Vernon Photography Club members take a breather during a cycling outing around the Wood Lake portion of the Okanagan Rail Trail. (Gill Kopy - photo)

Vernon Photography Club clicking along through COVID

Zoom meetings feature critiques, guest speakers

Meeting in person has been virtually impossible but at least one Vernon social club has thrived through COVID-19.

The Vernon Photography Club has found a way to continue to meet while still working within the health guidelines; allowing club members to enjoy the full range of activities, and most of them without leaving home.

“The club has adapted to the limitations of COVID and has moved our meetings online using the Zoom software; the club is active and growing,” said club educational organizer David Guscott.

“Education and learning new photographic skills are a major component of the club. We have a reputation as a club with a strong emphasis on helping to raise the photographic skills of all its members and club members have a wide variety of experience levels from absolute beginners to advanced amateurs to professionals.”

The club has maintained all of its activities of education, outings, and image evaluation/suggestions throughout the COVID experience.

For the coming year, the club will continue to use the Zoom platform, however, they are changing the approach to the monthly education meetings this year.

“While we normally hear presentations mainly from Vernon area photographers, this year we will reach further away for some of our speakers,” said Guscott. “Taking full advantage of the Zoom platform allows the club to get many out of town and province speakers. Some are from other parts of BC and North America and there will even be an expert photographer/speaker who will join us from Europe.”

Outings have always been an important aspect of the club but with COVID they also provide a much-needed social interaction among members.

“Photographic outings have become a significant unifying element to the Vernon Photography Club since the appearance of the current pandemic,” said outings organizer Glennis O’Neill.

“Monthly outings are being planned for the 2020-2021 club year. While many locations are closed to us, we are finding others that will meet our needs and provide us with some fantastic shots. We want to continue encouraging the photographic growth of our members and to get people out and staying healthy. By doing this our club will remain strong.”

While respecting COVID-distancing guidelines, some of the outings that the club has gone on after the pandemic hit include a visit to Revelstoke to photograph the wildflowers and the many waterfalls in the area, an outing to the Aberdeen Columns above Lavington, a night outing to the Shuswap River to photograph the Milky Way, a bike ride/photo tour around Wood Lake, a trip to Salmon Arm bird sanctuary and wharf.

The Vernon Photography Club meets online twice a month. The second Thursday of each month is an image evaluation night where members send in images on set subjects as well as an open category. Experienced evaluators gently critique the members’ images by offering encouragement and when appropriate, suggestions on how the image might be made stronger. The Zoom platform is perfectly suited for this.

The fourth Thursday of each month is an education evening where experienced speakers are brought in to give a presentation on a particular topic or theme. There is normally at least one outing per month. The club also has an active and friendly members-only Facebook page for sharing images and general photo-related discussion.

“Being Zoom-focused this year also provides an opportunity for folks to join and participate from anywhere, and with all of the activities, said club president Garrett Brisdon. “The $45 annual membership fee provides a lot of value.

“We are a very friendly and sociable club and welcome anyone with an interest in photography or in learning photography, there is something for everyone, from beginners in photography to photographers with top quality technical and artistic accomplishment, including professionally published images and winning national photographic competitions.”

The club entry won the gold medal in the prestigious North Shore Photographic Challenge in 2018 and took second place in 2020. Many individual members have also done very well in competition.

To join, visit for more info or email Visit the club’s Facebook page, Vernon Photography Club.

READ MORE: Vernon Photography Club brings home gold

READ MORE: Okanagan camera club adapts to challenging times

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


This fantastic photo of the Milky Way was captured by a Vernon Photography Club member during a recent overnight outing along the Shuswap River. (David Guscott - photo)

Just Posted

Cops For Kids ride wraps in Okanagan

No pomp, no circumstance for end of milestone 20th anniversary fundraising bicycle trip

Another public meeting slated for Armstrong golf course plan

Proposed development for Royal York Golf Course drew more than 250 people over first three days

Vernon’s Tolko Industries backs Orange Shirt Day contest

Art contest is open to kids from kindergarten to Grade 12

Vernon Vipers announce exhibition schedule

Snakes to play 12 games prior to December against Salmon Arm, West Kelowna and Penticton

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1,300 for a one-bedroom and $1,780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Reward offered for return of Okanagan puppy

An 11-week-old boxer-mastiff cross pup was allegedly taken from its Kelowna Friday, Sept. 18

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Most Read