Becoming a Member
Here at Photofold, we are constantly looking at ways of boosting the number of members at our club. We hold meetings at The Chantry Centre in Billericay every Tuesday at 20:00 to 22:00.
We have around 50 paying members and we are looking to expand!
Yearly Seasonal Fee - £55
Visitors - £3
Potential members shall be allowed to attend as visitors for any three out of four consecutive weeks. They will then be asked to join the Club and such attendance charges shall be deducted from the subscription due.
2_Bamburgh Sunrise_Barry 5D SR (1)
1_Photographers on the Beach_Dave 5D IV
Bamburgh at Dawn_Dave
5C_Castle on't lake_Chris
Pair of Castles_Simon
Lindesfarne Castle_Alan J (1)
5C_Shepherds warning over castle_Simon (1)
When was the club founded?
Photofold was established in 1980 and quickly became affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain through The East Anglian Federation. Meetings were originally held in Billericay Arts Association premises, firstly in a building that was demolished to make way for Waitrose Car Park and then in The Fold’s premises in Laindon Road. Beginning 2021-22 season Photofold have moved to a larger meeting hall at The Chantry Centre.
Photofold wasn’t the Town’s first photographic club. The earlier club was formed in 1951. Meetings were first held first at 37 High Street (near the Blue Boar) and later in rooms above Squires Electrical shop at 85 High Street (now Clinton’s). Squires was managed by Bill Whitear, the club‘s secretary. Sadly the club later floundered due to a lack of members and these old buildings have long since been demolished. Later Bill Whitear became Chairman of Photofold when it was established in 1980. Our Bill’s Choice Trophy bears his name. He insisted that only original/not shown before images, were to be in the competition. Another link to the earlier club is the Hillary Cup (awarded for best exhibition mono print). Captain Hillary was second in command of D Company, in the Essex Regiment and was a very keen photographer. The cup was originally presented to Billericay Camera Club by his brother and then inherited by Photofold when it started in 1980.
What do you offer new members?
There’s always a friendly ‘hello’ and a warm welcome to all new members. Before making the decision to join our club, potential members can attend as visitors for three out of four consecutive weeks at a cost of £3 per meeting, they will then be given the opportunity to join the club and the attendance charges deducted from their subscription fee. New members are offered the opportunity to buddy up with an experienced member who will help them settle into the club and be on hand to answer questions.
Describe a typical club Meeting:
A season consists of 39 weekly meetings from September to June. We meet on a Tuesday evening from 20:00 to 22:00 with members arriving a little earlier to have a chat beforehand. Club meetings tend to either feature an external speaker, involve a competition or be a members evening.
To open the club evening the Chair will make any announcements and then hand over to a committee member to introduce either a guest speaker or competition judge. Competitions are either prints or digitally projected images (DPI), we usually have five print and five DPI competitions throughout our season which runs from September to June. Our more experienced members also provide presentations that include Lightroom and Photoshop tutorials.
Tea, coffee and biscuits are available half way through the evening around 9pm with the opportunity to enter a raffle for a bottle of wine. The evening then ends at 10pm.
Do you invite guest speakers?
The club prides itself on the quality of its speakers inviting about 20 speakers to the club each season who give presentations on many different genres of photography. Notable speakers over the last couple of seasons include Steve Gosling, Justin Minns & Guy Edwards (published landscape photographers),
Gavin Hoey and Glyn Dewis (Photography Educationalists), Polina Plotnikova (Still Life & multi award winner of RHS photography) and Mark Pain (professional sports photographer & winner of Sports Photographer of the Year).
Last season, as a result of the pandemic, we shifted to on-line presentations using Zoom. This worked so well we now intend including a few Zoom presentations each season to enable us to invite speakers from further afield.
Do members compete in competitions?
We hold regular internal print and digital internal competitions for our members. These are judged by visiting independent and accredited judges. In addition Photofold competes in a number of regional photography competitions every year. We came 1st in the Pegasus Trophy in January 2020 competing against four other clubs within our region. Our club came 2nd in the 61st Maldon Challenge Trophy in April 2019 narrowly missing first place by only one point. We also compete in other Essex Interclub competitions throughout the season.
Are any trips or outings planned?
Club outings take place on a monthly basis throughout the year with all members, their partners and friends being invited to join. These outings are within driving distance of Billericay. In addition we have arranged trips further afield to locations of natural beauty such as Bamburgh, The Lake District and Dorset. With the relaxation of the pandemic restrictions we hope to organise further trips in the near future.
How many members do you have?
In 2021/22 season we have 62 members covering a wide age range and skillset.
Do you hold exhibitions?
Due to the pandemic we had to cancel our summer exhibition in 2020. We were delighted that we were able to organise the exhibition again in September 2021.
What are the club’s goals for the future?
To give members enjoyable opportunities to improve and experiment with their photography, as well as making a few friends along the way. We also aim to grow our membership, attracting younger members and increase the number of female photographers.