For Immediate Release / September 7, 2023

Developing Friendships: A Chat with St. Albert Photography Club President, Katie Burley-Wood

After retiring from a government job of thirty years, Katie Burley-Wood was looking for something new. 

She’d always loved photography, and when her husband gifted her a camera, it quickly blossomed into a full-blown passion.  

“I just wanted a complete change with what I was doing in my spare time, which was gonna be all day, all night now,” Burley-Wood says. 

That change certainly took root: Burley-Wood is now president of the St. Albert Photography Club—the first female club president in its 31-year history. In that role, she’s dedicated to creating and supporting a community of like-minded shutterbugs throughout the city. 

Burley-Wood first joined the club in 2015, hoping to get a handle on her new camera before going on a trip. She’s been there ever since. 

“I was really hungry to learn what exactly I was doing with the camera and all the different techniques,” she recalls. “I went to every meeting I could, and took time to get to know people. When people get to know you, they will certainly help you learn everything you need to step up and be out of your comfort zone.” 

Photo of a winter scene with pine trees and a gate.  Photo of a bench on a winter's day.

As president, Burley-Wood is helping to increase the club’s visibility in the community. 

“My goal is to get our name out there, and let people know that we are a club here in the city that are willing to assist whatever they need,” she says. 

To do so, the club offers its membership plenty of chances to work on their craft: workshops, guest speakers, friendly submission contests, meet-ups, group outings, and more all feature in the club’s calendar.  

“There's lots of opportunities to just give people a push to try things and maybe work outside their comfort zone, ” Burley-Wood explains. “Or even just to have the excuse to go shoot something that day.”  

The club’s season runs from September to June, and they currently have about 75 members—the club’s been growing, Burley-Wood notes, and she’s on the hunt for permanent meeting space capable of accommodating their needs.  

Black and white photo of a church.  Old school house in the trees.

Most of the club’s members are fellow retirees, but the club will welcome any and all interested photographers—the group’s collective experience offers so much to its members, no matter their experience level, and even beyond photography itself. Joining the club helped Burley-Wood immensely when she was learning, but it’s the connections she’s formed there that have made it something much more lasting. 

“It's funny: when I started at the club, it was to learn how to use the camera, but now I stay because I've developed very, very good friends out of this,” she says. “It’s just a wonderful group of people in this club. That's what made me stay.” 

Article Written by: Paul Blinov

More information about the St. Albert Photography Club can be found at Learn more about Burley-Wood by following them on Instagram

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Last edited: August 31, 2023