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Wigan 10 Foto Club - the most successful photography club in the world

10:17 13 May 2013

Wigan Photo Club

Wigan Photo Club

Wigan Photo Club

Twenty five years ago six friends from Wigan left their photographic club and went it alone. Tired of the routine of visiting lecturers, internal competitions and seasonal weekly meetings, they set out to create a new kind of photographic club.

Wigan Photo ClubWigan Photo Club

A quarter of a century later they have become the world’s best, with more awards than most clubs have lens caps.

Among their recent haul of prizes were the GB Cup and – for an unprecedented second time – the amateur photographers’ top accolade, the International Federation of Photographic Art (FIAP) World Cup. That award was presented for the first time in 2006 when it went to the group from Wigan. The FIAP have also recognised them for their consistency. ‘We’re the only club to have won the award for being the most consistent in the world,’ said founder member David Butler. ‘It has only been presented three times, and we’ve won it each time.

Wigan Photo ClubWigan Photo Club

‘After winning the GB Cup and the World Cup, I’m not sure what’s next, unless there’s a universal competition we can go in for!’

David, a retired civil engineer from Orrell, added: ‘Six of us were members of a photographic club who felt we wanted more. We started entering pictures in international competitions and doing well so we decided to branch out. We formed Wigan 10 Foto Club in 1988 and we have probably been the most successful club ever, in photographic terms.

‘We’re not like most photographic clubs in that we don’t have a club house, we don’t have a season – we meet every week through the year – and we don’t have people lecturing. We are there to appraise each others work and to help each other take better photographs.

‘Our membership has varied over the years. New people have come along and some have stayed and their work has improved, while some have found that our club wasn’t right for them and that we were a bit too intense.

‘The image is key to us. That’s our prime motivation, we’re not too fussed about the technical stuff, although most of us have good equipment, but we are always trying to keep our standards up and we are constantly learning from one another.’

The club now has 13 members and the galleries section of their website (www.wigan10.com) shows their range of interests, with stunning images of wildlife, sport, landscapes and portraits.

Club secretary Ed Roper, a 68-year-old former headteacher, was another of the original members and he said that in spite of their many successes, the World Cup wins came as something of a surprise. ‘We were absolutely stunned to win it the first time and thought we would never win it again. We have done well and been in the top ten each time, and we thought our pictures were all right this time but it came as a total shock to win. It’s incredible really.’

Ed, whose earliest pictures were taken on a Box Brownie 127 when he was 11, said members of Wigan 10 do not just help each other, they are happy to offer advice to other clubs around the country. ‘It shows what you can do with a bit of talent and some commitment.’

More work by Wigan 10 Foto Club in the gallery on the top right

You can also upload your own photographs and win great prizes by going to our photo section (click top menu)

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