Raising the profile of amateur photographers in Medway.

A couple of years ago I started the Medway Towns group on Flickr. My intention was that the group become a vehicle to showcase the Medway Towns and a place where people taking pictures around the towns could share their work with a wider audience and link up with others with photographic and Medway connections.

Since that time the group has slowly evolved and at present there are 90 odd members and over 2500 pictures in the pool. One of the greatest things about the group is the encouragement members get from each other and the wider reach that Flickr has that has helped many including myself to improve their picture taking skills and photographic eye. Another great thing is the opportunity the find things out about the Towns via other peoples knowledge and vision and to see what we see in the Towns from different and sometimes quite unusual and unique perspectives. I guess as well the global reach of Flickr and in turn the group helps raise the profile of the Medway Towns. Indeed we have some members from as far away as New Zealand who have past connections with the towns and use it as a means to see what the place looks like now.

There are some lively open discussions between members. A few meet ups have taken place with the next one now being planned. The group is family friendly as are all the pictures that have been posted. At least a couple of members have gone on to exhibit their work in the Brook Theatre and in the New Arts Café off Chatham High Street. Anyone who has pictures that feature places or events around Medway or I suppose any other reasons to want to join is welcome to via Flickr. Anyone at all i.e. even people who have not joined Flickr is able to view the pictures.

To me this all seemed in keeping my local newspapers interest in the Medway community. With this in mind I contacted the newspaper to let them know about the group and ask if they would be interested in writing a feature.

Peter Cook of the The Medway Messenger called round to see me today. I told him a bit about the group, how it came to be and some of the things I think are good about it. He seemed pretty interested and I’m hopeful that we might see a story in the paper some time soon. If you’re local to Medway buy the paper and look out for the story about the group.

Before he left I turned the tables by asking if I could get his picture. He was not expecting this but kindly obliged.

Peter Cook