In the late 1980s, photo enthusiast R. J. Thompson enrolled in photography classes at the Cape Fear Community College. The classes, together with encouragement from one of his photography teachers, inspired him to start a local camera club in Wilmington. Thompson distributed flyers and placed an ad in the local paper, which resulted in the Cape Fear Camera Club’s first organizational meeting on July 8, 1987. Approximately 15 people were in attendance.
Since its inception, the Cape Fear Camera Club (CFCC) has grown to over 150 members and continues to act as a vital educational and creative resource for photographers of all skill levels in the Wilmington area. Through workshops, lectures, exhibitions, social events, field trips, mentoring programs, professionally judged club competitions, as well as national and international competitions through the Photographic Society of America (PSA), CFCC members continue to learn about the field of photography and connect with others who share their passion. The organization also believes in reaching out to the community and each year awards a $500 scholarship to a college student pursuing the study of photography. Additionally, CFCC members offer their services as volunteer photographers for events such as the annual Coastal NC Walk/Run for Autism, the Cape Fear Museum of History and Science's educational programming, and the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society's photo-documentation of the Federal Point region of North Carolina.