Society Spotlight banner for the Oxford Wildlife Photography and Film-making Society. Credits: University of Oxford
Society Spotlight banner for the Oxford Wildlife Photography and Film-making Society. Credits: University of Oxford

Society Spotlight: Oxford Wildlife Photography and Film-making Society

The Oxford Wildlife Photography and Film-making Society (OWPF) was founded in 2020, and is run by students who all have a love of wildlife photography, film, and art.  

The Society offers a welcoming environment to share photos and connect with other students who love wildlife. Learning how to photograph and film wildlife, whether using a camera or smartphone, is a valuable way of communicating its importance. Lucy Morley iMaster of Biology student at Worcester College and as President of OWPF explains how the society came into being and how other students can get involved 

The journey so far 

OWPF was founded during the remote Trinity term in 2020, so the pandemic situation has been a challenge right from the start. Despite everyone being geographically scattered, we were actually surprised by the high numbers of people joining our Facebook group and engaging with activities. As a digital medium, photography can be spread so easily through social media and it was fantastic to see images being sent in from such a wide range of locations, from crabs along the South coast, hares on the North York Moors, pigeons in London to Mediterranean flowers. 

Our society is all about showcasing the incredible wildlife in the world around us, through photography and film-making. This is a really important way to engage people with nature in our modernising world.   

The aims of the society  

We offer a welcoming environment to share photos and connect with other students who love wildlife. Our committee and other members aim to help people improve through a range of activities, as well as sign-posting students to valuable opportunities hosted by larger organisations. Our informal themed competitions will hopefully culminate in an exhibition, which will be an excellent way to showcase students’ work and start conservations about the natural world.  

How have you adapted throughout the pandemic? 

Building on our term-time themed competitions, we collaborated with Oxford University Nature Conservation Society to run a charity calendar competition in early Michaelmas term. The calendars were incredibly successful; it was really hard to choose the 12 winning entries from over 40 that we received, and overall, we raised just over £470 for Wild Oxfordshire and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.  

Once people were allowed back in Oxford, we were also able to run some in-person events with restricted group sizes. Our photography walks in particular were popular, where we explored some of Oxford’s nature hotspots and ended the year with a special evening after-hours in the Botanic Gardens. However, with many students at home in Hilary, our film-making group projects sadly had to be cancelled, but we were able to host some brilliant speakers online instead.  

Looking to the future 

We hope to increase the in-person social activities on offer, including larger group photography walks, as well as get-togethers for screening programmes like Autumnwatch and other documentaries. We’re also working on recording some recordings of top tips and tutorials on camera and smartphone photography and editing software to provide permanent resources people can go back to.  

As we don’t charge a membership fee, looking for alternative sources to improve our small budget is a priority so we can invite more inspirational speakers and create bigger events. In particular, we hope to host an exhibition to showcase all the work in the coming year which will be a fantastic opportunity to unite the society and bring wildlife photography and film-making to an even wider audience. 

Getting involved  

If you’d like to join OWPF, all you need to do is join our Facebook group (there’s no membership fee), where all our events, competitions, and links to external opportunities are advertised. You can also follow our Instagram (@oxwildphotosoc) or check out our website for the same information and to sign up for our termly newsletter. Our email is if you have any questions. 

Oxford Wildlife Photography and Film-making Society banner