Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Photo Club  (Read 16066 times)
daleeman
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 159


WWW
« on: April 08, 2008, 11:07:24 AM »
ReplyReply

We are Starting a Photo Club at My Church

Hello, thanks for reading my post. With the help from a few others I hope to start a photo club at my church and would like to ask the members of L.L. to consider sharing with me experiences they have had with clubs so we can learn what works and what not to do.

I have searched and read other posts that mentioned a photo club and really the only one that came close was one from Stef_T back in 2004 and that was for high school students. Now I imagine we will have high school students too but lots of adults, some with the means to travel and use upper end eq.

Being a Faith Based Community, I expect we will be highlighting good deeds in action, help for those in need and the beauty in nature as well. Nothing is limited except things in poor taste.

Please chime in and share with me what your thoughts are about the structures in photo clubs you have experienced and if in a perfect world how you would make it work.

Also I have been in touch with Larry from Software Pursuits who has a canned version of a photo club website with judging software. May work for us may not, but I wonder if you all have had experience in hosting many people images from one website for others to see.

I look forward to your replies.
Lee
Logged
Jonathan Wienke
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5759



WWW
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2008, 11:39:26 AM »
ReplyReply

To paraphrase W.C. Fields, I believe in clubs for photographers, but only if all other forms of persuasion fail. Photography clubs are great for helping new photographers learn the basics of photography, especially the technical stuff, but a photo club generally isn't the best place to help you develop you artistic side. Photo contests can be fun, but they really don't accomplish a lot except to demonstrate the tastes of whoever happens to be judging, whether that is a panel of "respected photographers" or an American Idol-style vote of the masses.

In some ways, you could think of these forums as a sort of photo club. People whine on a daily basis about the percentage of discussion focused on photo gear, but when discussing artistic vision and what makes one photo "better" than another, it's rare to find something that everyone agrees on, or even reach a tenuous consensus. One man's Art is another man's garbage. At least with gear discussion, the resolution of a lens and the dynamic range of a camera sensor can be tested and measured and there is some degree of objectivity to the process. Discussing art, the best you can do is try to spark creativity; you're never going to be able to devise a formula to measure what is good art and what isn't.
Logged

Gordon Buck
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 409



WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2008, 12:40:51 PM »
ReplyReply

A photo club can be fun, it will certainly be a lot of work, it requires many volunteers, and many nits will be picked!

Here's the web site for our club
http://www.laphotosociety.com/
Logged

TaoMaas
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 51


« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2008, 04:32:56 PM »
ReplyReply

Our club meets twice a month.  At the first meeting, we have a program of some sort.  We try to make it informative as well as entertaining.  The second meeting is our competition night.  Then, once every month or two, we take a field trip somewhere.  The idea is to educate the members on the program night, give them a nudge to get out and shoot at the field trips, then provide a means of measuring progress through the competitions.  Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.  I've been involved with my club since it began 30 years ago.
Logged
DiaAzul
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 777



WWW
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2008, 05:28:07 PM »
ReplyReply

I would suggest the first thing is to work out what you want to do in the club. A couple of options would be:

Social Meeting and discussion
Lectures and Presentations by club members
Lectures and Presentations by visitors
Workshops and knowledge transfer sessions
Intra-club competitions (i.e. between yourselves)
Inter-club competitions (i.e. against other clubs)
Day trips and outings
Weekends away to further locations (with or without guide/tutor/ workshop leader)

Other things to consider are meeting venue and equipment - will you need to buy computer and projector for presentations/competitions? Will you need an illuminated stand to display prints? Do you want to project slides - do you need a slide projector?

How will this all be funded? Is there anywhere you can apply for a grant for capital equipment purchases or will you beg, borrow and steal (...I didn't suggest that last one) what you need?

In the UK most clubs are a Federation/Association/society and are affiliated with the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGBPAGB), which is then part of Federation International de l'Art Photographique (FIAPFIAP). In the US you should also have similar associations which provides a framework for arranging and competing in various competitions. Through these associations you should be able to find someone in the US who could provide information on starting a club in your local area.

If you are having competitions you will need to think about rules and standards for judging competitions.

e.g. Print Competitions
2 Images per photographer maximum
All images to be mounted
Maximum mount dimensions (40cm x 50cm - or US Imperial equivalent).
Colour or Monochrome
Photographers name and print title on the back of the image.

