Albany snappers flourish in the A-Team photography group

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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The A-Team’s Bob Symons, Elizabeth Hudson, John Watkinson, Ally Jayne Croston, Peter Mauger and Malcolm Heberle.
Camera IconThe A-Team’s Bob Symons, Elizabeth Hudson, John Watkinson, Ally Jayne Croston, Peter Mauger and Malcolm Heberle. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

Albany’s Ally Jayne Croston has enjoyed photography since she was a child but she did not have the confidence to share her passion until she joined the A-Team.

The A-Team is a photography project from Albany’s ACE Camera Club supporting people with disabilities to hone their skills and get involved in a thriving local club.

After forming six months ago, the group held its first Vancouver Arts Centre exhibition earlier this month, titled Photography is Awesome.

Photographer Ally Jayne Croston.
Camera IconPhotographer Ally Jayne Croston. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

Croston said joining the group helped sharpen her skills and led to her first paid photography gig taking family portraits.

She now plans to start a photography business.

“I feel the group is very good for people with disabilities to get out and about in the community and learn not only about yourself but how to use a camera,” she said.

“It gives me confidence. My brother says my camera is my superpower. I have anxiety and autism, so it helps me get out.”

Photographs on display at the Vancouver Arts Centre.
Camera IconPhotographs on display at the Vancouver Arts Centre. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

ACE Camera Club president Bob Symons said it did not take long to discover the A-Team’s raw talent.

“They all have this real ability to see unusual things, and that is the beauty of it,” he said.

“We help them to get the composition right and the exposure and look for new things.”

Photographer Elizabeth Hudson.
Camera IconPhotographer Elizabeth Hudson. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

Mr Symons said the group’s enthusiasm for the craft was infectious, with participants and ACE Camera Club volunteers forming a close bond over the past six months.

“Anyone can come to the club and enjoy it,” he said.

“A lot of the group were sort of isolated before because there wasn’t any way they could actually get out and do photography.

“Now the club gives them the opportunity to join in, get out and mix with everybody, learn, and teach us a few things, too.”

Photographer John Watkinson.
Camera IconPhotographer John Watkinson. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

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