Summit Photography Group wants to share its love of pictures
November 13, 2015
A year ago, a group of Summit County based photographers decided to get together to share their love of photos as well as tips and secrets about their favorite places to shoot.
"It was to be a locals’ gathering and, God knows, there are a lot of serious photographers who live up here," club member Steve Joyce told The Park Record. "There is a big camera club called the Wasatch Camera Club in Salt Lake City. It’s very active. It has a large membership and hosts large meetings, but the problem is that it’s 45 minutes away and the meetings are always held at night.
"So, a group of people up here wanted to start a club up here, even if it didn’t become anything big like what they have going on down in Salt Lake," he said. "I ended up hooking into the group and we decided to start an informal thing and not do the whole 501c3 nonprofit with memberships dues."
Instead, a core group of six or seven photographers loosely run what is known as the Summit Photography Group that meets every third Monday at the Park City Library from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.
"We originally met at the Swaner EcoCenter because there were some people in the group who did some things there," Joyce said. "And while we enjoyed meeting there, we met in a small room that didn’t have much room to grow."
After the Park City Library renovation, the club asked if it could meet in one of the rooms.
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"They told us if we got too big we could even use the [Jim Santy] auditorium," Joyce said. "So, we’re trying to build the club up more and we have a nice steady group who are there most of the time, and we want to invite new people to join us."
The club, which doesn’t require any dues, is open to all levels of photographers, according to Joyce.
"In fact, we encourage this," he said. "There is no equipment requirement. We’ve had people come who shoot photos primarily on their phones. We have people who own expensive equipment and who are hardcore and we have Canon and Nikon owners."
Some of the photographers own the smaller, mirrorless cameras as well as those who use point-and-shoots.
"It doesn’t matter," Joyce said. "We want people to bring what they have, and we do welcome film shooters, although most of us shoot digitally."
Each meeting is different.
"We’ve had photographers like Jared and Trish McMillen and David Schulz who own galleries or lead tours, and we also have a strong set of photographers who lead classes in types of techniques and tools that are aimed at beginners and amateurs," Joyce said. "This is great because we have people who have shot at places before and some who haven’t and those who have can guide the others and share their experiences."
The group also gets together for informal club field trips.
"Once again, we’re loose in the way we do them and we don’t schedule these trips," Joyce said. "But someone at our meetings will announce they are going somewhere and will ask if anyone wants to go. Sometimes they’ll send an email."
This happened last month when a number of photographers attended the bison roundup at Antelope Island.
"Sure enough, we got some people together," Joyce said. "Some carpooled. Some met us out there."
Other times, group members will shoot for local nonprofits.
"I am part of Park City Rotary Club and we coordinate the Miner’s Day events," Joyce said. "I needed a lot of photographs for our sponsors and promotional materials, but there are just too many things going on at once. So, five members of the photography club came out and shot most of the day.
"As a result, the Rotary ended up with some fantastic images of the day’s events," he said. "[This] couldn’t have been done [otherwise]."
This month the Summit Photography Club has three sessions in the works.
"We’ll have light-room instruction," Joyce said. "Light rooms have become the de facto tool for photographers who do a lot of cataloging and printing and we will learn how light rooms can help make photographs better."
Joyce will also host a session about shooting Yellowstone during the winter.
"I will talk about how people can get there even though the roads are closed, and touch on where to stay, what can be shot and what special equipment is necessary to make great photos," he said.
The third project is something new and creative, Joyce said.
"We will present challenges," he said. "We will select a topic and the club members will shoot what they think demonstrates that topic."
The topic this month is textures.
"We encourage everyone to bring a USB drive with three to five images that illustrate what they think textures is about," he said. "Once again, there are no rules and we encourage this to challenge the photographer to think about texture in ways no one else will."
The idea is to share the photos with each other and give critiques.
"This is a great thing for beginners, and maybe even more so for some of the well-established photographers in the club," Joyce said. "The group will look at the photographs and the photographer will ask what could have been done better."
Joyce said photographers should keep the number down between three and six photos.
"We ask that because we won’t have time to go through 50 photos of all the photographers in one evening," he said.
While there are no dues required, the club has been known to pass around the hat for donations to buy some equipment.
"The only thing we’ve really needed money for was a nice, quality projector we could use for some of our meetings," Joyce said. "We were borrowing a projector, but it really wasn’t showing the true colors of the photographs, so, we gathered up $700."
Interested photographers don’t have to RSVP to attend the next meeting, which will be on Nov. 16.
"All they have to do is just show up," Joyce said. "If they have some photographs, we ask them to bring them along in a USB stick and have some fun."
For more information about the Summit Photography Group, visit
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