Judges then critique each image and give a score from 1-10 (in reality judges only score from 6-10, this is a club to promote photography not to demoralise people...we can safely leave that to JW). The critiquing is the most important part of the process as it provide CONSTRUCTIVE feedback to club members. Try and get experienced judges (a good photographer does not necessarily make a good judge) from surrounding area - I appreciate the US is large and has a low population density in some areas so inter-club interaction may be limited.

As time progresses you may want to consider separate competitions for print, digital projection and slide. Will you have a picture of the year competition? You may also want to split between club/ beginner level and advanced. In the former judges are looking for good things to say and trying to encourage the photographer, in the latter the judge is looking to be harsh and pick nits with images. This helps cater for a wide range of competance and experience levels.

Make sure that you have a good website. The better the quality of your website the greater the number of photographers that will want to join you and the better quality member you will attract.

Make sure that you have proper club governance (chairman, club secretary, treasurer, internal and external competitions secretary, owners for events or regular meetings) and ensure that you meet all relevant legal regulations with respect to insurances and health & safety (this may be UK specific requirement as our legislation is quite onerous in this respect). Meet regularly, take minutes of meetings and ensure everything that is agreed is noted (as the club grows you can guarantee that interpersonal issues and politics will become and intrinsic part at some point or another)

There is a lot involved in setting up and making a club work. Don't expect it all to come together in year one and try to get as many people involved as possible (having proper club governance with regular meetings helps). For reference the club of which I am a member (Guildford Photographic Society has been around since 1892...longer I believe than Michael Reichmann, though only just ;-)

I hope that give some thoughts, I am not sure what sort of club you are aiming for, however, if you want more information then drop me a private message and I will see what else I can dig out.
Logged

David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
Digiteyesed
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 159


WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2008, 06:53:58 PM »
ReplyReply

I once belonged to a camera club. I quit after some fellow with white hair -- who happened to be one of the "elder statesmen" of the club -- glowered at my Minolta DiMAGE7 and snarled that I should "get a real [film] camera".

The next time I join a club, it will be a photo club and not a camera club. I'd actually like to get something going along the lines of Paul Butzi's Monday Night Group:

http://www.butzi.net/articles/monday.htm
Logged

Neutral Hills Stills
A visual journey through this unique area of East Central Alberta, Canada.
walter.sk
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1332


« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2008, 07:30:25 PM »
ReplyReply

I'm a board member of the Westchester Photographic Society in NY.  It has some 140 members ranging from one teen ager to retired people, and includes beginners as well as professional photographers.  Our meetings are weekly, and vary from having outside speakers, clubmember presentations, workshops, field trips and competitions.  We also have group and individual exhibitions of our work in various venues.  Here is a link to our website.  Check out the activities, competitions, exhibits and presentations.  Equipment includes slide & digital projectors, a laptop computer, decent powered speakers, a light box for viewing prints, and a great darkroom full of equipment that hasn't been used in years.

Westchester Photographic Society

Quote
We are Starting a Photo Club at My Church

Hello, thanks for reading my post. With the help from a few others I hope to start a photo club at my church and would like to ask the members of L.L. to consider sharing with me experiences they have had with clubs so we can learn what works and what not to do.

I have searched and read other posts that mentioned a photo club and really the only one that came close was one from Stef_T back in 2004 and that was for high school students. Now I imagine we will have high school students too but lots of adults, some with the means to travel and use upper end eq.

Being a Faith Based Community, I expect we will be highlighting good deeds in action, help for those in need and the beauty in nature as well. Nothing is limited except things in poor taste.

Please chime in and share with me what your thoughts are about the structures in photo clubs you have experienced and if in a perfect world how you would make it work.

Also I have been in touch with Larry from Software Pursuits who has a canned version of a photo club website with judging software. May work for us may not, but I wonder if you all have had experience in hosting many people images from one website for others to see.

I look forward to your replies.
Lee
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=187972\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
« Last Edit: April 08, 2008, 07:31:09 PM by walter.sk » Logged
daleeman
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 159


WWW
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2008, 03:34:13 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks for your posts. I have been off-line for a while and I an elated to see others involved in this thread.

First I really take to heart what Jonathan W. contributed about the whining in a club. One mans art is another garbage. Man-o-man is that true. And Throw a judge in there to grade one piece as better than ďmineĒ is almost asking for a bloody nose in some cases.

The idea of a club being a place to better ones skills is the reason for being. The things to endure up to that point hopefully is work this.

Gordon I appreciate the look into your club. Thanks for the link. I have just started to jump into it and will get back to you real soon with some real questions. First looks gave me great hopes of being as well organized.

TaoMaas, 30 years in the club. That is outstanding. I do want to contact you since you have been there since the club started. We are looking at that giant leap ourselves. Are you a legal structured organization? I wondered if that was a legal leap we need to make.

