By Angela Higginbotham

Photographs capture moments that are otherwise gone forever — and the Jacksonville Camera Club is passionate about sharing knowledge of what to practice behind the lens in an effort to make photographs even more beautiful.

Originally formed in 1935, the Jacksonville Camera Club has offered decades of encouragement and fun to residents interested in photography. Today, the club has approximately 90 members from all walks of life who share a common love for photography. Primarily an amateur club, the members learn from each other and enjoy making new friends.

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“A lot of people are hesitant to come because they feel like they will be intimidated. This really is a place for any skill set,” said Jacksonville Camera Club President Brian Leonard.

Approximately 50 members attend meetings on a regular basis in Mandarin. Meeting are held on the first and third Wednesday of every month. Club member presentations of various topics of interest are presented during the meetings. The members also enjoy periodically formed interest groups in order to elevate members’ experience in certain areas such as portraits and lighting.

The Camera Club also plans one to two outings per month. Most of the outings are local and last two to four hours. During the year, the club usually has one or two road trips to various locations, including bird shoots in South Florida, fall foliage trips to the Smokies and Western North Carolina. Weekend trips to Savannah, Ga. and other areas of interest in the Southeast are occasionally planned for members. Members find that the outings are a great way to socialize as well as a great opportunity to practice newly learned skills.

Quarterly print and digital contests are also a highlight of each year. Ribbons are awarded for the best images.

“The best part of the competitions is to see the level of skill in various club members as well as hear comments and critiques from the judges,” Leonard said. “This is a very beneficial way to develop new skills. We are also starting contests using cell phone cameras, which seems to be getting more and more popular.”

The Camera Club is currently forming groups to welcome new members and to help others become aware of the resources offered within the club.

“We always have members that are willing to go out in small groups or do one-on-one sessions to help members improve their skills,” Leonard said.

Jacksonville Camera Club meetings are held at the Shepherd of the Woods Church (Lakeshore Location), 6595 Columbia Park Ct., near the intersection of Greenland Road and Philips Highway. Anyone interested is invited to attend. Visit for more information.


Photo courtesy Bill McSherry

Jacksonville Camera Club members

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