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PPVA holds first exhibition, honors veteran


A lot has changed since veteran photographer Helena Lightbourn took her first photograph…more than 50 years ago.

“We started at Toogoods in Doc Sands’ old studio, and you know, it was wonderful in those days,” she said. “We had glass roof you had to pull a string to open and if it was raining you couldn’t take pictures. And then[we had]one light and a big camera…”

Lightbourn was honored amid other veterans of the profession at a ceremony that included among others her former colleague at Toogood’s, Dame Marguerite Pindling, at the Hilton last week. The occasion marked the official revival of the Professional Photographers and Videographers Association.

An association with an over 30-year history, the former Professional Photographers Association lay dormant for several years before resuscitation this year. The organization decided to expand its platform to include videographers in its new form.

The group honored Lightbourn and celebrated honorary members at its first exhibition, held on November 18.

“We just wanted to show her our appreciation for being in the profession for so long,”said Portia King, the association’s vice president.

The PPVA also used the occasion to raise funds for the Ranfurly Home for Children. The group designated part proceeds from the event to the beleauguered home. The exhibition also featured paintings by a resident of the home.

“We’re grateful for their show of support for the Home, and we just look forward to working with them in the months and years to come,”said Alexander Roberts, the newly appointed administrator at the Home.

The association of about 20 members took pride in displaying their photographs of Bahamian life throughout the islands. Members plan to make the exhibition an annual event.

“We wanted to show diversity,” said King. “We wanted to show that we are well-rounded, that we are artists…and we are very much professionals.”

In discussions to re-establish the association for several years, members felt it necessary to come together to represent their industry as a unified force.

“We see a need for us to be together as one in terms of representing our profession,” said association president, Kemuel Stubbs. “All the other professionals, they have an association that they go to and they are a part of in terms of dealing with issues that they encounter or they face on a daily basis … so why not photographers and videographers.”

The association features varying levels of membership, including honorary, associate and junior status. A drive to increase membership has begun.

“We really would like to make a membership drive to get other photographers and videographers to join us because we have so much work ahead of us,”said Raphael Munnings, PR officer for the association.

“We want to make a real impact on the industry and change things,” he said.

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