Plano Photography Club

photos by PPC members Earl Snoga, Nancy Mack, John Lehman, Don Champlin, Julie Minges
photos by PPC members Earl Snoga, Nancy Mack, John Lehman, Don Champlin, Julie Minges

Last year, the Plano Photography Club (PPC) celebrated 35 years. This club welcomes photographers across the metroplex of all experience levels, ages and interests. Members include portrait and wildlife photographers, photojournalists, plenty of beginners and everyone in between.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the typical way of life, the club met on the third Thursday of every month at West Plano Presbyterian Church. Meetings consist of an outside speaker – sometimes locally known, sometimes nationally known – as well as informal educational training. During the meetings, members also review the results of monthly contests.

photo by PPC President Alan Daniel
photo by PPC President Alan Daniel

PPC has regular outings which may include photographing the skyline at Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge or a weekend trip to the country. A spring trip to the Texas Hill Country was unfortunately canceled.

Meetings for PPC look a little different now, but members are just as involved as they’ve always been.

“I was lucky enough to be the first president to take over during a pandemic,” PPC’s President Alan Daniel said with a laugh. “But I told some of the members, ‘This is a lot like photography. Sometimes the subject doesn’t always cooperate, but you have to take a different perspective or angle to get the shot. We just have to take a different angle now.’”

photo by PPC member David Sweeney
photo by PPC member David Swinney

The club’s contests were always run online so that didn’t change. The members who enjoy educating each other in photography-related topics are still doing so via Zoom. Members constantly update the website with resources of photography activities to do during self-isolation, podcasts to hear and books to read. Every week members are given a topic to use as inspiration to create a photo. 

“We usually have an awards presentation and banquet in May. We had it via Zoom this year. We had 54 people present on that meeting,” Alan said.

Though we all long for the day when gatherings go back “to normal,” the ability to continue cultivating commonality is a source of joy during this time. We’ve all experienced this in one way or another during quarantine, but clubs like PPC show how helpful supporting each other can be getting through a difficult time – even if it is via a virtual community.

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