Over spring break, five members of the UMaine photography club spent three days visiting New York City. The students stayed in Spanish Harlem and took photos at iconic spots such as the Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Jesse MacDonald, president of the UMaine Photography club, explained that they choose New York for its unique atmosphere. “It was gonna be a nice change of pace, from Maine…we can’t photograph a big city skyline in Maine,” MacDonald said.
For Alison Berube, New York offered an opportunity to broaden her horizons. “For me, it wasn’t just photography…I’ve been in Maine most of my life. Having the experience of the city of New York was really interesting, and gave perspective on things I’ve never even realized before.”
The trip provided the five students with the opportunity to focus on photography with a group of like-minded peers while still enjoying their vacation. “It’s cool to be out there with other people with cameras because if you go out there and bring you camera with all your friends who aren’t into photography…everyone else is gonna be trying to get you to rush, but we could really take our time and set up the shots, compare, work at our own pace,” MacDonald said.
On their last day at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the photography club met Louis Mendes, a famous photographer who wanders the streets of New York photographing people and gives most of those photos away to the subjects. “It was really cool, he’s been doing it for 40-50 years now and he was super down to earth, he was really interested in why we were there,” MacDonald said.
The photography club is a great way for photographers to gain experience shooting at different events. “The clubs got a little more exposure this year, so we’ve actually had a decent amount of people come to us and ask if we’d be willing to spare a photographer for an event or club photo,” MacDonald said.
This year the club has sent photographers to work with the American Marketing Association, the figure skating club, the Best Buddies prom and the dance marathon this weekend. They have also photographed club hockey meetings. “We’ve had a lot more people come to us before going out to hire a professional which has been great for them and awesome for us, giving our photographers a chance to do some events,” Macdonald said.
The UMaine Photography Club will have one more meeting this semester, at which elections for a full executive board which will allow them to apply for federal funding from student government. Next semester the club will only be meeting once a month and will focus more on weekend outings.