Whether you are an expert photographer with an expensive camera or a beginner with a point in shoot camera, and you are interested in networking or learning more about photography you should consider joining a camera club. Below is information about the seven camera clubs in the Northern Virginia and Maryland area that that organize and run the Nature Visions Expo and links to their websites.
Loudoun Photography Club
Manassas-Warrenton Camera Club
McLean Photography Club
National Institutes of Health Camera Club
Northern Virginia Photographic Society
Reston Photographic Society
Vienna Photographic Society
The Loudoun Photography Club started as a group of people interested in photography in Ashburn Village. The club is the youngest of the six camera clubs that currently make up the Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs. As such, the Loudoun Photography Club (affectionately known as LPC) was formed to fill the growing need for local photographers to meet, compete, and learn through sharing photographic expertise and examples of their own photography creations. Much like the members of our club, our meeting places have come from across the county including: the Ashburn Library, the Cascades Library, and now the George Washington University Ashburn Campus. We currently meet twice a month. On the second Thursday of the month we have a guest speaker and on the fourth Thursday of the month we hold a competition or general member night. We learn from our invited guest speaker presentations, participation in group excursions, and from our fellow members’ photographs. While we may be the youngest of the Northern Virginia Camera clubs, we are the fastest growing. Our membership has grown from 10 members in 2004 to over 60 members who consistently win ribbons and recognition in local and regional photo shows and in national magazines. We also have over 200 nationwide subscribers to our YahooGroup. Additionally, we have a Flickr group available to our members. The club’s motto is “Friends Who Photograph” and that is exactly who we are. Every day, our members share advice, guidance, support, ideas and most importantly, their knowledge of all things photography. We have a number of individuals who are actively organizing photography excursions and workshops to provide rich photographic experiences for our members so that they can continue developing their craft. We welcome all people, from beginners to advance photographers, who are interested in sharing and learning. Although our history is short, our future is bright!
James R. M. Spor established the Manassas Warrenton Camera Club (MWCC) in September 1985. The Club’s goal is to promote the teaching and enjoyment of photography through regular competitions, specialized programs presented by experts in the field of photography, hands-on workshops, and field trips. The club has grown from 25 members in 1985 to a current membership of more than 110. Photographic experience of the members ranges from those who just purchased their first camera to professionals. A board of directors, elected by the membership, governs the day-to-day activities. The club is a member of the Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs and the Photographic Society of America. The purpose of this club is to promote the art of photography in the community; to institute and promote such educational, and other programs as will foster public awareness of photography; to develop the skills of the members through hands-on experience and educational opportunities, and to educate members in the technical and other aspects of photography and related industries through informative and educational programs. Meetings: The club year runs from September through May with an awards banquet in June.
The usual schedule is the 1st Thursday of each month is for Programs and the 3rd Thursday is for Competitions.
The McLean Photography Club offers a wide variety of events and activities, including lectures, demonstrations, field trips, workshops, competitions and critiques, and social activities. Links from the club Web site replace the monthly newsletter, and links from these pages provide access to some of the area’s best photographers, and provide a window into emerging technologies. Club membership is comprised of a wide variety of interests, from traditional to digital, with a full range of expertise, from beginners to recognized experts. The club also conducts “members-only” workshops and meetings at other places such as member’s homes, professional studios, and other locations of interest to photographers. Photographic competitions are held 3 times each year, with novice and advanced categories in black-and-white, color slides, and color prints. The club operates on the philosophy that the artistry of the end product is the prime goal, and does not differentiate between conventional and digital photography. All competitions are judged by experts from outside the club. The competitions provide constructive individualized critiques, and emphasize personal improvement rather than competition for its own sake. The competitions are for members only, and the public is cordially invited to attend. Winning work is is occasionally placed on public display at various locations in the area.
