Justin Buchanan has always had a lot of different interests. From science to photography, he describes himself as someone with very “eclectic tastes.”
Buchanan, a junior at UNK majoring in biology and secondary education with a chemistry minor from St. Paul, decided to expand his love for photography by forming one of UNK’s newest organizations, the Photography Club.
Buchanan was inspired by his dad, a high school science teacher and computer technician, whose hobby is photography. “My dad did photography when he was in college. I grew up taking pictures with him and watched him take pictures. It’s a relaxing and fun thing to do,” he said.
When Buchanan studied abroad at the Roosevelt Academy in the Netherlands in the spring of 2010, his membership in their photography club motivated him to start his own club at UNK.
“We had a photo exhibition where we got together and looked at each other’s photos. We also went out and took photos on our own,” Buchanan said, “I thought it was a good idea to get people together and just have fun with photography. I decided to start one here when I got back.”
With only a handful of photography classes offered at UNK, Buchanan decided a photography club would be a great addition to the campus.
“I wanted a way for people to explore photography more since there aren’t many photography classes offered here.”
UNK’s Photography Club is in its first semester as an officially run club. Buchanan spread word about the club through the Honors Program bulletin and by word of mouth. But when 16 students showed up for their first meeting, Buchanan was pleasantly surprised. “I wasn’t expecting so many people to come to the first meeting. It was a good surprise but not something I was quite ready for.”
The club has held several meetings to pick officers, T-shirt designs, projects and ideas to gain more members.
The club’s big project for this semester will be a photography contest open to all students on March 12. “It should be a fun time. We are going to have judges from the area critique the work.
It is open to pretty much anyone but the photo has to be bigger than an 8x10. That should be a really good event,” Buchanan said.
Buchanan also wants to expand member’s skill by bringing in area experts to give lessons about photography.
Although the Photography Club is still getting its feet on ground, Buchanan has high aspirations for the group. “I hope to get the club big enough where other organizations on campus contact us to take pictures of their events. There isn’t really a photography contest in Mid-Nebraska anymore. There used to be one in Grand Island, but it stopped several years ago. If we could start up a contest here, that would be really great. We would also like to work with the Kearney Hub in order to get some of our work into the paper.”
The photography club holds meetings on the first and third Tuesdays of every month in the Sandhills Room of the Nebraskan Student Union. Officers, in addition to Buchanan, include: Jennifer Frisch of Lindsay, vice president; Lacie Wiese of Doniphan, secretary; and Corinne O’Dea of McCook, treasurer. Contact Buchanan or any of the other officers for more information.