Photographs have a way of sticking with you. We all know the picture of the soldiers catching the American flag on Iwo Jima and Neil Armstrong’s footprint on the Moon. These moments would be forever lost without the quick snap of a camera lens.
Here in the vibrant arts community at Bates, we are lucky enough to have an outlet to share photos through the Bates Photo Club. Members of the club described the many reasons to love photography. In an interview, club member Gwen Muscato ’18 admitted, “I often pay more attention to detail when I am looking to capture a photograph and see small, beautiful things that I would otherwise not even notice.” Similarly, Jon Sheehan ’19 said, “Photography allows me to share a moment that I experience with another human.” Being surrounded by a group of likeminded people is a wonderful way to embrace this art form.
This club is very active on campus. You may know them from their Traveling Disposables Project where they sent disposable cameras around campus. The photos were then printed and displayed at the Ronj. Or perhaps you remember the spectacular magazine, Blonde, that goes around campus twice a year.
Club President Montana Hirsch ’16 said, “I like the idea of the club being all about what the members would like to see out of it, so I do welcome any project ideas or event ideas that members come up with.” This inclusive attitude is one of the reasons members feel so at home. Matthew Winter ’18 recounts that the club is “a solid group of about ten people or so,” but there is a larger turn out for big events and the club gets around one hundred submissions to Blonde.
The people in the club have a variety of photography experience, which makes it a great sharing space for any and all photographers. Hirsch said that she “personally got really into photography in high school” because she was lucky enough to have access to a dark room. Durotimi Akinkugbe ’18 remembered that his love for the art started at an early age. He said, “I would borrow my uncle’s camera at parties and run around taking pictures of guests.” Muscato noted, “I’m not as experienced of a photographer as some of the other members, so I’ve learned a lot from them!” Club members value its inclusive environment.
Winter remarked that his favorite events with the club included a Photo Booth they put up in the Little Room accompanied with some student bands and “a photo walk around campus with a bunch of middle schoolers, which was pretty fun and cute.”
The club is also a proponent of community engagement. Hirsch noted, “we are going to Blake Street Towers with cameras, tripods, etc. to take portraits of some of the residents, which we have funding to print and possibly frame or matte and then return them all for free.” This event will happen on Friday, February 19, before all of us Batesies disperse for the break.
This exciting and inclusive group is currently trying to revamp and recruit more people to join in the fun. But, wait! Hirsch also revealed that they have a puppy. Alas, he is of the stuffed animal sort. “His name is Printer (because we won’t have one but wish we did) and he has begun his travels around the school which are being documented in photos [on their Facebook page].”
Akinkugbe noted that, for him, the best part of the club is “when everything comes together after a lot of striving and we are finally all together having a good time.” What could be better than that? Photo Club offers a place to share some good photos, meet some awesome people, and learn something in the process.