The History of the Sandwich Photographic Society

The Sandwich Photographic Society was established by a group of local photography enthusiasts. The purpose of the club is to promote amateur photography in the greater Sandwich area.

The club offers programs to instruct and entertain photographers, regardless of ability level. Competitions allow members to display their photography, receive awards, and hear constructive criticism. Small group workshops allow for instruction in various photographic techniques in an informal setting. Field trips to places with good photographic potential are held periodically. In 2008 the club's Internet page went live. This web site allows members and potential members to stay current with the activities of the club and provides links to other photographic organizations.

The Sandwich Photographic Society is fortunate to have as members many excellent photographers who are always willing to share their knowledge with others. It is the members of the club who by their participation, enthusiasm, and fellowship have sustained SPS for these many years.

Everyone is welcome to join the club, from novice to expert. No prior experience is necessary, just a love for photography.

Written by Virginia and Dr. Dale Grimes
Published in the book: The Sandwich Fair, since 1888

In 1986 Ed Schonfeld, Publicity Director of the Sandwich State Bank, had the idea of documenting photographically every aspect of the 100th Sandwich Fair to be held in 1987. To prepare for this event, Schonfeld and Joseph Antos gathered a select group of photographers—Vince Boland, Paul Gleason, Virginia Grimes and Curt Larsen—to do a practice shoot of the 99th Fair. Pleased with their efforts, the group decided to form a photographic club, and The Sandwich Photographic Society (SPS) soon emerged.

The Sandwich State Bank joined forces with the Sandwich Fair Association to sponsor the project in 1987, the Centennial of the Sandwich Fair. Members Antos, Boland, Lil Demichina, Gleason, Grimes, Scott Hansen, Larsen and Schonfeld planned “Shoot 100.” Schonfeld died suddenly before the 100th Fair was held. “Shoot 100 was dedicated to his memory. SPS organized it and called on other area photographers to join in the effort. About fifty photographers covered everything from paving the roadways on the grounds, erecting the tents, and painting the buildings before the Fair to cleaning up after the five-day celebration. Over 3000 slides and prints were taken at “Shoot 100.”

The Sandwich Photographic Society was born of the Sandwich Fair; the life of the club is intimately intertwined with the life of the Fair. The enthusiasm of Boland, the first president, sparked the growth of the club. The club affiliated with the Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association; a junior was organized later. SPS interacts with other photographic groups; the members lecture, judge competitions, and give courses to other groups.

The club’s involvement with the Fair continues. Every year the club sponsors a “Fair Challenge” for its members. They take a single shot of each item on a list of subjects at the Fair from which a committee selects the best pictures. Some photos are chosen for postcards sold at the Fair. Members also submit their best work in the photography competition at the Fair. A ritual has developed among some members the day after the judging of the photos. Boland, Peg and Bruce Bartell, Leonard Hafenrichter, and Grimes meet to count their ribbons, have a friendly argument over the judges’ decisions, and eat a pile of hot cinnamon rolls.