Sonny Mencher was primarily a bird photographer before he joined the Millbrae Camera Club. Now, seven years into the club and with more exposure to other photographers plus monthly critiques, the membership chair has expanded his repertoire. 

The club is having an opening reception from 2 to 4:30 p.m. this Saturday at the Coastal Arts League. A dozen participating members from the club will show and discuss their work, and the photos will be on display through Dec. 1. The gallery, located at 300 Main St. in Half Moon Bay, is open from 12 to 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday. 

Mencher has entered in juried shows at the Coastal Arts League before. For those shows, a central subject theme is pivotal. However, in this showcase, the subject material is open-ended, completely up to the photographer’s discretion.

Each member will be allocated 7 feet of wall space, so the number of photos shown depends upon the print size. With a wide-open playing field, Mencher expects some high-quality works. 

“Going to the meetings every month and seeing what people are presenting at the print competition, the images are fantastic,” he said. 

Founded in 1947, the club has a long and storied history. It has regular Thursday meetings at the Millbrae Library. It holds bimonthly print and projected image competitions during which members receive a judge's critique. Mencher believes a huge draw for the club is approachability and inclusivity while consistently improving its members skills. 

“We’re doing this as a hobby, Mencher said. “We have pictures that we like and interest us. You don’t have to be a professional with the most expensive camera in the world.” 

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