A tan-colored horse is frozen, its hind hooves caught kicking up dust and dirt mid-gallop. With the horse’s powerful body captured in all its muscular glory, this is the kind of photo that stops you in your tracks.
Taken by member Jay Patel, it’s just one of many stunning photographs in the Louisiana Photographic Society’s field trip gallery. The club, first formed in 1996, provides an outlet for area photography lovers to advance and promote the medium and be surrounded by like-minded shutterbugs. It boasts about 180 to 200 members from Baton Rouge and nearby cities like Gonzales, Hammond, Ponchatoula and Lafayette.
The group meets monthly at the Main Library at Goodwood. Club members also take around 10 field trips per year, heading into the great outdoors—or indoors—for photo shoots. They have traveled to New Orleans, Avery Island and even the Smoky Mountains.
Seeing others’ exceptional photography can be intimidating for amateur and aspiring photographers, but club president Darrel LeBlanc wants everyone to know this club is wide open.
“We have people who bought a camera yesterday, and we have people who have been professional photographers for 25 to 30 years,” the 67-year-old says. “We have people who have point-and-shoot cameras, and we have people who have thousands of dollars worth of photography equipment. If you liken it to school, we have everything from kindergarten to master’s degree photography.”
Each meeting welcomes a new speaker, from professional photographers to bird watchers, who talk about their areas of expertise. At certain meetings photos are strewn around the room for constructive comments and critiques.
Active members can exhibit their work throughout the area. In April, members will show off their prints at the Louisiana State Archives Gallery. They also participate in friendly monthly and yearly photo competitions, voted on by the group.
“Memories don’t always last a lifetime, but photographs do,” LeBlanc says. “That’s very much paraphrasing another photographer’s comment, but I think it’s the key to bringing people together.”
There is no limit to the subject matter of member images, which range from nature to architecture to landscapes to portraits. But one thread connects them all: Louisiana.
HOW TO JOIN
Visit laphotosociety.com to find info on the group’s next meeting and print out an application for a $25 annual membership. Bring it to one of the monthly meetings, or mail it to the club.
Click here to head back to our club headquarters.
This article was originally published in the March 2018 issue of 225 Magazine.