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Frome Wessex Photographic (FWP) celebrate its 40th anniversary

Frome Wessex Photographic (FWP), a collective of photo enthusiasts local to this small Somerset market town, is set to celebrate its 40th anniversary during the forthcoming 2024/2025 season.


FWP was formed in 1984 as the local ‘Club Canon Group’ at the invitation of Canon UK, which encouraged keen photographers to band together throughout the country.


Whilst Canon support ceased three years later, the existing members decided to continue by forming their own club. As Frome already had another photography club they named it Frome Wessex Camera Club (FWCC) so as to differentiate it from the existing Frome Selwood PS.


For the next decade or so the membership remained modest at some 10 members. Around this time, at the advent of digital photography, FWCC joined the Western Counties Photographic Federation and this, combined with the early interest in digital (which saw a select few FWCC members teaching others the art of using Photoshop), resulted in the club expanding quickly.


This took us from the cramped conditions of the local pub to larger, dedicated premises, which we still use today. The current FWP membership stands at over 60 photographers.


Beyond our regular Friday evening meetings, which range from guest speakers and competitions to technical workshops, critique evenings and more, some of the members have taken the initiative of running specialist groups catering for those interested in specific areas of photography (street, historical, ICM, etc), some of which involve organised outings. Additionally, we have in recent years run annual exhibitions showcasing members’ work through local venues.


FWP also operates a twice-yearly photographic fair that has been running since 1998 and continues to prove hugely popular with traders and photography enthusiasts from both the area and much further afield.


In 2012, the club decided to join the BPE circuit and hold an annual Salon open to entries from all UK photographers.


After getting through the Covid pandemic by switching to Zoom meetings and adapting the season’s programme to the circumstances we all found ourselves facing, the club emerged in 2021 an evolved entity and, in addition to looking to broaden its demographic, changed its name to Frome Wessex Photographic to better reflect its activities and membership.


The following year, FWP was proud to be a sponsor of the inaugural Photo|Frome festival – founded by four FWP members – and continued that support in 2023, contributing to the festival’s fast-growing success. 


Frome Wessex Photographic is honoured to be a member of the WCPF, which is affiliated to the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain.

Frome Wessex Photographic

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