Behind the camera with Great Notley Photography Club

What started out from a camera Christmas gift in 2007, has bloomed into a thriving and welcoming group of local talented photographers: the Great Notley Photography Club.


Husband and wife duo, Trudie and Paul, started Great Notley Photography Club in 2008 after Paul gifted a digital camera to Trudie and both were searching for a good old fashioned camera club to get the ball rolling and learn some useful and helpful tips and tricks; but nothing really appealed.

“Why don’t we start a new club?” Paul suggested, after all there must be others in the parish interested in digital photography.

After placing a small article in the parish magazine inviting residents to an open meeting in the local pub, around a dozen people attended. At a second meeting, held in May 2008, basic rules were created and agreed. A chairman and a small committee were formed, with Trudie part of that committee and The Great Notley Photography Club was born.

Fifteen years on and GNPC is a successful, resourceful, and respected photographic club, and Trudie is now a confident and competent photographer with a keen artistic eye with much improved editing skills – all thanks to the club – and remains GNPC member number 1.

We caught up with Jill, the current Membership and Publicity Officer, who joined the club back in 2010, to find out more about the inner workings of the club and some advice for budding photographers.

“The Club welcomes people of all ages and standards and all we ask is that you are keen to learn, share and develop your skills in photography,” explained Jill.

“We pride ourselves on the variety of our program which consists of workshops, competitions, external speakers, nights and days out and proactive learning sessions.

“Whatever genre you enjoy whether it’s portraits, landscapes, macro, street or creative photography you will be welcome at our Club.

“Our approach has always been to encourage members to get out and use their cameras from the simple mobile phone to the most complex DSLR. As they say, the best camera is the one that you have with you, best to get the shot than no shot at all.”

What does the local area of Great Notley, and Braintree, provide for any photographers out there and make it a great place to capture?

“Great Notley, Braintree and the surrounding areas have a wide variety of interesting locations to photograph – including historic buildings and lots of local wildlife. As some examples, there’s Great Notley Country Park, Marks Hall Estate, the historic and picturesque villages of Finchingfield, Coggeshall and Braintree itself has interesting buildings such as The Braintree Museum, Bocking Windmill, the attractive Braintree and Bocking Public Gardens and the Blackwater Nature Reserve.

“One of our members is always out and about capturing local wildlife such as owls and badgers and he will be giving a talk in September on “wildlife on our doorstep”. This follows his talk last year on ‘barn owls and badgers’.

“We meet every other Thursday at The Church Hall in Great Notley, Braintree, CM77 7GN. Please check our website for details as not all meetings are at the Hall (we may be out and about with our cameras).”

For more information please visit the Great Notley Photography Club website, email [email protected] or you can also find them on Facebook: @greatnotleypc.

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