where seven mem­bers of the Club will be show­ing work to­gether as part of the cur­rent Air Arts Seventy ex­hi­bi­tion, cel­e­brat­ing 70 years of the NHS.

This lovely group is ex­cited for the fu­ture growth of their club and look for­ward to wel­com­ing col­leagues along to join them in the fu­ture.

Va­lerie Dalling re­cently set up a sec­ond pho­tog­ra­phy group for mem­bers of NHS staff at the North­ern Gen­eral Hos­pi­tal in Sh­effield, and with the full sup­port and ap­proval of the Arts Pro­grammes from both Derby and Sh­effield, one of the goals is to see a de­vel­op­ment of ex­cit­ing projects and ex­hi­bi­tions forg­ing links be­tween the hospi­tals, their staff and the two cities.

A se­lec­tion of im­ages from Royal Derby Hos­pi­tal Im­age Club mem­bers An RDH club day out to the Peak District

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