The Cosmopolitan Camera Club was founded in 1945 by Lyle C. Padden and is one of the oldest continually operating photography clubs in Virginia. Mr. Padden taught photography at Woodrow Wilson High School in Portsmouth, Virginia, and in an effort to inspire his students and attract members of the community who had a passion for photography, he formed the Cosmopolitan Camera Club. Membership in the Club has ranged from beginners, to professionals. Some of our members have been in the Club for more than 60 years.
There have been many changes in the photography world since the Club was founded. In the early years, most of the photos were black and white prints taken with large box cameras. The members learned new skills as technology in the photography field advanced. It brought about many changes such as color film, single lens reflex cameras, and now on to the digital age which has caused a resurgence in the interest of photography and photography clubs.
The Club’s scrapbook has wonderful images of our former members and many of the activities that they participated in during the early years and some of those images accompany this history. The scrapbook lay dormant since the mid-1950’s, and time has taken a toll on much of the contents of the book. The Club elected to restore the scrapbook, and much effort has been taken to restore the many old photographs and articles that show the history of the Club.