A society named Cairns Photographic Society (no inc) was established in 1899. 

The photography club’s inaugural meeting was held in a dentist’s room in Cairns in the year 1899 with a membership of nine; maybe the invention of the hand held box camera in 1895 had something to do with the formation.

After surviving a couple of world wars the name changed once again. In 1992 the President, Bob Stemp, organised the incorporation and it became Cairns Shutterbugs Camera Club Inc. 

In 1996 the last name change came about because the secretary of Cairns Art Society Inc, told Jacqui Griffiths, the then president of Cairns Shutterbugs Camera Club Inc., that she thought “shutterbugs” was “cute”, but  “cute” was a bit too much for Jacqui and she pushed for a name change.
After much discussion at meetings, the members chose “Cairns Photographic Society Inc.” and this was approved by the Corporate Affairs Dept (Office of Fair Trading) and so it was that the organisation was back to the name chosen 100 or so years before.

According to Clarence Rainwater, a Life Member of the Society, in the “good old days”, Cairns Shutterbugs Camera Club t-shirts proclaimed that “shutterbugs did it in the dark”.  However, with the advent of digital cameras, dark rooms are no longer necessary for the processing and manipulating of images and digital photographers do “it” in front of a CRT or LCD screen.