BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
 

any suggestions on starting a photography club


I'm thinking about starting a photography club in my area, but I don't know anything about photography clubs. I can't join another in the area, because there aren't any. It would be informal, probably no membership fee, just a bunch of enthusiasts who get together. But, I've never been part of a photography club. any suggestions on what to do? what to shoot? should it be themed based (lighting, texture, etc.) If you are part of a club, please let me know what you do. Thanks!


To love this question, log in above
11/2/2005 4:54:25 AM

 
Angela K. Harter   well, I don't have an answer for you but posting in case someone else does and then I can see too:) I have been interested in one and think it would be a lot of fun!

where are you located at? i'm in indianapolis, in....


To love this comment, log in above
11/2/2005 5:24:06 AM

 
Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
  Hi Angela, I'm an American living in Germany via the Army, so unfortunately, there aren't as many options for stuff over here. I'm hoping to start a photography club for the military community over here -- and if any Germans are interested, come on in!


To love this comment, log in above
11/2/2005 5:47:21 AM

 
Angela K. Harter   wow! I wish you luck!!! hopefully you will be able to do this....


To love this comment, log in above
11/2/2005 5:54:30 AM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  Becky, I hear Germany is wonderful. You should pic up some Carl Zeiss stuff for cheap while you're there. Anyways go over to your Skills Development Center (or whatever the Army may call it) and see if they have anything. Usually you can find a frame shop where you will meet painters and photographers and things. Some bases even have a darkroom. Dover AFB has a darkroom though Pope AFB does not. Anyways if you go to a place that welcomes artists, you're sure to find SOMEBODY at least and maybe they'll let you put up fliers or something saying hey everyone, nothing formal just come hang out Tuesday night at 1900 and we'll go to _______________ and shoot some pics, hang out and talk techniques. The best thing for forming a club is just everyone hanging out and nothign formal at first, then build on that. A lot of clubs (not just photography) try too much too quick and it just kills the atmosphere and people won't want to go. Just make it fun. Being whereever you are (ramstein? rhein mein?) i'm sure you have some people over there who enjoy it!


To love this comment, log in above
11/2/2005 6:44:53 AM

 
Angela K. Harter   becky, I am talking to my sister and her husband in the army and one of their choices is to possible go to germany....i told her I would ask you what you think of it over there??? she is pregnant right now, due in april and they are do to leave for somewhere around feb....any opinions or advice I could pass along? I know it has nothing to do with photography but it was just wierd that you are there and she calls today to say she may go there:)


To love this comment, log in above
11/2/2005 7:37:52 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  hey angela,there' a camera club in indy called the riviera camera club.
i live up here in fairmount.
i don't belong if that helps your decision?
e-mail mavis devoe at mavisdevoe@sbcglobal.net
sam


To love this comment, log in above
11/2/2005 1:24:57 PM

 
Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
 
 
 
Justin, I'm assuming you're Air Force or Army? Germany is great (we're in Heidelberg near Ramstein), and I thank you for your suggestions. I talked to my co-worker about it in passing, and she has already talked to several people who are interested -- I didn't even know that many people were into it here, considering they don't have anything in place like a photography club.

Angela, Congrats to your sister and her hubby for their precious package. I loooove Germany, and I'm so happy we are experiencing it through the Army. However, (as I'm sure she's aware as a military spouse) depending on several factors, there is a chance of him getting deployed in his 3-year tenure. This may not be news to her family and she could be expecting that, or perhaps she hasn't considered that, but they should. I know many people over here who, if possible, extend as long as they can here (my boss has been here over 20 years). I'd like to stay as long as possible. If she'd like more info, feel free to contact me about any questions. I'd be happy to answer them.


To love this comment, log in above
11/2/2005 1:28:03 PM

 
Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
 
 
 
Justin, I'm assuming you're Air Force or Army? Germany is great (we're in Heidelberg near Ramstein), and I thank you for your suggestions. I talked to my co-worker about it in passing, and she has already talked to several people who are interested -- I didn't even know that many people were into it here, considering they don't have anything in place like a photography club.

Angela, Congrats to your sister and her hubby for their precious package. I loooove Germany, and I'm so happy we are experiencing it through the Army. However, (as I'm sure she's aware as a military spouse) depending on several factors, there is a chance of him getting deployed in his 3-year tenure. This may not be news to her family and she could be expecting that, or perhaps she hasn't considered that, but they should. I know many people over here who, if possible, extend as long as they can here (my boss has been here over 20 years). I'd like to stay as long as possible. If she'd like more info, feel free to contact me about any questions. I'd be happy to answer them.


