Montclair State University’s Photography Club wrapped up the year with a celebration as they hosted their first gallery exhibit in Calcia Hall on Dec. 1.
Montclair State’s Photography Club was first approved in December 2020, but due to restrictions from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, they had to meet virtually for the spring 2021 semester. The fall 2021 semester was their first time gathering and creating work in person.
President of the photography club, senior molecular biology major Marissa Di Fulco, said the club’s purpose is to bring photography lovers together.
“Our club strives to bring together photographers or other people interested in photography to create work, share it, talk about it and make new friendships along the way,” Di Fulco said.
This first gallery is the K. Schnitzer Gallery, a gallery dedicated to showing work produced by Montclair State students throughout the semester.
Stephane Arango, a senior biology major and treasurer of the club, initially had no experience in photography. But, once she became part of the executive board, she learned plenty of high-quality and creative skills that helped her produce captivating photos.
One was based around the popular coffee shop, Starbucks.
“My picture illustrates three different Starbucks drinks with a solid green background that gives it a really good contrast,” Arango said. “I also used a filter that gives it a higher saturation which allows it to reflect more.”
Vincent Daniels, a junior justice studies major, first discovered Montclair State’s Photography Club on social media.
“I was looking for more outlets to join since I am a transfer, and when I saw the photography club, I was highly interested,” Daniels said. “I recently got into photography since my grandmother gave me a Nikon, and I just decided to go at it and capture different moments.”
Throughout the semester, Daniels created several pieces including a photograph with naturalistic elements.
“When capturing this [photo], it really gave me a sense of destressing because life is complicated, and that’s the name of the game every single day,” Daniels said. “But at times, life can be very simple as long as you persist and try to make it that way.”
Rachel Mondelus, a senior television and digital media major and theater minor, discovered the club through her photography class. Her professor encouraged her to look at other people’s work and take a gander at the exhibits throughout campus.
Although not fully a member, Mondelus does assist club members in developing their photos during her lab hours and believes this club offers many opportunities.
“It allows you full access [to photography],” Mondelus said. “You get to develop film, develop photos and there is a space and equipment to produce high-quality photos. It’s probably extremely helpful for the people that don’t have that at home.”
The club is open to everyone including non-majors and meetings take place every other Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Calcia Hall, room 131.
Carl Gunhouse, a Montclair State adjunct professor in photography, hopes the club will continue to grow.
“We hope that [our club] extends the community of photography at Montclair [State],” Gunhouse said.
To learn more about Montclair State’s Photography Club, you can visit their Instagram account @msu.photoclub.