By Amber Levias
There’s a new club on campus that’s capturing the eyes of students this semester- photography club.
Created by avid photographers, Deeanna Welling and Charles Walker, PhD., professor of psychology, the club was formed to help interested students learn to hone their photography talents as well as to give back to the community through their photos.
“There’s so many of us on campus who love photography and want to learn more,” said Welling.
Welling, a senior psychology major, got into photography through her father who was also into the art form. After Welling found some of her father’s old vintage film cameras, he showed her all the basics to wield a camera. This also lead her to make her first camera out of an old cardboard box.
“He was my real teacher in photography,” said Welling. ‘So, that’s how I really got into it.”
As for Walker, being a graduate student at university, he needed a distraction and taught himself the art of photography.
“Graduate school can be ridiculously intense sometimes,” said Walker. “So I found myself taking pictures.”
However, what got Walker truly passionate about photography was submitting his photographs to the New York Times and placing third in their photo contest.
With that positive feedback, Walker realized he should pursue his passion. His continued efforts have lead him to have his photographs exhibited at the Image City Photography Gallery in Rochester, New York.
Walker is also the family photographer, a similar job to Bobby Nguyen, a freshman cybersecurity major and aspiring photographer, who’s has done photoshoots of his family members.
Nguyen was influenced by his sixth grade photography club and his uncle who taught him “all about the angle” in photography. He wants to use his skills to continue taking photos and even focus his time into fashion photography.
What Nguyen hopes to learn in the photography club is how to use the camera in order to give him the best possible pictures, a goal the club is aiming for in all its participants.
“I like witnessing people’s reaction from their photos,” said Nguyen.
According to Walker, the club has been approved by the Dean of Arts and Sciences David Hilmey.
Hilmey hopes the blank-spaced walls on campus will soon be filled with student photographs.
Another goal for the club is to give back to the community. One of the possible projects the club is interested in is taking professional portraits for patrons of the Warming House. There’s also the hope that the project could even persuade journalism students into writing interviews of each individual as well.
Walker thinks that doing this will show the humanity in individuals and help them understand other people and the stories behind them.
“When you really listen to a person and hear about their past, you realize that you have a real person in front of you, not just an object,” said Walker.
Overall, Walker and Welling want the students in this club to strengthen and serve the community.
“We want to stick tightly to the strongest values of this Franciscan university,” said Walker. “So it’s only natural for us to be doing work that works with the poor amongst us. The people who are uncelebrated and unnoticed.”
Welling also hopes that students will feel satisfied with their camera skills after grasping its basics.
“Photography is more than just point and shoot,” said Welling. “It’s a rewarding feeling once you learn all the nooks and crannies of photography which I hope we can all share.”
The club’s next meeting will be held Thursday Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. in De La Roche 20.