Cal Poly Pomona’s Poly Lens is a forum for photographers on campus to express themselves freely behind the camera lens.
Whether one considers oneself to be intermediate or new to the art, Poly Lens aims to bring people together minus the competition that can be found within the field.
Vice President Polo Delos Santos said that outside of CPP, it can be hard to find a community in photography, which is why one of the central goals for the club’s members is to gain exposure and make connections.
In an environment where people with a similar passion are able to build their craft and gain inspiration, anyone is welcome to join.
The opportunity for members to gain both event and portrait experience is a challenging setting that allows photographers to enhance their skills in a variety of settings.
“Anyone can be a member, no camera is necessary, even a phone is more than enough,” Delos Santos said. “The only thing is the will to be creative and meet new people.”
Poly Lens creates an open setting that exposes its members to the different challenges and opportunities they will face in the real world.
“Photography is one of those things that can’t be taught in a classroom, it has to be taught outside and it’s truly through word of mouth,” President Shivam Doshi said.
Collaborations with other clubs on campus have been huge to the growth of the club and have given members the opportunity to expand their professional careers.
Working closely with groups such as the Fashion Society, photographers are able to gain insight into a growing niche within the field, that is model photography.
Doshi said a lot of photographers are nervous when they first get to an event, but are often inspired by the content they are able to capture.
“You have to be able to trust your own skill to be able to do it,” Doshi said.
These collaborations have also allowed Poly Lens to connect and charge for events that allow them to invest in the club and its members.
The club charges $15 to set up an initial appointment and it is $5 per hour during the session, with an average session lasting around two hours depending on the event.
Being so competitively priced, Doshi says collaborators are often shocked once they see the professionalism captured by their premium photographers.
The money earned through these events allows the club to take trips to remote locations to capture different scenic opportunities.
For instance, the club’s most recent trip to Death Valley allowed members to get away from the air and light pollution, to capture the stars and lights that can’t be taken in the city.
Trips like these allow members to capture their own moments and find their creative styles.
Doshi said his goal for the upcoming semester is to focus on members through workshops and events that allow photographers to learn from one another and ask questions.
Anybody who finds interest should not hesitate to attend meetings or events, because there are many options to capture the perfect moment.
Even if you do not have a professional camera, “Sometimes our phones are our best tools, they are turning into amazing cameras,” Doshi said.
To learn more about upcoming events, you can follow @polylens on Instagram. The club meets every Thursday at U-hour in Building 9, room 423.
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