Friday, April 06, 2012

The “Little Club that could.”

Over the past couple of years, I had the opportunity to visit some meetings for the Inland Outlook Photo Club.  On occasion, I had the opportunity to address this club, usually with shooting in low light issues.  At a meeting of IOPC last night, I had the absolute pleasure to make a brief presentation discussing local efforts being made on behalf of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP).  

14 local photographers have participated in the Spokane NTHP photographic project, and at the meeting last night in Liberty Lake, 18 additional photographers signed up for NTHP related projects to be completed in 2012.  Considering the additional possibilities with additional photog support, I think that we can certainly do additional roof shoots, and get into historic homes and neighborhoods with our camera systems.

After last night’s IOPC mtg, I came away with a number of thoughts about things other than the NTHP project that I was there to address.  Firstly, this club is going places.  

I have had some experience with other photo related organizations, and in my view some seemed to be headed in a completely opposite direction than the IOPC photo club.  In one case another local photo group has been treading water for so many years that they are still primarily focused on one thing and one thing only.  Yet, IOPC has gone well beyond that.  There is a varied interest of activities for members of all skill levels, and an extremely active role in community service projects.  

So many members of IOPC, including board members, participate in local community projects that the members can’t even imagine not having the opportunity to participate.  Many of the IOPC members are, or have been, photographers for the Inland Northwest Honor Flight program (501 C3).  This program flies WWII Veterans to Washington DC to visit the war memorials built in their honor.  Other IOPC members have been working for the past year on the national conference to be held in Spokane, for the NTHP.  Even the local media have recognized the efforts of the IOPC members in their personal efforts committed on behalf of the NTHP.  IOPC members who participate with Honor Flight, get mobbed by WWII Veterans and their families whenever the Honor Flight photographers show up to shoot at departures and arrivals of the WWII Veterans at GEG.  Capturing the emotions and tears of families and WWII Veterans draws the photogs and the Veterans together with a bond that I had never expected when these efforts began.

What I have seen in the past two or three years is a very talented and very proactive group of board members and club members.  Training, service, and commitments to their members certainly put this group at the top of the list of professional Spokane photo organizations.  The members of IOPC simply love what this club does, and it is so blatantly noticeable that it is a pleasure to see.  

I believe that the early efforts made by the original board members of IOPC sitting around a kitchen table, have reaped benefits for every single member that joins this club.  Actually I am in awe of what this club has accomplished in the past couple of years.  In my view, at the risk of not mentioning some board members, I think Dean Huggins and Palmer Halvorson have already accomplished what other local groups have never even attempted.  Personally I have worked with both of these fine photographers, and they are not just good Photogs, but very good people.  

For Spokane Photogs, if you need a place to learn and to get opportunities to practice the photographic trade, IOPC should be first on your list of things to do.  

For information on IOPC, go to this link and begin a most enjoyable experience for your personal and professional photography interests.  

Keep up the good work IOPC, you are a perfect example of the “Little club that could, and DID.”