Our History

Photography has fascinated men and women for generations, both professionally and recreationally. From pinhole cameras to plate cameras, and box brownies to the digital revolution. Dark rooms have become Light-rooms and data recorders have replaced slide projectors. All this in just a few short years!

Had someone foretold the future of photography to our founding fathers back in 1956, when the Tauranga Photographic Society [TPS] was first constituted, we wonder what their reaction might have been. 

The inaugural meeting of our Society was held on January 12th, 1956
Our first President Elect was Mr Bob Withers. On 7th February 1956, the first meeting of the society took place at the St. Peters Presbyterian Church Hall. Forty people attended and a committee was duly elected. During that first year, the committee worked hard to establish competitions and rules for judging. It sought publicity from the Bay of Plenty Times and the Pacific Coast Times and by the end of 1956 TPS had attracted 100 members, making it the 6th largest in New Zealand. At that time, the annual subscription fee was twenty-five shillings per single member and thirty-two shillings and six pence for married couples.

Incorporation of the Society and Affiliation with PSNZ
During 1957, Mr T Maltby undertook the incorporation of the Society which became official in October of that year. By now the society had also become affiliated to the Photographic Society of New Zealand [PSNZ] and in 1958 hosted the 2nd New Zealand International Colour Exhibition. Over the years TPS has regularly hosted PSNZ events such as regional and national conventions. The last National Convention to be hosted by TPS in 2015 was the 63rd National PSNZ Convention, held at the Tauranga Race course. This was the last five-day event of its kind and speakers came from, America, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. More that 330 delegates attended.

Stills, Slide Presentations and now AV
In addition to stills photography, members of the society were involved with creating slide presentations with sound recordings since 1962. In August of that year, Mr Ron Melvin organised the first ever National Sound-slide Exhibition to be held in New Zealand. The event was repeated in 1963.

In recent years, TPS organised its own annual Audio Visual [AV] Competition. AV’s have replaced Sound-slide presentations, being the digital equivalent. However, the quality has vastly improved as more members try out the latest editing programmes. In the past couple of years the AV Competition has taken on an international flavour. 

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