On the 2nd November 1938, a group of some 50 camera enthusiasts met at the Ellerslie Hotel in Douglas with the purpose of forming a photographic club. Out of this meeting was born the “Isle of Man Photographic Society”.
The first President, a position which he held for 12 years, was the Reverend E H Stenning. He was later to become Canon and then Archdeacon Stenning and in 1959 he was appointed Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen.
Another Founder Member was Mrs Hilda Newby who was a professional photographer with a studio in Prospect Hill, Douglas. She served her apprenticeship with Langfier, the famous Court Photographer. Hilda and her husband, Robert, spent 44 years until 1969, photographing local people, visitors and the famous such as Wee Georgie Wood, Florrie Forde, Binkie Stuart, Jon Pertwee and Joe Loss. The Newby’s also had a great love for exhibition work. One of their most famous studies was “The Laughing Flower Girl” which won 40 awards and was hung in exhibitions throughout the world, including the International Exhibition in New York. A granddaughter is a past member of the Society.
Less than a year after the formation of the Society, came the outbreak of the Second World War when several members left to join the Armed Services, although they retained honorary membership during their absence. However, in spite of wartime difficulties and lack of some photographic material, the Society continued to hold meetings to which they welcomed servicemen stationed in the Isle of Man. In 1945 it became affiliated to the Lancashire and Cheshire Photographic Union.
The Society celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1988 with a dinner which was attended by its then Patron, His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor of the Isle of Man, Sir Lawrence New and Lady New. The Guest of Honour was The President of the Royal Photographic Society, Mr A H Downes, Hon.FRPS.
From its inception, the Society has always been interested in any new developments in the field of photography and the present is no exception. Whether your interest is in black and white photography, colour prints or digital photography there is something for you at the Isle of Man Photographic Society and you will be made very welcome.