The newest member of the Nature Visions Expo, and the first club in Maryland to join, the NIH Camera Club is sponsored by the Recreation and Welfare Association of the National Institutes of Health. Its purpose is to encourage its members to increase their knowledge, skills, and enjoyment of photography by holding meetings, classes, lectures, and demonstrations of the various phases of photography, and conducting workshops, photographic competitions, and other photography related activities. Membership is open to all, not just NIH employees. The club has a long history, starting in the late 40’s for the staff members of the National Institutes of Health. Through the years it has merged with camera clubs from other Federal and civilian organizations, although retaining its original name. The Club is open to all members of the community and we are proud of the quality of members that are attracted. At first the club was restricted to members of NIH or the other affiliated federal organizations but when the NIH campus restricted access, the club moved off-campus and, at that time, opened its membership to anyone who was interested in photography. Our members run the gamut from beginners to sophisticated, experienced amateurs and professionals. Each month the Club has themed competitions in several categories (monochrome print, color print, slide and digital) and in two separate groups, novice and advanced. Each year we host an Open competition for members and non-members and participate in at least one inter-club competition. Each monthly meeting usually has a guest speaker who talks in his or her own area of expertise and then stays to judge the monthly competition. In addition, we offer field trips, interclub competitions, photography classes (workshops), as well as special instruction for novices, and provides announcements of photography-related events in DC area.
The Northern Virginia Photographic Society promotes the enjoyment, mastery, and furtherance of photography through cooperation, effort, and good fellowship. The Society is not operated for profit. Membership in the Northern Virginia Photographic Society is open to photographers of every skill level. For beginners, participation in the club gives you the opportunity to learn from fellow members and guest speakers, and to have your efforts critiqued in a supportive and positive manner. Workshops and field trips offer additional opportunities to participate and learn. Beginners can quickly advance to an intermediate level. If you’re more experienced, you’ll find that most of the activities – competitions, workshops and field trips – provide challenging learning opportunities. You’ll meet people who share your interests and learn about the many photogenic locations in our area that provide excellent opportunities to practice your craft. You’ll also be presented with opportunities to show off your successful results.
The Reston Photographic Society (RPS) is a special interest group within the League of Reston Artists (LRA). The Society is open to all LRA members interested in photography. The purpose of the group is to provide opportunities for photographers to exhibit their work in gallery settings; to gain knowledge and skills through workshops, competitions, other activities, and to support encourage, and celebrate the efforts of each member. The Society meets at 7:30pm on the third Monday of each month, January through May and September through November at the Reston Community Centers at Hunters Woods or Lake Anne. Meetings include guest speakers, workshops, non-competitive group critiques, competitions, and sharing of photo-related information. Occasional shooting field trips are also scheduled. Members are encouraged to attend the LRA’s meetings, on topics of general interest to artists. The Society, in conjunction with the LRA, sponsors two major judged photographic exhibits each year. In July, a show is hung is the main hallway of the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston. The second show takes place in October in the Reston Community Center at Lake Anne, the Jo Ann Rose Gallery. The LRA also sponsors multimedia exhibits throughout the year that are open to a combination of photographers and other artists. In addition, photographers are encouraged to hang their works in spaces provided to the League as part of the Art in Public Places program. For schedules and other info. go to www.leagueofrestonartists.org. The Reston Photographic Society is a member of the Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs (NVACC). As a member of NVACC, the RPS shares meeting schedules, as well as opportunities to participate in the meetings of all NVACC member clubs.
The Vienna Photographic Society (VPS) was founded in the Spring of 1988, with the purpose of providing a place for continued development and education for individuals who hold a shared interest in photography. The general philosophy of VPS is to have the membership suggest areas of interest to them and receive new experiences and information within a fun atmosphere. We exist to provide our members with opportunities to grow in the art and craft of photography through lectures, workshops, and field trips. Field Trips monthly to various locations. The 1st Wed is devoted to a speaker or program on the art and craft of photography. The 3rd Wed is competition night where an independent judge comments on the members’ work. Guests are always welcome but, since school vacation schedule and occasional closings for inclement weather may affect our meeting schedule, it is wise to contact the club beforehand. Our web site will always contain the latest schedule. VPS is a nonprofit organization and a member of both the Photographic Society of America (PSA) and the Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs (NVACC). For information on VPS membership, please feel free to contact VPS Membership, PO Box 1212, Vienna, VA 22183-1212.
Meetings: 1st and 3rd Wednesday, September through June, at 7:30pm. Forums: 4th Wednesdays, September through June, except December, at 7:30pm. Lecture Hall, Thoreau Middle School, 2505 Cedar Lane, Vienna, Virginia.