Not Your Grandma's Camera Club - A New Group For Female Identifying Photographers

Here at Lomography we love supporting and highlighting the smaller communities that connect within our larger analogue community. Recently we had a chance to sit down and talk to Chandler Flanagan, the founder an creator of Not Your Grandma's Camera Club in San Diego, California. The goal of the newly founded club is to create a safe space for female identifying photographers to be involved in photo walks, art nights, collaborative shows, and all the other awesome things that come with being a part of the photography world.

Not only has Chandler filled us in on her vision for the club, but she also curated and shared some photos with us by some of the lovely female photographers within the San Diego area.

Photos by Chandler Flanagan

Hello Chandler, welcome to Lomography Magazine! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?

Hello! Thanks for having me, it’s an honor! I am a queer, female photographer from California. I just recently moved to San Diego County with my wife, and my adorable wiener dog (Gretchen Wieners). Photography has been in my life for about 12 years now. I mostly shoot instant film, 35 mm film and 120 film but on occasion will shoot digital as well. Within the past couple of years I have been consumed with alternative processes such as Cyanotypes, and Polaroid lifts.

Can you tell us the concept of Not Your Grandma’s Camera Club ?

Not Your Grandma’s Camera Club is going to be everything photography, but specifically for female identifying photographers. The purpose of the club is to create a safe space for women to take photos, make art, and find community.

Photos by Cham Simpson

What inspired you to start a project centered around the community of female identifying photographers in San Diego?

In all honesty, the inspiration for this club came from a feeling of disappointment. I am 30 years old and I have been to many photography meet-ups, clubs, events, etc. Some of my experiences have been fantastic, while others have been less fulfilling. Most meetups/clubs are male-dominated with few females attending. I couldn’t understand why women were not showing up to these events until I had a few experiences under my belt: long story, short, women (including me) just don’t always feel safe in this community, and they don’t feel heard or respected either. Women make up a huge majority of this art form, yet they are underrepresented and overlooked in every way. We don’t just want our own space in this community, we need it, desperately. No more, “Female led events”; it’s time for us to be the event. We need to break the chain, and if starting this club even remotely points us in the right direction it will all be worth it.

Photos by Deanna N.

Have you come across any bumps in the road while developing the idea?

I can’t say starting this club came as an easy decision to me because I have been thinking about this idea for a while. If anything, the one thing that has been holding me
back is self-doubt and good old imposter syndrome. I am a photographer, an introvert, and a wife. How am I supposed to lead a pack of creative women? Am I really the one who is going to try push the photography community into a better place? However, the idea kept coming to the back of my mind. Once I decided to make the page and got things rolling, everything felt right, especially with all the support that has been flowing in. I am not 100 percent sure what I am doing but I will figure it out one step at a time.

Photos by Jessica Harmon

Do you have any upcoming events that you can tell us about?

The first event is not set in stone, but I do know it will be in June 2023. I will be sharing details within the next month. I don’t want this club to be just like all the others, e.g. meet at a brewery and do a photowalk. I want to do workshops and explore photography and art museums as a group and even find a way to showcase female photographers. The support so far has been wild and I have a lot of fun and unique ideas ready to go, it’s just a matter of planning them all out. Stay tuned on the Instagram for all events! You won’t want to miss them!

Does your own personal photography compliment the idea of the camera club? How so?

I think I am at a point in my portfolio where I have let go of all rules and boundaries. I am making art for myself, and really creating. Somehow, I have given up on being
worried about what other people think of my work, which has really freed me creatively. I want the club to reflect that ideal, in that it be a safe space for others to feel like they can try any creative endeavor and the community will have their back with no judgement. Art is all about taking risks, right?

Photos by Emily Bell

Where do you hope to see the group in the future?

Many people have been reaching out to me from all over the globe. I think it would be incredible if the club could be expanded out of California. Maybe other women will want
to start their own branch of the club. It’s obvious the need is there. We will just have to see how it all plays out.

Anything else you'd like to share?

I provided the lovely @gforceillustrations with the club name and a crazy idea about a rebellious grandmother. With these two pieces of information he was able to create a logo that was beyond my wildest dreams. I couldn’t end this interview without thanking him for his help.

Also, this club would be nothing without the community of female identifying photographers. Please check out the women featured in this article and give them love and support— Calleigh Backrak, Cham Simpson, Deanna N., Emily Bell, and Jessica Harmon!

If you're interested in keeping up with Not Your Grandma's Camera Club and Chandler's journey, make sure to follow both accounts on Instagram! For future events you can also check out our events page.

written by eloffreno on 2023-04-19 #culture #news #people #club #community #photowalk #exhibitions

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