Baylor Photography Club joins campus as officially chartered

Zach Jones founded the Baylor Photography club out of the inactive Baylor Photography Society. Photo courtesy of LTVN.

By Tyler Bui | Staff Writer

The Baylor Photography Club is a new club on campus where students can explore their passion for photography in a collaborative space with other photographers.

Las Vegas senior Zach Jones, president of the Baylor Photography Club, decided to start the club because he thought that there were not enough creative outlets on campus for students. He reached out for help to Rockwall senior Ali Barnett, the vice president of the club, along with four other officers: Samantha Raleigh, Blake Becker and Roman Hernandez. “We realized that there weren’t really any art clubs on campus—we wanted to open up a fun environment to let non-majors and art majors alike experience the world that we fell in love with,” Barnett said.

After looking into the process of chartering a club on campus, Jones found an inactive club formerly called the Baylor Photography Society. He took over the charter and has been working to get the club more well-known on campus and to gain more members.

“We’re just planning on getting it started right now—then after that we are planning on doing a bunch of events to just go out, have fun, shoot around and maybe go grab coffee afterward,” Jones said. “We just want to build a creative community, build people up and make some new friends.”

The club plans on bringing members to different venues such as Cameron Park and downtown Waco to shoot together and share their work during club meetings. Anyone is open to join the club, and there are no dues or requirements besides bringing yourself and a camera.

“Throughout the semester, we just want to go on exciting shoots and exhibit work that we’ve shot over the semester,” Barnett said. “We’re looking to rent out one of the spaces at Cultivate 7Twelve and possibly have a gallery night for everyone.”

Jennings Sheffield, associate professor of art and photography at Baylor, is the faculty advisor for the club. She said she is excited to be able to share her passion for photography with Baylor students.

“My hope for the club is just to share the enthusiasm and love of photography with all people,” Sheffield said. “We’ve opened [the club] to anyone who wants to join. We have 40 confirmed members—40 confirmed members to me just means 40 people out there to enjoy taking pictures with and sharing a love of photography together.”

In addition to shooting together, Sheffield said she is especially excited for the opportunities that will allow students to learn from other peers and professionals.

“What I find really exciting is that we’re going to bring in some international and national peers and colleagues to do artist talks via Skype to the students, hold critiques where students can bring in their images and have their peers look at their work, and just have conversations,” Sheffield said.

Barnett shared the club’s mission statement, which states the goal of creating an environment for students, regardless of their major, to explore photography.

“Our club’s mission statement is to give everyone a chance to experience the world of photography, whether it be actually taking photos, the history or the process behind dark room-type stuff,” Barnett said. “It’s to make an inclusive environment for everyone of all majors and all levels of experience; we want a place for everyone to come and share ideas and experience that together.”

Jones hopes that the club will serve as an outlet for students to not only express their creativity, but to also have a safe space where they can relax and forget about the stresses of being a college student.

“We want to cultivate a creative community at Baylor— I feel like there’s not enough of that here,” Jones said. “I just really want it to be a good place where people can come and be creative, regardless of your major. I really think it’s an interesting thing to see how all these people from different aspects [of campus] can come together and what they bring to the table.”