The world of photography looks very different than it did a few decades ago. It’s easier to capture visual moments with the camera lens on a phone, making photography more accessible and images a more significant cultural artifact in our lives. Last spring, a small group of passionate students formed a new club on campus, the Kenyon Photography Club (KPC). The community frequently convenes to tell stories through images, reflect on each other’s work and transform the art into something that is social and collaborative for participants.
KPC has recently hosted several interactive events on campus, ranging from “photo walks” on the Gap Trail to workshops taught by club members on the basics of photography. The educational components of these workshops have taught members about the elements of light composition or the way to use a DSLR camera. While the club can be an educational space, it is also an incredibly social one. “We’ve done a couple of fun bonding experiences like flipping through photography books and sharing our passions for photography,” Dasha Aminia ’25, KPC events coordinator, said.
In early Nov. 2022, the club hosted an event at a historic farmhouse that transformed an indoor space into an inversion of the outdoors. A camera obscura workshop, in collaboration with Visiting Assistant Professor of Studio Art Charlotte Woolf, taught participants how to use a pinhole camera in a pitch-black room to create the illusion of being inside of a camera. Participants used a camera to reflect an image of the outdoor environment on a wall inside the farmhouse: “We went to the Hall Farm and went to the attic and totally blacked out the room except for one little hole in the window, and then the outside projected onto the wall, which was really cool,” KPC Vice President Jake Corcoran ’23 said.
According to KPC Social Media Manager Rida Zaneb ’25, the club aims to encourage Kenyon students to pursue their interest in photography in a collaborative way. “The goal is to somehow make people think of photography as a hobby worth pursuing and something that they can dedicate their time to at Kenyon,” she said, “and as something that we can create opportunities for them to pursue in a more fun and social and collaborative way.”
If students are looking to explore the arts for the first time, Corcoran said that photography is a great place to start before branching out to other mediums. “Photography is a good entryway into other fine arts. It’s like an easier entry level thing to understand,” he said. Prospective club members do not need to have any prior photography experience in order to join. “Everyone can be a photographer through the lenses we carry,” Aminia said. In fact, club members don’t even need to bring their own equipment in order to participate.
Zaneb wants students to know that KPC is a safe place to learn about photography. “It’s Kenyon. There’s so much going on. But this is a really cool little thing that we started and it’s really new, and I think people should just give it a chance, come see what’s going on and maybe they’ll find something that they really like,” Zaneb said. “Photography is something that’s just so universal right now, because everybody has a camera. Everybody can do it.”
In their future meetings, KPC plans to host workshops, watch cinematic films and create a Valentine’s Day project for the upcoming holiday.
Students who are interested in sharing their photos with the Kenyon community are encouraged to submit their photos to be featured on KPC’s Instagram account, @kenyonphotographyclub.
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