Looking through the lens: F(10) club marks 10 years


Over spring break, F(10) members attended the Society for Photographic Education’s national conference in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Crystal Beiersdorfer.

In the early 2000s, 10 Youngstown State University photography students wanted to form an organization that would give them the opportunity to share their work with peers and appreciate the art of photography.

For the past 10 years, F(10) has helped young photographers strengthen their photography skills.

“‘F’ comes from the photography slang ‘f-stop’ which is the amount of stop you have incorporated with lens speed,” said Crystal Beiersdorfer, the club’s president. “The 10 just came from the original 10 members who started the organization.”

Stephen Chalmers, an assistant professor of photography and one of the advisers for F(10), said although the group was reactivated two years ago, nothing would be possible without the students.

“We [as advisers] are basically assistants in the group,” Chalmers said. “We have a really incredible student membership, and we are very proud of our student leaders in particular.”

Kristen Gismondi, vice president of F(10), said she wishes more students knew about the club.

“Photography can be underrated sometimes, and we just want to show people how great it is,” Gismondi said. “That’s why anyone can join and see how much fun it is.” Over spring break, the club traveled to Chicago to attend the Society for Photographic Education’s 50th annual conference.

Gismondi said the conference provided a great opportunity to network, as well as the chance to meet and interact with peers.

“You could bring your portfolio and have a professional look it over for you and give you tips on how to improve,” she said. “We met a kid that came all the way from Costa Rica to attend the conference. … It’s cool that someone came from that far away to come and learn more about photography.”

Besides appreciating photography, the organization also gives back to the Youngstown community.

“This past fall, we did a photo booth fundraiser at the Calvin Center and Cedar’s Lounge,” Beiersdorfer said. “We had a cool backdrop, and everyone seemed to have a really good time.”

Club members are working to organize a fundraiser during which they’ll take professional headshots for students and offer them at a cheaper price.

“A lot of students are looking for professional headshots to put in their portfolios for when they apply for jobs,” Gismondi said. “We want to offer it at a few bucks because some places charge a lot for one photo.”

F(10) members said they hope to travel to local high schools to talk about the photography program at YSU, as well as do demos on different tips and techniques that they have learned in their classes.