Each year we challenge our members to get creative and stretch themselves photographically to produce a portfolio of work throughout the year.
The theme is chosen by the photographer, who will work to develop this theme into a finished body of work over the course of the year. Starting in February, the group meet regularly to support each other while their projects progress. This is sometimes done under the guidance of an external mentor and sometimes the group self-mentors. Previous mentors include Len Metcalf and also Greg Piper who has been a wonderful mentor to us over the last few years.
The portfolios are very individual and varied and can be anything from curating and creating a photo book from images of past travels, to trying out a new genre or new piece of camera equipment. They can be a challenge, for example shooting only at f8, or only long exposure. They often become a very personal and often emotional journey where photography is used to explore and come to terms with such issues as loss and separation. Alternatively, they can be projects that rejoice in the joy of nature or document the changing world around us.
The portfolios are then presented to the club in October. Finished portfolios may be presented as framed prints, a calendar, a book, a video presentation – there are no restrictions. Often a portfolio will become a work in progress in which case a selection of the work in its current state may be presented.
It is always very inspirational and worthwhile to come along to the portfolio presentations and see just how much can be achieved by working in this fashion.