I am amazed at the input from DiaAzula. In there is a good mix of experience to consider to stay in balance and give the members what they crave. I think that is really an important thing. Giving those that participate a real sense of belonging and involvement along with a degree of expectation that they can just come and enjoy themselves and leave when they want. Not hand out mandatory janitor jobs each meeting.

The seminars and field trips and interactions that can happen are a real plus. Pulling from your experience has given more to the momentum that you all may know

I have to hand it to Digiteyesed, the difference between a photo club and a camera club is priceless. Iíve had people rattle me recently as they see me out with my 32 year old Mamiya 645 equipment. I still feel good shooting film and the other day a guy with some nice Canon digital stuff wanted to make me feel less than. Bet he is too young to really know what film is or looks like.

Walter, I am grateful you have added to the post.  I will look at your site tonight. You will be a valued asset to this effort too.

I would love to push this a bit and make it a place where others can improve their own club, or have insight to start their first in the area club.

Just last night I talked with some others about the effort and hopefully they will join in on this post and our effort as well. I am going to reply a short note to you all in hopes that you like me has an email trigger to respond when someone responds to you. Since I lost some time being off-line I am posting this big reply here and then directing all to this from the quick thank you and seek reply at the bottom of the post.

Keep feeding me info. I can use all of, including what did not work.

Thanks again.
Lee
Logged
dalethorn
Guest
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2008, 03:49:48 PM »
ReplyReply

Since the club is church-based, it should follow the principles of the church. That is, to help people and direct activities toward a celebration of creation (without idol worship) as noted in the religious texts. I have an extra camera now that I'm going to give away, probably to a church, and that's one of the main activities I can see a photo club doing - helping to get cameras into more hands, then helping those people to take better photos.
Logged
Digiteyesed
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 159


WWW
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2008, 04:34:53 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I have to hand it to Digiteyesed, the difference between a photo club and a camera club is priceless. Iíve had people rattle me recently as they see me out with my 32 year old Mamiya 645 equipment. I still feel good shooting film and the other day a guy with some nice Canon digital stuff wanted to make me feel less than. Bet he is too young to really know what film is or looks like.

I like film. Actually, I *love* film, especially the saturated look I get from Velvia. I'd shoot like crazy with it too, if I could afford the film and processing. Except that I can't, so I've moved mostly over to the digital side of the fence.

Anyhow, I hope that the same sorts of fights over film vs. digital and Nikon vs. Canon vs. Olympus vs. Whatever don't spoil your club experiences like mine were spoiled.
Logged

Neutral Hills Stills
A visual journey through this unique area of East Central Alberta, Canada.
daleeman
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 159


WWW
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2008, 05:20:10 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Since the club is church-based, it should follow the principles of the church. That is, to help people and direct activities toward a celebration of creation (without idol worship) as noted in the religious texts. I have an extra camera now that I'm going to give away, probably to a church, and that's one of the main activities I can see a photo club doing - helping to get cameras into more hands, then helping those people to take better photos.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=189283\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Your insights are spot on. One thing that we have been looking at is the range of subject matter that the club would hope to draw from its members. Knowing that it is faith based, we hope to not only enhance the members skills but to encourage them to get into activities that would place them in positions to be aware of the greater celebration of the good of man.

One suggestion was to encourage members of the club to put in time with Habitat for Humanity and to capture the vigor people have in working to better others lives. We also will encourage the celebration of great landscapes and other topics as well. We can only hope others will find capturing while volunteering in the service of others will give us great elements at our gatherings.

I admire your idea about getting cameras into the hands of others. I can even see adopting others as a group and being mentors too. It is a real gift to be a photographer. We see things different.

Lee
Logged
larryg
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 468



WWW
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2008, 05:30:21 PM »
ReplyReply

http://www.psa-photo.org/

http://www.psa-photo.org/assets/pdffiles/p..._club_guide.pdf



I helped start a club several years ago   PSA has a lot of resources/help in doing so.   They also have sample guidelines and organizational material (including by-laws and such).

You can also utilize their resources for your club meetings/events.

Mostly you don't have to invent everything in the process
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 05:35:00 PM by larryg » Logged
daleeman
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 159


WWW
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2008, 05:36:41 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I like film. Actually, I *love* film, especially the saturated look I get from Velvia. I'd shoot like crazy with it too, if I could afford the film and processing. Except that I can't, so I've moved mostly over to the digital side of the fence.

