CCA Previews ’20: Photographic Society

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By Photographic Society ExCo’19

“Anyone can take pictures. What’s difficult is thinking about them, and trying to use them in some way so that some meaning can be constructed out of them. That’s really where the work of the artist begins.” 

— Lewis Baltz (visual artist)

 The Raffles Photographic Society (RPS) provides a community of like-minded and passionate individuals who share a love for photography, as well as avenues to hone your photography skills and pick up invaluable experience. Our sessions are run by professional instructors who guide and push us to develop our style and skill as photographers.

Training is held every Friday from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. Sessions typically alternate between external guided shoots—essentially field trips to take photos—and photo review sessions, where we critique and receive critique on our photos.

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A hands-on session where we learnt about camera obscura (also known as “pinhole image”) and then constructed our very own makeshift one in school! From inside the tent, one would be able to see a projection of the outside surroundings.

In addition to attending weekly sessions, every Raffles Photographer is required to fulfill a minimum of 40 hours of Event Coverage duty over the span of two years (any additional hours surpassing the minimum will be counted as VIA hours). Event Coverage involves shooting for various school events, including sports competitions (e.g. the National School Games), performances, and concerts, among many others. We also provide a photo booth and printing service! An archive of our work can be found on our Flickr.

The life of a Raffles Photographer demands commitment and responsibility. It does, however, come with its perks. More often than not, on-duty photographers are granted complimentary entry to payable events, exclusive access to restricted or backstage zones, and a free pass to the best viewing spots. 

Because we work so closely with various groups in the school to provide our photo-taking services, being in RPS also means lots of networking and collaborative opportunities. For one, we liaise with every other CCA to take the team photos that are put up around the school at Blocks J and K. This project, termed “Deck the Walls”, is a customary yearly affair that every batch of photographers will get to embark on. We also often work with Raffles Runway (to do studio shoots), Raffles Press, and Students’ Council. Come 2020, we are projecting a special collaboration with Writers’ Guild!

Our biggest highlights year after year, however, are our exhibitions. This is where members get to showcase their work to hundreds of viewers. Every RPS member gets three such opportunities—two in Year 5 and one in Year 6. Two exhibitions are held yearly, one at mid-year and the other at the end of the year. Year 5 members are given a small role in the mid-year exhibition, and subsequently take on the full spotlight at the end-of-year exhibition. A Year 6 member’s journey with RPS ultimately culminates in the mid-year exhibition, where they will showcase their best and final piece of work as a Raffles Photographer. The mid-year exhibition (our most notable event of the year) is truly a time for the Year 6s—and the skills they have honed over the past one and a half years—to shine. (Read about our mid-year exhibition 2019, Kalopsia, here.)

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Kalopsia 2019, held at the Visual Arts Centre @ Dhoby Ghaut Green.

If the above sounds enticing to you, then being a Raffles Photographer may just be the perfect fit for you. RPS warmly welcomes you to join us! Trials are casual and do not involve any tests. Simply bring along a portfolio of your best work, and let us get to know you better through a short interview.

We really look forward to seeing you, and your stories—because a picture truly speaks a thousand words, and sometimes even more.

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Raffles Photographic Society ‘20!
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