Featured Photographer – John R. Boykin

Uncle John Boykin 1967

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I’d like to tell you a little bit about my uncle. Most of you already know his name as he is a founder of our club and is honored by our color print photographer of the year awards.

His name is John R Boykin. Born in Kentucky 1913 married my mother’s sister in 1936 and died in Arnold 1985. 

He was an engineer and inventor for Westinghouse at the airport, now Northrup Grumman. He holds several patents through Westinghouse which are related to communications. 

For as long as I can remember he had a dark room in his house in Glen Burnie and then later in his River home in Arnold.

When my mother Florence was 18 he took this portrait of her. We always questioned her about where her clothes were. She would reply “oh, I had clothes on but your uncle John erased them!”

In 1971, when I was 17, I attended his, and now my, camera club meeting. I believe back then the meetings were held at the Woods Memorial Church and there were only a handful of members. 

Uncle John asked me to act as a model for a demonstration he was doing on lighting hair. In order to show the effects of the techniques, he used a polaroid camera with B&W film. 

Here are a few of those old Polaroid photos. I don’t have and never saw any of photos taken by the other club members. 

Besides photography he also enjoyed boating on the river and bay. If you enjoy cookies and coffee at the meetings, you can thank him for starting that tradition. 

Julie Bennett