With Krakow Photomonth straddling this and next month, now is the perfect time to introduce the Krakow Photography Group. Created by David McGirr, the Krakow Post’s Managing Director and resident photographer, the Krakow Photography Group is a recently established forum for both expat and Polish photography enthusiasts to get together and share their ideas, experience and the occasional beer.
David explains what makes the group special:
I have many photographer friends in Krakow and, several years ago, started looking for an English language photography group, which I didn’t find. I did not pursue it at the time because I fully, and foolishly, expected to be fluent in Polish by the time I retired here in 2011.
I still have a long way to go to reach fluency, so when a few friends took the leap and upgraded from point-and-shoot compacts to DSLR cameras, they asked me if we could have a few photography sessions together to help them get the most from their new equipment.
I sat down to arrange a Facebook event for my friends and, partly out of curiosity and partly remembering my forlorn search for an English language photography group in Krakow, I opened the group to the public. The response was immediate and positive. It attracted dozens of new members in the first few hours and has grown to 215 members from more than 18 nations in just eight weeks.
Despite the large number of Polish photography groups already established, we have many Polish members, more than any other nationality, which is particularly pleasing.
I deliberately avoided calling it a ‘club.’ In my experience, ‘club’ suggests a hierarchy committees, constitutions, rules and competitiveness – all things that can be intimidating for a beginner. All I want is for people to get out with their cameras, enjoy their photography and enjoy photographing Krakow. We are privileged to live in one of the most photogenic and photo friendly cities in Europe.
We have had already held some events, workshops and photo walks, and plan to hold regular events and meetings over the coming months.
Taken during a Photogroup outing, by Wojtek Wilgierz
Taken during the group’s night photography outing (by David McGirr)
Taken during a street photography masterclass led by Gokhan Cukurova (by Gokhan Cukurova)
Street photography, by Mariela Muse
The Krakow photography group is open to anyone, whatever your nationality. Experience and equipment are not important. It doesn’t matter if you have a camera phone, a compact, or the latest DSLR with all the kit – the group is about friends sharing ideas and helping each other to get the most out of our hobby. In short, it’s about having fun and discovering how great photography can be when you move away from Full Auto mode – it’s about creativity, not kit.
We are also looking for a volunteer to help put together a simple website and to improve on my tongue-in-cheek Smok Wawelski Photographer logo.
The next Krakow Photography Group event is on May 18 – a photographic outing by bike to Tyniec Abbey.
Street photography, by David McGirr