To love this comment, log in above
11/2/2005 1:32:14 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  wow its so gorgeous. i'm af. I have lots of friends at ramstein and a friend in mildenhoff, UK and my brother-in-law is in Lakenheath, UK. I want to go to Europe so bad.


To love this comment, log in above
11/2/2005 2:24:15 PM

 
Angela K. Harter   samuel, your funny! and thank you for that info!!!

and becky, thank you! I will let my sister know....they want to go so bad but she called a while ago and mentioned the fact that he could get deployed to iraq and she's not real crazy about that....so we'll see what they deceide!


To love this comment, log in above
11/2/2005 3:38:45 PM

 
Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
  there is a chance that he could get deployed from almost anywhere he is stationed though. I suggest they seriously talk it over. If they come over here and he is deployed, there are so many other women in her shoes, she would not be alone. She would have a great support group. And, if she has an open mind and loves travel and adventure, she would not want to leave. There is so much to see and do here. We've been to France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and Austria. We're planning something for Thanksgiving, maybe Italy.
I love being an American, but the only thing I miss about living in the states is my family.

Justin, if you get the chance to come over here, I suggest you do. The Air Force bases here are real nice.


To love this comment, log in above
11/2/2005 10:51:29 PM

 
Michael H. Cothran   This thread got a little off topic from how to start a camera club, but it's been interesting to read. I started my own photographic "career" 35 years ago while in the Army. I bought my first camera at the local PX (Fort Knox, Ky). Most posts have some Special Services amenities. One of these at Fort Knox was a community darkroom open to all military personnel. I learned to print B&W there. It's possible that Special Services still has open darkrooms or even camera clubs, at larger, established Posts or Bases.

As for starting a camera club, I would suggest going online, do a Google to find some larger camera clubs, and contact them for copies of their charters. If your club is just a few people, then you could simply offer informal get-togethers in someone's living room (without worrying about needing a charter). If your membership grows, you will need to establish a charter, elect officers, become official, and conduct meetings in larger spaces. The Brentwood (Tenn) Camera Club meets monthly in a very large church, which donates one of its vast meeting rooms to the club every month. The club usually musters about 60-70 attendees with each meeting.
Since a camera club could be considered a "non-profit" organization, you could probably find free advertising and publicity in your community in order to attract new potential members.
Michael H. Cothran
www.mhcphoto.net


To love this comment, log in above
11/3/2005 5:40:58 AM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  I'd love to go to Germany but I only have about 3 years left and getting orders w/o reenlisting isn't possible and my wife and I are both getting out. We hate it. I haven't been home for Christmas in 2 years and this year isn't looking so good. It's hard to, yes there's a nice benefit or two here and there but if you weigh out the differences between the bullcrap and the benefits, the scale breaks. Just not worth it.


To love this comment, log in above
11/3/2005 6:13:08 AM

 
Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
  Thanks for replying Michael! I know, I didn't mean for it to get off topic, but just like here at Betterphoto seem to be related somehow to the military and enjoy photography, I'm hoping there are photographers in the military community interested as well. ACS here (or the Arts and Crafts store) has a class, 'Understanding your analog camera' but I want to start an informal group where just enthusiasts get together, take pictures and talk about their perspective about their art. I work for the local military newspaper, and the analog class hasn't advertised with us in quite a while. But, I've just casually mentioned starting a club to a few people and they say, 'count me in!.' problem is, I've never started a club before, so I don't know quite how to organize it. But, your suggestions have helped a bunch.


To love this comment, log in above
11/4/2005 1:52:42 PM

 
Kristina Daniels
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/20/2005
  I'm military too!! (spouse) We almost ended up going to Ramstein. Orders got canceled a few weeks before leaving though :( I'm currently at McChord, WA.
Anyhow, I was thinking the same thing about how nice it would be to have a camera club. I'm gonna have to go check with the base now. Good luck to you Becky on getting one started!


