When word of a newly established photography club at Masonic Village at Sewickley came up, resident Josh Bayer knew he could not keep quiet. 

“The first meeting of the group was announced in March, one month after my move to Masonic Village in February. I showed up to the informative meeting, along with about a half dozen others, and during introductions, I didn’t have the sense to lie about what I had done for a living for so long,” Josh said.  

For 40 years of his professional career, Josh worked as a corporate videographer and photographer for MSA Safety, the largest manufacturer in the world devoted solely to making personal protective equipment. During his time, he was responsible for supervising both videography and photography personnel, as well as shooting his own photo and video content for the company. 

After hearing about his extensive experience, fellow members named Josh club leader by default.  

“Everybody looked at me at the first group meeting and said, ‘Based on experience, you are the group leader!’ and I thought to myself, ‘Don’t people have to leave rooms or not be present to get voted leader?” Josh said. 

At the club’s monthly meetings, Josh suggests a specific subject matter for members to photograph and further discuss at the following meeting. Willing participants spend the next month shooting and processing photos. When the next monthly meeting rolls around, club members can share their personal photography, which the group collectively discusses. Various topics covered have included element types, composition, photo quality, light exposure, focus and subject matter. 

“The goal behind the club is to improve our photography skills,” Josh said. 

Although the club is new and working on foundational basics, the current members have big plans for the future. They want to organize club trips (open to all Masonic Village at Sewickley residents) where they can get real life practice photographing different areas and subject matters. In addition, Josh plans to acquaint members with programs like Adobe Photoshop to introduce and strengthen photo editing skills among the group.  

Next year, the club hopes to be a part of the rotating display cases on campus at Masonic Village at Sewickley and create a small photography exhibit. The plan is to have a chosen theme that members can collectively photograph to create a cohesive display of photos for all residents to enjoy. 

As it develops and grows, the photography club hopes to attract new members to join in on the group’s journey. No matter their experience or expertise, Josh invites prospective photography club members to, “Practice and do not be afraid to try something out of the ordinary!” 

The club meets every last Tuesday of the month in the social room at Masonic Village at Sewickley. Anyone looking to learn more about photography and practice their camera skills is welcome to join the club. 

About the author: Camdyn Lehman is a public relations associate at Masonic Villages. She is majoring in business administration and minoring in marketing at Eastern University.