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Grand photos

 Photo Club of The Grand in Surprise, AZ


Through Their Lens

A Series of Interviews with Active Grand Photos Volunteers

Joan Cook

Joan volunteers as the 2023 SIG Event Creator and Zoom Meeting Tech.

When/how did your interest in Photography Begin? My Dad had a passion for photography, and he gave me a camera when I was young. I loved viewing Dad’s slides I wanted to take great pictures just like him!

How did you arrive at Grand? My husband, Rod, and I have lived all over the USA—CO, WA, MT, OR, NC, PA, NH, MA, TX, and lastly, AZ. How did we get to AZ? Rod and I had spent four winters in our RV in Mesa, AZ, and enjoyed the warmer temperatures. We visited all the adult communities around Phoenix, and we fell in love with Grand. My only regret is that we did not arrive sooner than 2017 to enjoy the many clubs and activities in Grand. I am active in photography, swimming, pickleball, and dancing club.

What do you enjoy about Grand Photo Club? I have always wanted to learn how to shoot pictures manually and after taking a Grand Photo Club class, I was hooked. I had never entered a photo contest before, but I was encouraged to enter. Over the course of 4 years as a member, I am happy and proud to say that I have won multiple ribbons and I feel grateful for the encouragement from photo club members. They never made me feel intimidated as I was learning. I ask many questions and feel excited about learning and practicing photography. It’s the helpfulness and kindness that was shown to me as I joined the club as a beginner photographer that I will always cherish.

How did you find yourself in a volunteer role? I met a lady at the Adobe swimming pool in 2019 from the Photo Club and I mentioned that I have a technical background working with CAD (Computer Aided Design) as an engineer. The next thing I knew, I became the “Zoom lady” during the pandemic online photo classes. That was great fun for me because, as the “Zoom Lady” I had the perks of attending all the classes. I am now the SIG Event Creator and Zoom Meeting Tech and I think all the SIG leaders are great at inspiring people with their photos!

What is it about photography that has maintained your interest? I’m inspired by the creativity of the photos I see in the club with different angles, camera settings, and light. I love using Photoshop and phone apps. I liked learning how to shoot a single item with blurred backgrounds for a WOW effect. My interest in photography continues to grow as I learn the tools that can be used for thinking outside the box and for creativity in my pictures.

What are your favorite things to photograph? Prior to landing in AZ, I used to create lots of slideshows with photos and videos set to music and I would like to do that again someday. I also love landscape photography.  Last October Rod and I went to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival and with 643 hot air balloons, it was magical.  This year we are looking forward to returning to the Balloon Festival in our newly renovated RV and taking many more photos.

Previous editions of Through Their Lens:

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