The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Starkville Photography Club connects local creatives

Anne Louise Phillips
Rosemary Wright photographing with the Starkville Photography Club.

The Starkville Photography Club is bringing Starkville residents and Mississippi State University students together in a diverse community of shutterbugs and artists.

The club began with a simple Facebook group formed in October 2022. Arielle Jones, a local photographer, created a group to connect photographers in the Starkville area. As more people joined to share photos and ideas, new relationships were formed and new ideas were born.

Rosemary Wright saw the Facebook group as a launching point for getting together to grow and learn as photographers. With this vision, she created an in-person group.

“I used to live in Boise, Idaho, and there was a group of photographers there that would get together and do shoots about once a season. They were always great fun with great photographers,” Wright said. “So, I thought, why not start a group here too?”

J.C. Long, a photographer and Starkville resident, was present at the first meeting of the Starkville Photography Club and helped Wright gather photographers for the initial meeting in June 2023.

“I asked Rosemary how I could help her, and her reply was the suggestion of a group photoshoot,” Long said. “The first shoot was sunset light in the beauty of the grounds surrounding the Bost Center and Hunter Henry Center.”

At that meeting, several group members got together to walk the grounds and photograph several local models, as well as each other, while utilizing the university’s landscape and architecture.

Candace Morris is another Columbus photographer who comes to Starkville for the meetings. “I’m heading up the next meeting,” Morris said. “I’m really excited about getting to build relationships with everybody. There didn’t seem to be a community for photographers in our area, and I’ve been really hungry for that.”

Long agrees that community is necessary for photographers and believes that Starkville is a prime location for that community to grow in what he calls a “grassroots movement.”

“We have a unique opportunity here because of the collective culture. We’re drawing on a rich cultural landscape here. This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone, especially those who are connected to Starkville beyond just Mississippi State University,” Long said. “Many Starkville residents aren’t originally from Starkville, and that’s all tied to the university. Starkville residents are from way far out, and that makes this place really interesting and unique. People come here to learn, work or teach, and put their roots down right here in this town. It creates a diverse and unique landscape that makes Starkville itself.”

Photographers in the group work together to learn and experiment with new projects and techniques. Morris is particularly excited to work with studio lighting.

“I am not a studio photographer, so it has been nice to talk to people who are doing that and have experience with it. I am very excited to learn more,” Morris said.

Kelli Jacobs, a digital asset coordinator for MSU, has been a member of the group since its conception. She encourages students who are interested in photography to join the club.

“The more diverse we can get, the better it’s going to be,” Jacobs said.

Jacobs, inspired by the club and the photographers she has met, has been working on building a magazine to showcase the work of the club and other photographers in Mississippi.

“I have submitted my work to small regional magazines before, and I thought, why not start something local?” Jacobs said. “If it takes off, that will be great.”

Jacobs’ first issue is tentatively set to be released within the next month.

“It’s called Mississippi Photographers Magazine, and I’m especially excited to feature photographers from the club,” Jacobs said. “I’ve been playing around with the layout, and I’m looking for some more submissions.”

For Wright, the group is exactly what she was looking for,

“I’d say the group is working in that direction, towards building community,” she said.

Those interested in the club, Mississippi Photographers Magazine or photography opportunities in Starkville can join the Starkville Photography Club Facebook group.

“We don’t all know what we’re doing, or where we’re going, but we’re excited to get there,” Long said.

About the Contributor
Anne Louise Phillips
Anne Louise Phillips, Staff Writer
Anne Louise Phillips is a sophomore English major. Anne Louise is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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