To love this comment, log in above
11/4/2005 8:13:50 PM

 
Daniel G. Flocke
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2004
  Becky - More on topic, I would suggest creating a flyer "Calling all photographer's" Starting a camera club. Set a date, time and location. Post everywhere. I was involved with the start of one club in Cleveland, Ohio 25 years ago. This is what they did, they posted something in the paper, and people from all over came to the first meeting. We talked about what kind of club we were to become, nature, general subjects etc. (this was formed as part of the Cleveland MetroParks, North Chagrin Reservation). We decided on a name, "North Chagrin Metroparks - East Photography Club" We decided how often we would meet (twice a month). since we were using the Nature Ctr as our meeting site (no rent), no dues were asked, but we ultimately down the road we asked for donations, to cover stamps, flyers, printing cost etc.
We created officers: President, V.Pres, Treasurer, Hospitality. The Pres - presented meetings, VP, filled in when the Pres wasnt available, the other are self explainatory. We led field trips, showed our work and after a year of two, we started to have slide & print competitions every other month.

I hope this helps, I'm currently the President of Lakewood Photographic Society in Lakewood, Ohio. I'm serving my 5th year as President. I would suggest also to checkout the PSA web site for club listings, there should be some listed for Germany, because this is an International Photography Organization. http://www.psa-photo.org/index.html

Best of Luck to you,
Daniel


To love this comment, log in above
11/8/2005 4:16:56 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  very nice daniel,
kudos


To love this comment, log in above
11/8/2005 9:28:21 PM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
Contact John
John's Gallery
  Camera clubs can be the best or worst of experiences. I've been a member of four and am currently VP [for 5 years] of the current club.

As with most organizations, most participants want to be entertained - so, a very few worker bees do most/all of the organizational work. If you find interested folks, you'll really need to identify whether they are prepared to compete. Absent competition, well - the subject matter gets very repetitious. I mean, yes, there's composition and lighting and framing and color/b&W and . . .

But, if you're the one presenting and you can't get challenged by seeing other member's work, you just might get a little bored.

Remember, as to club purpose, what is it the club should provide? In my club, for example, we try to provide photography "education." But, we make no attempt to show anyone how to use [adjust the buttons, etc.] on his/her digital camera. That's because, in general, each camera is sufficiently different that if someone know his own camera, s/he may not know another's. So, we emphasize "reading the manual" and PRACTICING!

Field trips are great. This is especially true if one or more of the members are more experienced. I won't go on a field trip unless our President goes along. He "sees" pictures that I don't; he points out what might be a great shot. He owns a camera store and, thus, never uses the same camera twice - and, so proves that it ain't the camera but the photographer.

Make sure that, if you invite a speaker to make a presentation, you have the needed "stuff." If s/he presents a slide show you'll need a projector and screen [sometimes, speakers bring their own projector.] Make sure the "auditorium" is adequately sized for the audience and for effective presentation. A dining room works to a degree; a meeting room somewhere is better.

Make sure when you have a competition that there are ground rules. In ours, there's a minimum print size [approx. 8X10.] The print must be mounted [matted] BUT NOT FRAMED. That's to prevent damage to someone else's print. Competitions can be "open," i.e., no assigned subject matter OR there can be a subject. [Try "RED.} Judging should be done by someone experienced. There should be constructive critique [not like most of the "OOH, I like it" comments in BP, but rather - "You should avoid midday light due to harsh shadows" or "You need to decide whether the background or foreground is most important so that the horizon doesn't divide the interest of the picture."

Meet frequently and on the same day[s] each month. In the beginning it's important that new members get acclimatized to the schedule. Use e-mail to communicate and, if possible, send messages and include members' photos.

Hope this helps.


To love this comment, log in above
11/27/2005 2:06:51 PM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  i agree completely on the oohs and ahhs comments here on bp.undermining a persons right to become a better photographer by candy coated comments is totally unjust and basically cruel.even if you bruise a little ego,it will heal.
if a friend asks me to be honest and tell him the truth,and I tell the truth as I see it,and he is offended and walks away,was he a friend in the first place?did he want the truth?
yeah me again,sam


To love this comment, log in above
11/27/2005 2:49:44 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  agree here too. I read some of Dean Berty's photos' critiques on photosig.com and he has these AWESOME pics and people are like watch the flaired hair there, hair light might be a 1/4 stop too bright...like actual critiques. everyone here just writes "nice capture, beautiful image" i'm not out for praise, I want comments on how to get the perfect picture. I commented on this one lady about a different approach that might've made a photo she had great and she got all pissy and said "i didn't even ask for a comment" so I gave up on comments at this site, they're pretty much worthless. if anyone here wants to give me some hard criticism on my photos, please feel free I don't get offended anymore. i've been told "my images aren't compelling" "they don't tell a story" etc. but you just have to remember, everyone has a different opinion so don't take it to heart, but keep it in mind for the next time you shoot.


To love this comment, log in above
11/28/2005 5:11:48 AM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.