Friday, February 20, 2009

Six Clicks for a Camera Club in Focus!

Written by Noel Amata for Manila Bulettin's Picture Perfect published last Feb. 17, 2009

Winning the "Camera Club of the Year" Award is an accomplishment. Winning it twice in a row is incredible. Winning it thrice is already a record. And winning it for six consecutive years is a very rare occurrence that only Framed Shots Camera Club had achieved so far.

During the Photographer's Night of the Photoworld – Asia 2009 held last January 30, 2009 at the Asian Institute of Management, Framed Shots Camera Club was awarded the "Camera Club of the Year" for 2008. It was the 6th time the club had won such award. It was a double celebration for the club, for Chito Cleofas also won the"Photographer of the Year" Award for the second time. Aside from Chito Cleofas, there were two other members of the club who made it to the top ten. Edwin Loyola was awarded 4th place, while Carlo Zamora got 10th place.

The club has started dominating the Photo Cup of the Philippine Photographer's Foundation (FPPF) in 2003 or after nine (9) years of its existence, when it won its first "Camera Club of the Year Award". It was also Irma Santos, the Club President during that year, who won the "Photographer of the Year Award". It was duplicated the following year for the club again won both the "Camera Club of the Year Award" and the "Photographer of the Year Award". It was the famous and multi-awarded Edwin Loyola, who garnered such award. It was again repeated in 2005, this time it was the turn of the highly acclaimed Chito Cleofas to be awarded the top photographer trophy. It was a dominating year for the club, for five (5) of the top ten photographers came from Framed Shots Camera Club.

The fourth "Camera Club of the Year Award" was again won by the club the following year. Although the "Photographer of the Year Award" did not came from its ranks, it was still a double celebration for the club, because Carlo Zamora, a new member, got the "Rookie of the Year Award".

In 2007, the club has established another record for winning the "Camera Club of the Year Award" for five (5) consecutive years. This time the club missed the "Photographer of the Year Award" for Chito Cleofas has settled for 2nd place.

The Photo Cup is a year-long photo competition being conducted by the Philippine Photographers Foundation (FPPF) among its affiliated club members. There is a theme assigned every month and every camera club has to submit a maximum of twenty (20) entries. Top ten entries are selected as winners. The top ten winners earned corresponding points for both the photographer and the camera club. At the end of the year, the Photographer and the Camera Club that accumulated the highest number of points are awarded as "Photographer of the Year" and "Camera Club of the Year", respectively. Trophies are also given to photographers and camera club who made it to the top ten. The "Rookie of the Year" Award is also given to the new photographer who accumulated the highest number of points.

Brief History:

The club was established in October 16, 1994 by the first batch of graduates of Basic Photography Workshop conducted by the Federation of Philippine Photographer's Foundation (FPPF) held in Fort Santiago. Since it was founded in Fort Santiago, the club coined its name from the initials F.S. to become Framed Shots Camera Club.

Like any other camera club, it had experienced birth pains, a lot of ups and downs, trials and even in some point, it's near extinction. It started with forty-six (46) members, until its numbers dwindled with only twelve regular members constantly attending the meeting. Due to the dedication and perseverance of its members, the club has outlived those challenges. It was also through the guidance of the Chito Cleofas and Noel Amata, the two (2) remaining founders of the club that contributed to hurdle those challenges.

Staying Power:

Being in existence for fourteen (14) years is already a remarkable feat. Winning the "Camera Club of the Year" for six consecutive years and other awards makes it more remarkable and different. The club has tremendously grown as a group for the last fourteen years. From an obscure camera club struggling for recognition, today, Framed Shots Camera Club is now one of the most popular camera club affiliated with FPPF. Individually, the members have shown remarkable growth with the club. Most of them joined the club with photography only as a hobby. But now, photography for them is another source of income, another career. Some even choose photography as their profession. A lot of Framed Shots members have also earned recognition individually as a photographer. They won photo competitions both local and international. Two members of the club (Arnie Aranjuez and Edwin Loyola) have even traveled abroad for winning a photo contest. There are members of the club who have already carved their names in photography for winning a lot of photo contest. Edwin Loyola and Chito Cleofas are the names to reckon with when we talked about photo competitions.

Right now, the club is composed of fifty (50) plus members who are composed of doctors, teachers, lawyer, bankers, businessmen, architect, interior designer, corporate executives, graphic artists, musician, IT professionals, priest, and etc. Although, they came from different age bracket, gender, sexual preferences, social classes, professional background, they are brought together and binded by one thing – their love for photography.

What is the secret of Framed Shots Camera Club for achieving all these things? …for it's staying power? Why do a lot of photographers want to join the club?

Actually, the club has no secret whatsoever. Maybe it's just because of the following: sharing and support; having fun; and the camaraderie.

In Framed Shots Camera Club it is a common attitude to share one's skills, knowledge and wisdom in photography. It has full of talented members who willingly share their talents, skills and experiences to new members who joined the club to learn and grow as a photographer. They also give support, motivation and inspiration to new members to excel and achieve their highest potential in photography. Sharing is not limited only to intangible things like skills and talents, but also to some extent one's equipment, like camera, lens, flash, etc. It is in giving that we share, it is in sharing that we learn, and it is in learning that we achieved a lot of things.

The club has plenty of activities every year. The monthly meetings wherein the members compete with each other for the monthly photo contest; gatherings, out-of-town activities; and travel to honed their talents and skills in photography. But whatever they do, they always do it with fun. It is much easier to learn if one is having fun.

Some said that it is easy to locate Framed Shots Camera Club in a certain photo event or gathering. If you happen to see one member, you have already located the whole club. It is for the simple reason that FS members always go in group like a school of fish. It is a manifestation of how intense the relationships and bonding of the members of the club are - the camaraderie and friendship developed by photography and the club activities.

Aside from photography, some members join the club to have an avenue to express themselves as a person. There are those who join to be themselves to show their true colors without fear or worrying they will be judged or disrespected. For them Framed Shots Camera Club is not just a camera club…… it is also their home… their Family!

The awarding ceremony during Photoworld - Asia Photographer's Night with FPPF Chairwoman Eduviges Huang, Speaker Hanson Fong, FPPF Board Member Dr. Amado Castro and Photoworld-Asia 2009 Chairwoman Rina Falcis

Photographer of the Year Awardees Edwin Loyola, Chito Cleofas and Caloy Zamora

Framed Shots Camera Club 2009

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