Hey Everybody! Hope you're having a great week. Me? Pretty good. Last night my Photography Club had it's monthly meeting and I really love these meetings. Have you ever been to a photography club meeting? They are pretty fantastic for photography minded people to gather and talk nothing but photography. When I'm at home and try to talk to my wife about photography (when she can stay awake) she just doesn't get it. But when you talk to photography crazies like us its fantastic because they are as interested as you are! I have wrote about my photography club in the past but have never explained how a typical monthly meeting goes. I have been a member of this club for a dozen years or so and have acted as one of its officers a couple of times and am currently a Vice President. We have between 35 and 40 active members and usually 20 or so show up for meetings and then we have the Zoom participants. During the Covid crisis we had Zoom meetings which worked out pretty well. But now that the crisis is over we mainly meet in person with just a few via Zoom. We meet at the local community college but have met in our local arts council in years past. We hold our meetings on the 4th Monday of the month at 6:30pm and the meetings last about 2 hours. We have a very diversified group of members aging from 17yrs old to 82 and about a 50/50 male/female split maybe a little more males than females but its close. So here goes a rundown of a typical club meeting.
-We usually start with welcoming new visitors to the club. We ask them what they like to shoot and what camera system they shoot which always comes with ooh's and aah's from other camera system owners trying to make the newcomer feel at home with laughter. We explain the advantages of becoming a member and the price of dues. The price of dues have not changed while I've been a member.
-The next 10 or so minutes are taken up by announcements and going over our schedule for the rest of the year and any changes that may come. We are a very active club we have some sort of workshop every month on all kinds of topics and we go out and shoot that theme. Maybe its wildlife we go shoot wildlife or portraits and so on.
-Gear talk or Lightroom/Photoshop tips. A short talk about gear or editing is handled here by some of our more experienced photographers in the club. We try to keep this part of the meeting about 5 min or so. So it's just for quick tips or small pieces of gear that can be helpful to our members.
-Main Topic . The main topics are chosen by our officers early in the year . Then we find people to give presentations on these topics. These can be power point presentations to video inspired talks. We have people volunteering to do these presentations. We have the wildlife experts talk on wildlife, Landscape talk on Landscape stuff and so on. We try to cover all types of photography from street, portrait , macro, food, landscape, travel and wildlife. We may also have a presentation on workflow or composition. We sometimes get guest speakers to come and talk to our club or zoom in from across the country on certain topics. All of this is planned out by our officers at the beginning of the year and a schedule is posted of meeting topics and workshops prior to the start of the year so people can plan their schedules to attend workshops or meetings. We recently went to shoot milky way and meteor showers at a lighthouse 3 hours away so some people planned and stayed at hotels to avoid the drive home in the dark. Planning is Key for our club.
-Photo Contest. We have quarterly printed photo contest. The officers pick the topics. Say portraits, Travel, Faces, Landscape, Macro. The members rate the photographs on 5 categories during a break on forms provided by the club. They are turned in and tallied up by one of the officers. The entries are anonymous so you can't just choose your buddy you have to rate the photo on a form that we provide. We rate all of the photo's not just the one that you like. We give ribbons for 1st , 2nd and 3rd place and give Amazon gift cards for them also. If you win one of the contest you cannot enter the other contest that remain. This is so one person doesn't win all of the prizes. At the end of the year we pick the winner from the 4 and they have the photo of the year. We print photo's for those that want their photo's entered if they don't have the means to print.
-Photo Critiques and Member Spotlight. These are alternated each month. Photo Critiques, These are photo's that are taken by our members we put them up on the big screen and say what we like and what we don't like about each photo. Guided by one of our senior members to make sure it doesn't get crazy and keep the pace up. This is a great help to all of our members to have eyes on your photo's and see things that you don't notice as the photographer making you a better photographer. Member spotlight is a small presentation of one of the members of the club. We like to have new members do this so we can see what they shoot and get them more comfortable showing their work.
-Ending comments. This is where we discuss the details of the next workshop which is usually the Saturday following the Meeting unless there is a holiday that interferes . We discuss meetup times duration what you need and such. We then thank the club for a great meeting and wish them safe travels home.
So there you have it a typical photography club meeting. So if your interested go to your local photography/camera club and join. You will meet new friends who love to talk about photography and you will learn and have a ball. So until next week Get out and Shoot!