06/20/2014 08:14 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Surpising Beauty Of The World's Most Eccentric Hobby Clubs

Club, league, society. Troupe, corps, band. Association, organization, team. Whatever you call it, Ursula Sprecher and Andi Cortellini want to photograph it. And the more eccentric your crew, the better.


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The two Swiss artists have been working on their project, aptly titled "Hobby Buddies," since 2007. Capturing portraits of poodle clubs and snapshots of scout sections, the series of oft-symmetrical gatherings is a beautiful tribute to the wacky ways of like-minded groups. Staged to a tee, the photos show everything from a tupperware party to a meeting of Santa Claus figures, exploring the quirky characteristics of clubs we know, and clubs we've never heard of.

It's not difficult to see the allure of such photos. In one frame, neatly dressed majorettes demonstrate the synchronization of a dance troupe. In another, members of a tram club peek their heads above trolley platforms. No matter the subject matter, there's something aesthetically and emotionally fulfilling about seeing these precisely arranged people standing proudly amongst their peers, happy to pose for a hobby they must love. Even the image of the Butchers' Friend Society turns the grotesque appearance of raw meat into a token of the group's unity.

"Saturday morning. It’s almost noon. I’m standing in line at the department store cash register," the artists write in a project statement. "A few people in front of me, behind me a small group forming. I look at those waiting in line –- people of all kinds. A broad spectrum of society. What will they do after they’ve finished shopping –- how will they spend their Saturday? And what about Sunday? How was their week? How do they spend their free time?"

That's the question that governs the project and accompanying book, out through Kehrer Verlag. Check out a preview of the publication below and let us know your thoughts on the clever series in the comments.



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