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Apr 12 2021

Kiawah Island Photo Club

By Kimberly Wissel for The Island Connection

The Kiawah Island Photo Club (KIPC) is saddened to mark the passing of our founder, John Sanders. He leaves a long legacy. Over the club’s 16 year history, Sanders served as club president, long-time board member, initiator of many of our most popular workshops, and creator of the much loved Our World Slideshows.

Inspired by Sanders and guided by his hard working friends we’ve grown to 100 and been able to draw internationally known photographers such as Alan Ross, Brenda Tharp, Joyce Tenneson, Denise Ippolito, and Ralph Lee Hopkins from Lindblad and National Geographic, who returns in April for a lecture. Today, some of our workshops are still led by skilled club members while others are led by local professionals. Topics cover a wide range, but camera features, software, and portrait photography, all introduced by Sanders, remain popular.

 Last year, KIPC honored Sanders by establishing a scholarship with Charleston’s Trident Technical College’s Photography program.

Recognizing Sanders’ leadership, vision and commitment to generously share knowledge, this scholarship extends his spirit and KIPC’s charitable outreach to support students pursuing a career in photography.

In 2020, two scholarships were awarded, the first to Darryl Scott, a Johns Island resident and an employee of Kiawah Island. In expressing his appreciation for this gift, he said “I want to let you know I have had doubts lately about school, and seeing that you have enough faith in me to award me with this scholarship drives me to finish school and get my degree to pursue my photography business.” The second went to Larry Dennis, who in addition to taking classes, interns for a local professional, with the goal to have his own business.

If you would like to honor Sanders and support local photography students, contributions are welcome and can be made directly through Trident’s Foundation, ( support/DonateNow.htm) a non-profit organization. Please use the Designation (not the Tribute Gift) section, click the dropdown box for ‘Other’ and note the KIPC/John Sanders Scholarship to direct your gift appropriately. Should you have camera equipment, they welcome those donations too (contact Tamala Leighfield at

Donations are especially appreciated during this unprecedented time.

We are thankful for Sanders’ outstanding leadership, guidance and commitment to his community and passion of photography. One member said it best in that “everything we do bears John’s influence.” He will truly be missed.

For more information about the Kiawah Photo Club, visit

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