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Meet the photo ‘PEEPs’

Photography Enthusiasts of El Paso (PEEPS) is El Paso’s oldest photography club which comprises of about 78 members. Photo courtesy of Photography Enthusiasts of El Paso

Photography is a passion for many people. For years, photography has been constantly changing, from disposable film cameras to the latest smartphones. There are also numerous organizations that have given people, who have an interest in photography, a way to express themselves. In El Paso, there are many clubs that encourage the enjoyment of photography, one being the Photography Enthusiasts of El Paso (PEEP).

Founded in 1993, PEEP started as a small group of no more than four local photographers. Today, it is El Paso’s oldest photography club, celebrating 30 years in 2023 and comprises of about 78 members. Tim Holt, the president of the organization, dives further into the history of PEEP.

“(PEEP) actually got its origins at a class at El Paso Community College. There was one of those continuing courses, and the people that were in the course wanted to keep on going after the course because they were learning about photography,” Holt said. “So, we got a bunch of local area professional photographers together and we sat down at the Italian Kitchen on Pershing Street. We’ve been going ever since, and it’s had its ups and downs. It’s open to anybody.”

One of the great things about this club is you do not have to be a photographer to join.

You do not even need a professional camera. Anyone with a smartphone, film camera and other devices are allowed to join. Even Holt himself even shoots with his iPhone.

Whether it is shooting with a phone or a camera, photography is all about taking pictures of things that will never happen again, according to Holt.

“I’m really interested in those kinds of things that are very transient in nature.” Holt said.  For instance, graffiti on a wall. It may be there for a month, two months, maybe a year. You know, if it’s a mural, it might be there for a little bit longer. Yeah, but it’s not going to be there forever.”

“I like that idea of photography. You’re taking a picture of something that will simply never happen again.” Holt said. There are different reasons for getting into photography and PEEP actually is also embracing videography as well because everybody’s if they’ve got a smartphone, they’ve got a video camera.”

Using crystal balls as lenses and taking short trips to photograph destinations are only a few examples of how the club exercises their creativity.

The club also encourages fun and creativity through its increasing use of videography at meetings. Whether it is video or photos, the club is a place where anyone who has an interest in these topics and creative outlets is welcome.

“I’ve been a member of the club for about seven years,” said Will Keener, PEEP member. “Next weekend a lot of us are going up to Tularosa, taking photographs of the small New Mexico village.

During the pandemic, we saw the club wither away. It was hard to do anything. When Tim came in and took over the presidency, he had just started having activities where we go out and shoot.”

While PEEP celebrates an important milestone this year, it will continue serving the El Paso community for more to come.

The club not only offers valuable experiences, door prizes for members and a team spirit, it also offers plenty of experience for people looking to expand their photography interests.

“I was honestly always really into photography, but because it’s a science of its own, I really had no place to really start,” said Jorge Soto, a student at the University of Texas Permian Basin (UTPB). “You don’t really need any experience (to join), and you can learn a lot of stuff. I’ve been a part of it for several months now, and I’ve learned a lot, it’s just really helped my hobby.”

Elisha Nuñez is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Elisha Nuñez
Elisha Nuñez, Staff Reporter
Elisha Nuñez is a multimedia journalism student with a minor in marketing at the University of Texas at El Paso.  He works as a reporter for The Prospector, and loves to write about arts, culture, and people. This semester, he wishes to do more freelance work for publications in and outside of El Paso. After graduation, he would like to experience multiple positions at different places, and even has plans for continuing his current education outside of the U.S.
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Meet the photo ‘PEEPs’