Feb 11th, 2018, 03:48 PM

Shutterbugs Rejoice

By Gabriel Green
Polaroid sx-70
Image credit: Flickr/Cindy Shebley
AUP's premier photo club holds its inaugural meeting on Thursday.

Starting this week, photographers of AUP will be offered a new platform to geek out about everything from f-stops to film grain on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. as the university’s first photo club holds its inaugural meeting in Combes, room C-103. Photography enthusiasts from all walks are welcome to the meeting, complete with pizza and drinks, to discuss the direction they would like to steer the budding student organization. 

Students of all skill levels, from analog lovers and digital shooters to seasoned fine-art photographers and casual Instagrammers, are encouraged to join. “It's definitely open to everyone. If I can run it and I don't know much about [photography] at all, then I think it should be open to anyone to come and learn,” says club founder Francesca Coyne, 20, a global communications major. “This is… a little seed of an idea that's slowly growing. I'm also very open to the ideas of people in the club. I kind of want to see what [members] want out of it. My role is just to kind of give them a platform to help create [the club].”

The conception of AUP Photo stems from Coyne’s desire to give back and stay involved with the AUP community. “I’ve always been really involved at AUP and I think for this semester it’s the first one that I’m not super involved in. So [AUP Photo] is kind of my way of getting back into it and doing something for the school that I love,” says Coyne. 

AUP Photo founder Francesca Coyne, 20, global communications major. Image Credit: Gabriel Green

Observing a gap in the ability for photographers to collaborate and share their work, Coyne began developing the idea of creating AUP Photo. “I just started to notice via Instagram that there was a lot of photography talent at AUP and I just started thinking to myself that it's shocking that none of these photographers have an outlet to get together, get connected, express themselves or print their photography professionally. A lot of photographers who I've spoken to have wanted opportunities to feature their work. It kind of shocked me that as a college we don't give them a chance to do that… I don't have experience with photography, but I have experience with event planning, so I figured why not do... a gallery-style event and just kind of feature photos and give students the ability to print them. From there it just kind of turned into 'well, why not make it a club?'”

The senior will be graduating at the end of the semester and says that she hopes to see the club continue past her time at AUP. “My hope would be that [AUP Photo] just kind of continues and continues to grow based on what the AUP students want for their photography. I’m optimistic. I hope it will continue but it’s not really started too much yet so, we’ll go from there.”

AUP Photo has been officially registered as a club and was allocated a budget of €85 for its first meeting during Wednesday's Student Government Association Student Council session. Despite the club’s infancy, Coyne is already beginning to plan several significant events to take place this semester. One includes a student photo exhibition that will put on display the work of several current students, possibly a number of alumni. “Hopefully it would be able to become a tradition and I really would hope that… the gallery event specifically could become one of the biggest of the big events, that kind of matches the international student soiree and the worlds fair and become kind of an AUP tradition,” says Coyne. 

Coyne says she also hopes to create a series of photography talks for students given by industry professionals. “I really would like to bring in speakers, that's number one; just in addition to the photography classes, because a lot of the photographers… don't actually, take the classes at AUP. So, I'd like to bring in speakers that we can kind of talk about different techniques. Also, it's a learning experience for me because I don't know much about photography at all.”

The club does not currently have a faculty advisor but Coyne is hoping to collaborate with AUP’s photography teachers, as well as other departments and clubs in the near future. But for now, Coyne is taking it one step at a time. “I’m just flying solo here, giving it a shot. That’s kind of how I roll.”