A look inside Bellarmine’s Photo Club

By Lucas Owens ’19

The Bellarmine Photo Club was formed with the mission of educating students on the various aspects of photography, as well as providing a space for photographers to discuss and critique their work. The Photo Club meets every Monday at lunch in Sobrato 305 and is one of Bellarmine’s more tightly-knit and intimate clubs. Photo Club President Patrick Sawrey ‘19, seen above, hopes for the club to “grow into a larger group of students who can help each-other develop better photographic skills and also a deeper appreciation for all art.”

On a recent trip to San Francisco, the Photo Club visited various photo galleries around the city, as well as great photographic sites such as the Transamerica Pyramid and Chinatown. One photo gallery the club visited was San Francisco Camerawork, a small gallery devoted to educating youth on photography. San Francisco Camerawork was running an exhibit called “Forage from Fire” by Norma L. Quintana, who lost her home in the fires last year in Napa Valley. Photo Club President Patrick Sawrey ’19 called the collection “very emotional and a very raw exhibit of the artists’ feelings and the gallery conveyed those emotions well”. He also said that he hopes that the project has helped her through her own personal healing process.

The Photo Club doesn’t just go on trips, however. The club is also oriented towards providing photographers a space to hang out and share work. Photo Club President Patrick Sawrey ‘19 has aided this development by launching a new competition that happens every few weeks. Photo Club members are given a theme they have to stick to, and then get two to three weeks to plan, take, and edit a photo to submit. Some past contest themes have ranged from material ideas such as using water in a composition to taking advantage of techniques like the art of panning. Photo Club members then sit down at a meeting to discuss each other’s photos, offering meaningful critiques of photos without offending anybody’s work. These discussions have a tendency to get fairly loud and heated, as every artist is proud of their own individual work and willing to defend all of their own flaws. However, this ability to have critiques is immensely important to further develop photographic skills.

Overall, the Photo Club serves to further the photographic art form and spread their love of photography as far as it can reach at Bellarmine.