Photofold Camera Club was started by Alan Murdey, a member of Billericay Arts Associations (BAA) committee.
It was established as a member society of BAA in 1980 and quickly became affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain through The East Anglian Federation. Weekly club meetings were originally held at BAA’s premises known as The Fold, a WW2 structure now demolished to make way for Waitrose’s car park.
In addition to lectures by eminent photographers, club competitions were held with classes for home and trade processed prints (mainly monochrome in those days) and trade processed slides. The first annual exhibition of members prints was held in 1981. Prints had to be a minimum 8.5 x 6.5 inches in size, how things have changed. Exhibitions have continued each year ever since.
In 1994 BAA moved to new premises in Laindon Road and Photofold quickly re-established itself as one of the premier photographic societies in the area taking full advantage of the improved facilities available. It was around this period that digital photography took off in a big way which generated lots of interest in the club’s activities by those seeking guidance. With digital photography and image manipulation becoming the established process the club obtained a grant from “Awards for All” and, in 2007, purchased a digital projector and, subsequently, a wall mounted projection screen. By 2009 entries in the slide competitions had fallen dramatically and we stopped holding them with the Digital Projected Images taking their place. In keeping with the rest of the digital age in 2008 we launched our website.
Over the club’s 35 year history it has grown from a few friends meeting to discuss their common interest into a respected society with members of all abilities from those seeking guidance to those entering national exhibitions and competitions. It remains a friendly club with members giving freely of their expertise to those less experienced.
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