Photography Interest Group Offers Artistic Outlet for Staff and Students

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2012 has been the year in which the Photography Interest Club (PIC) has permeated through all layers of UCSF. The club was started in 2009 by Melissa Shive, a medical student, and Joe Donovan, a graduate student, who were looking to provide an artistic outlet for creative people at UCSF. They established an annual students’ photo contest that opens for submissions in December and ends with the awards ceremony/reception at the Faculty Alumni house in February.

At the end of 2011, both Shive and Donovan were preparing to leave UCSF when I came across an article in Synapse, asking for submissions in its travel issue. The deadline was on the day I saw the newspaper, but since I had just been to China for the first time and had some good pictures and a story to share, I decided to submit them. Excitingly, both my story and one of my pictures were selected and published. A week later, Shive called me saying she had seen the picture and asked me if I was interested in being part of the Photography Interest Club (PIC). As a postdoc and not a student, I hadn’t heard of the club but was excited to be part of it. We had a nice conversation and I shared my ideas of things to do in the future with the club. A week later, Shive called me again and said that she and Donovan thought I would be a good new president for PIC. That’s how, without ever meeting Melissa in person, I became the president of the photography club.

With help from Jennifer Rosko and Maureen Conway at the Student Activities Center, we created a website and a Facebook page, and I started organizing seminars and inviting professional photographers to visit. We opened the club to all the UCSF community so that not only students but also postdocs, faculty, staff and friends could join. Soon after, Guillaume, Paul, Ana, Margarida and Lena joined to help me with all the events, then Nithi, Rung, Nabeetha and Shreyas came on board, as well as Marco Sanchez, who designed the PIC logo.

Now we organize seminars, photoshoots, workshops, photo walks, photo marathons and contests, as well as the annual student/postdoc photo exhibit. We even have a collaboration with Google+ to give PIC more visibility among professional photographers. We are open to new members who are willing to help organize photo events and become part of a fun and active group, whose goal is to bring photography to the entire UCSF community while learning and enjoying the art of capturing those special moments in life.