From The Blog

Kiawah Island Photography Club Turns 10

The Kiawah Island Photography Club began as small group of friends discussing their common love of photography around John Sanders’ dining room table in 2006. At the time the friends in attendance thought it would be fun to exchange ideas about their hobby by meeting six times a year. Ten years later the organization has over 100 members.

Members have spent the time since 2006 learning about camera equipment, how to compose the perfect shot, and editing and printing techniques. Meetings are held every Monday from October through mid-May and include once a month special speakers, workshops on every level from beginner through advanced, and small group sessions where all topics are fair game. Additionally members participate in once-monthly photo shoots at locations all around Kiawah and have donated time and materials to numerous organizations, most notable Johns Island schools where they take pictures of programs, sports teams and special functions, making prints available to all of the students and teachers.

The club’s success is in large part due to the many members who generously share their enthusiasm and experience. A few of those who have been involved since the early days continue to have responsibility for aspects of the program.

Sue Corcoran arranges the club’s monthly meetings featuring special presenters. Past visitors include numerous nationally-known professional photographers like Brenda Tharp, Denise Ippolito, Tony Sweet and Joyce Tenneson. Featured local favorites include Kenny McKeithan, Alice Keeney, Kate Silvia and Steven Hyatt.

A Monthly Challenge that began in 2012 has become a club favorite. Once a month Tina Schell announces a topic and invites all members to submit images related to it. Favorite past subjects include Rain, Up Close and Personal, The Eyes Have It, and Black and White. Once she has collected all the photos submitted, Tina produces a slideshow complete with quotations and music.

John Sanders develops the club’s workshop schedule assembling members to preside over special sessions on editing software(Lightroom, iPhotos, Photoshop), selecting a camera, lighting for special effects, taking photos with tablets and smartphones, creating photo books, and slideshows. In addition to his workshop expertise, John’s photographic slideshows have become a very popular event in conjunction with KICA’s Our World lecture series. Thus far John has covered India and Africa as well as Around the World in 60 Minutes and See the USA.

Jack Kotz leads a small monthly group meeting featuring member-generated topics including problem solving techniques, specialized editing, and the entire spectrum of software issues. The club’s most ambitious project to date started in 2011 when David Elliot organized a pictorial history of Johns Island. Over 40members participated, taking pictures throughout Johns Island and organizing them around its history, beginning with evidence of the original Native American tribes from the area. The club presented a video titled Johns Island, A Moment in Time and produced a photo book as well. The book is now part of the Charleston Library collection and for sale at Indigo Books. The club donated copies of the book to all Johns Island schools and presented all profits to the Johns Island Barrier Island Free Medical Clinic.

Club members have also partnered with Kiawah Cares on several occasions, helping Sea Island children see life in different ways, from Camp Hope to YoArt’s Kiawah nature program.

The Photography Club’s website, kiawahphotoclub.org, is a great source of information. The new season begins on Oct. 3 and will focus on choosing a camera and software. All current and former Kiawah property owners and long-term renters are invited to join.

Article contributed by Digest Member Volunteer Shauneen Hutchinson.