About the Palo Alto Camera Club

What is the Palo Alto Camera Club (PACC)?

Founded in 1935 (read about the history of PACC), and co-sponsored by the City of Palo Alto Division of Arts and Sciences, we are a group of serious amateur (and some professional) photographers interested in working together to enhance and broaden our photographic skills and artistic vision by:
  • Showing our work at print and digital projection evenings for critique by an outside judge
  • Learning from other members with similar interests
  • Participating in special programs and field trips
  • Participating in other opportunities or activities requested by members, such as group exhibits at local galleries/museums
  • Read all of our benefits here

Who joins the PACC?

We each joined the club for the same reason: an interest in photography and desire to improve our skills. But each of us came with different experience levels and expectations. Some of us just got a new camera and wanted to learn how to use it and how to make better images. Some of us had some photography experience and wanted feedback on their images from others and wanted to learn more about various techniques for improving their images. The best way to see whether the club is for you is to attend a few meetings. There you will observe the activities and meet members in an informal way. As discussed below, the club offers other features that can be instructive through our website and email communications.

What is it like being a club member?

Being a club member is like having access to an ‘all-you-can-eat’ photo buffet. You can attend events as time allows for you. You will get to meet and know like-minded members, learn from and share with them. You will also receive regular photography-related news by emails found relevant by other club members. You will have a login to access members-only sections of this website, such as:
  • Our internal photo competition upload feature
  • Ability to ask questions and share your interests in photography (via our discussion group)
  • Photo editing software tutorials

What activities are available to club members?

Volunteer members of the Palo Alto Camera Club organize the following meetings and events:
  • Image conversation nights Members bring a few images to get the feedback from peer members. Meetings alternate between prints and digital images. This is a great format for everyone, from beginner to advance. It’s also a good opportunity to get to know other members.
  • Competition nights Members bring their best images to be commented by an external professional guest. Competitions alternate between prints and digital images. More formal than the Image Conversation nights, the competitions are great opportunities to push the envelope and get inspired by images from other club members.
  • Special programs Special programs are given to club members by distinguished guests, recognized professionals in the field of photography, or from club members who share a unique technique or skill. Special programs are focusing on education and inspiration.
  • Field trips Field trips are usually short half days outings focusing on a specific place, them, event or gathering. They are great opportunities to learn from other club members, make new friends and to be in action.
  • Mentoring In addition to the activities listed above, the club pairs new members with an orientation mentor, usually a member who has been active in the club and can meet with you to discuss how to best benefit from and contribute to the club. A few times a year, the club organizes dedicated mentoring nights with some members being available to help guide and answer questions from other members.
  • Special projects Once in a while the club is approached by non profit organizations and by the City of Palo Alto to help with some photographic projects. One example is a photo booth project as part of the annual Art event from the city of PA where the club has a large green screen setup with real time editing stations to create creative posters and other images to patrons. It’s a great opportunity to learn new skills and get to know better other club members.
  • Volunteering Since the club is run by members, there are plenty of opportunities to put on your volunteer hat. Volunteering is a great opportunity to learn a particular aspect of photography. For example, helping organize special programs allows to contact famous photographers, have direct communication with them.

Where and when are the club meetings?


Most meetings are held at the Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell Rd., Palo Alto, CA 94303.   Some meetings are held at the Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303 or other venues in the greater Palo Alto Area.  Please refer to the club calendar of events for the specific location of any meeting or club activity.  

Visitors are encouraged to attend a few meetings before deciding whether to join. Meetings are usually on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. All meetings begin at 7:00 pm and end around 9:00 unless otherwise specified.  In most cases the doors open 30 minutes prior to the formal program to allow time for informal chat and to socialize. The meetings are usually held on the following days:

  • 2nd Wed. – Competition with an external paid judge (either Print or Digital – alternating monthly)
  • 4th Wed. – Special Program Evenings.  See the calendar for specifics, but these tend to include guest speakers, image review and commentary by members, technical workshops and seminars.
  • Other. – Other meetings and special programs are scheduled at random so check the calendar.
For further details visit our Calendar of Events page.

How much does it cost?

The current cost of membership can be found on the membership application form. Palo Alto residents benefit from a discounted rate.


Our club is run by volunteer members. All members, after enjoying the club benefits for a year or so, are encouraged to support the club operation by serving in at least one position. View the list of Current Officers and their roles in the club.

Some facts

  • Our club has over 100 members
  • About 30-40 members attend events on a regular basis
  • About 15-20 members help running the club volunteering for small and larger tasks
  • The volunteers put together an average of 60 events per year – including image competitions, conversation evenings, special (educational) programs, field trips, our Annual Photographic Arts presentation (open to the public)
  • The Club helps facilitate photographic projects with the City of Palo Alto


Still have questions?

Contact us at infopacamera.com (retype this address in your email application and in your Contacts)