Photography Club seeks members


Last updated 7/12/2022 at Noon


The Sisters Photography Club, like so many other local groups, took a hit during COVID-19, dropping from about three dozen members to a hardcore 16. Meeting via Zoom for a year just wasn’t the same as being able to share their photos and ideas in person.

They have undertaken a rebuilding campaign, and anyone can join, no requirements.

“In fact, a person doesn’t even have to be a member to attend a meeting, or two, or three — or more. Anyone can come on in and look us over. Membership is required to participate, however. By that, I mean submission of photos in response to the monthly challenge,” explained club president Bill Birnbaum.

The club, which started back in the mid-1990s, meets once every month, usually the second Wednesday of the month from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Fireside Room at Sisters Community Church. Occasionally, a meeting may be moved up or back a week, as schedules dictate. The meeting in December is a holiday party at the home of one of the members, with a slideshow of the members’ favorite photos of the year. For August, the club will be meeting the first Wednesday, August 3.

At least twice a year, the club invites outside speakers to come and present on an area of their expertise. Around four years ago, former Sisters resident Jay Mather was the speaker. About 60 people attended to hear from the local Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist.

Each month, members are asked to submit photos to the club’s Smug Mug site based on a particular topic or theme. For their June meeting, they were encouraged to “Do Something Different.” Shoot new subjects, try different settings or focusing methods, use a different camera, or whatever might be different for them. After viewing and discussing the submitted photos, there is generally a presentation on a particular topic by a member, which may include outside sources like videos on YouTube.

Birnbaum has served as president for four years and has been a member for nine.

“I very much enjoy working with our board of directors. Our board is a team of committed, hard-working individuals who happen to have quite a bit of knowledge and skill in the area of photography,” Birnbaum answered, when asked what he enjoys most about being an active member.

The other board members include: Boyd Turner, vice president; Linda Ziegenhagen, secretary; Bruce Barnes, treasurer; Joan Wood, member-at-large; Kathy Turner, and Jim Greer.

Ziegenhagen has been a member since 2008 and thoroughly “enjoys the camaraderie of the friendly, easy-to-get-along-with members.”

She said, “It is fun to share information, ideas, and help with people who have the same interests. This is a cool group that is social yet very professional. We have all levels of ability. We are not competitive with one another and everyone is generous with their information, tips, and tricks.”

The different interests of the members provide a variety of subject areas and open up new vistas for members. Birnbaum’s photography back in the 1970s was all about landscapes as he climbed the peaks of the California Sierra Nevada range. In the late 1990s, he began his interest in street photography.

“My membership in the club has opened my eyes to other subjects. Jim shoots photos of birds. Boyd likes to shoot moving water. Joan shoots flowers, and Linda shoots old glass bottles which her husband collects. All of this I find fascinating… I guess what I’ve discovered through membership in the club is that photography is anything you want it to be,” concluded Birnbaum.

Membership dues are annually $25 for an individual, $35 for a family, and $15 for a student. For more information, contact Bill Birnbaum at 541-647-4711.


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