(Image created by Graphic Design Manager Anamika Menon)
Volunteer Writer: Connor Sullivan
Inspiration came to Brendan Flaherty while tabling for The Torch at last month’s Corsair Fair. He noticed that many students were interested in the Torch’s opportunities to work as a photographer. He wondered, “Why isn’t there a club for it?”
After this experience, Flaherty began creating the photography club at UMass Dartmouth.
“I’m creating something completely new, like from the ground up,” he explained.
Flaherty’s primary concern was reaching the 10-member requirement for a club to be recognized by SAIL.
“The hardest part is letting people know,” said Flaherty, as he feared the two main forms of advertising for clubs, putting up flyers and creating social media posts, wouldn’t lead to many new members.
However, Flaherty’s position as treasurer and business manager for The Torch gave him a unique opportunity to advertise the club. It allowed him to reserve a room to hold three meetings “as a sort of test run” before being recognized.
“The only reason I’m actually having the meetings right now is because it’s underneath the title of The Torch,” he said.
The first of these meetings drew in five students. Many of them were surprised to learn that the club didn’t already exist.
“I thought there was a club. There’s no club?” asked Ricky, a data science major interested in nature photography, during the first meeting.
“There is no photography club,” said Flaherty.
“Who takes the pictures at the events?” asked Ricky.
“The school hires private photographers, and for The Torch, they have their own photographers,” said Flaherty. Ricky responded with an extended “Oh.”
The other meetings were similarly successful in spreading awareness of the club and bringing in many students from many class years and majors who were all eager to share their passion for the craft.
“It’s hard just to run into people and know they’re into the same things as you…it’s a nice thing to be around people who are similarly interested,” said Zach Desrosiers, a junior year communications major who’s interested in becoming a professional wedding photographer.
These meetings also established the club’s weekly challenges, where members share photos with specific creative constraints. For example, in the second meeting, the challenge was to take a photo in the dark or which featured heavy shadows. Flaherty then compiled the submissions into a slideshow that showcased a wide range of subjects and techniques, from photos of the neon-lit streets of Boston to profiles in darkened rooms to one that was taken with a decades-old Polaroid camera.
“It was really nice to see some people’s great work and how there’s so much variety,” said Cody Clark, sophomore year accountant major, adding, “I wanted to be able to have a place like this where you could talk to people about cameras and pictures.”
At the conclusion of the third meeting, Flaherty informed the members present that it was “goodbye for now.” There will be no more meetings until next semester, when the club will be officially recognized.
The only requirements the club is missing for official recognition are a treasurer, an advisor, and a finalized constitution. However, Flaherty is confident these will be met soon and encourages members to keep in touch through the club’s Discord channel.
“We’ll see each other again,” Flaherty said to the students at the final meeting, “I promise.”
To get involved with the Photo Club, join their Discord server!
For any questions regarding Photo Club, please contact the club president, Brendan Flaherty, at email@example.com.
*Edit made on 11/30/23 Photo Club has been approved by the SGA and will begin meeting once students return for the Spring 2024 semester.