The First Strong Island Photography Social

The First Strong Island Photography Social

Last night the first ever Strong Island Photography Social took place at The Merchant House on Highland Road. The event was an open invitation to everyone with a shared interest in photography, irrespective of ability, experience or equipment.

I anticipated that everyone who would be interested would probably be able to fit around the one table. If that was the case I might have even bought a round of drinks for everyone. I never thought that there would be anywhere near the level of interest that we had. At its peak there was I counted forty five people crammed into the pub’s basement. Had I bought a round for everyone that turned up then I think I’d have struggled to pay my mortgage this month!

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that a many of those who attended had actually turned up solo. That is quite brave considering that they were effectively coming to an event full of complete strangers. I like to think that anyone who was there would agree that everyone was made to feel immediately welcome.

As it was a photography event it seemed tenuously apt that I had a pint of Wylam Brewery‘s Last Shot At Heaven.

I loved being able to put faces to Instagram names. There were so many people there who I’ve been following for years but I would never be able to pick them out in an ID parade. There was also so many people I didn’t get to speak to, for that I apologise and hopefully I can change that next time.

The feedback from those who attended was really positive which was a huge relief. Anyone who has ever tried to organise an event will appreciate the pre event fear of it crashing and burning. We have no idea how these socials might evolve but we are really excited to see what the future holds. We are aiming to organise another in July, late September and another early December. Tom Langford and I had an idea that we could organise some sort of office Christmas party because poor freelancers miss out on that pleasure. Be sure to keep an eye out on Strong Island or sign up for our newsletter (found on the front page) for future announcements.

Thanks again to everyone who turned up and made it such a good night. And to those who have been in touch to apologise for not being able to attend, we hope to see you in July.

Strong Island Photography Social at the Merchant House. May 2018. Taken by Stuart Barker
Strong Island Photography Social at the Merchant House. May 2018. Taken by Stuart Barker
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