Anyhow, I hope that the same sorts of fights over film vs. digital and Nikon vs. Canon vs. Olympus vs. Whatever don't spoil your club experiences like mine were spoiled.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=189297\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Film is King. Itís the fear I have that people would spend more effort in the stupid discussions like you mentioned than growing thir skills and appreciation of art. Iím a big fan of Ilford Delta 100. OH NO IíM NOW PART OF THE PROBLEMÖ this is better than that. Oh no.
Logged
daleeman
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 159


WWW
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2008, 06:12:22 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
http://www.psa-photo.org/

http://www.psa-photo.org/assets/pdffiles/p..._club_guide.pdf
I helped start a club several years ago   PSA has a lot of resources/help in doing so.   They also have sample guidelines and organizational material (including by-laws and such).

You can also utilize their resources for your club meetings/events.

Mostly you don't have to invent everything in the process
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=189305\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Larry,
Your post is like a great steak dinner. The pdf at the end of the link is really wonderful.
So you have been in the grass roots in forming up a club? What pitfalls have you found were the big toe busters you all had to climb over? I see from the pdf that members entering and leaving is very common, usually from people not finding what the need from a club. Have you all dealt with this?
Lee
Logged
TaoMaas
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 51


« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2008, 06:49:23 PM »
ReplyReply

Since you're doing this through your church, you may have already solved one of the big initial problems and that is, "Where do we meet and, if we have to pay rent, how do we raise enough funds to pay for it?"  If the church will provide a meeting place, then that will allow you to keep your dues fairly low.  If there are other camera clubs in your area, you might want to make sure that your meeting nights don't conflict with those of the other clubs.  The two clubs in my city meet on different nights and you'd be surprised how many people attend both meetings.
Logged
Gordon Buck
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 409



WWW
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2008, 09:09:49 PM »
ReplyReply

Our club, like many, has a monthly competition -- sometimes prints, sometimes projection, with or without assigned themes.   Members really enjoy the competition but it was a big hassle to get judges.  Outsiders and guest speakers really did not want to judge and comment on our efforts.  Finally, we gave up on getting judges and simply allowed everyone, even visitors, to vote.  We give everyone tokens:  blue for first place, red for second and white for third.  We place a little box beside each picture and people drop the token into the box.  This method is simple, easy to do and results are determined quickly.  We found that people really like this voting process and seem to take it seriously.  Voting is during snack time and people walk around discussing the photos.   From time to time we review "judging" criteria as part of a meeting.

Of course, there are still complaints and disagreements -- unlike in this forum!
Logged

LoisWakeman
Guest
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2008, 05:49:18 AM »
ReplyReply

Lee, a bit late to the table.

I am not a club-joiner by nature, but know the chairman of our local club quite well. About three years ago, they 'went from competitive to constructive' as he put it.

Instead of having competitions, the member photo session are geared towards selecting images for a group exhibit once a year. I believe that sometimes an external person will come in to offer advice on specific aspects, and other times, they have group critiquing sessions. The aim is to help everyone get a portfolio of strong images for the show.

Just an idea...
Logged
daleeman
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 159


WWW
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2008, 07:22:30 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Lee, a bit late to the table.

I am not a club-joiner by nature, but know the chairman of our local club quite well. About three years ago, they 'went from competitive to constructive' as he put it.

Instead of having competitions, the member photo session are geared towards selecting images for a group exhibit once a year. I believe that sometimes an external person will come in to offer advice on specific aspects, and other times, they have group critiquing sessions. The aim is to help everyone get a portfolio of strong images for the show.

Just an idea...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=189376\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

WOW, never too late to the table. I am impressed with the idea of constructive over competitive. Never thought of that. Since this will be a faith based club that might be a real plus. There is more to bring to the table here with this idea.

Can not say for certain we will swing this way, but can you give us more examples about the idea of how to do this. One reason is, secretly we wish to get people out into the community and get involved in volunteering and photographer, even want-a-bees have a fresh way of seeing things.  You may have pinged us with something new.

I like the last post from Gordonsbuck just above you with the token voting. It leave people to vote without being picked on for who or why they voted as they did.

One thing we may add is a yearly show. We have other churches looking over our shoulder as it were in homes of following. A Major show inclusive of others church clubs who want to show would be a good thing.  Nice idea just come to light by the constructive twist. Please give us more info as to how you do these meetings.

Thanks
Lee
Logged
LoisWakeman
Guest
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2008, 03:08:10 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi Lee,

Can't tell you more than that I am afraid - as I say, I just know the guy who chairs the club.

The web site is http://www.tapestry.org.uk/apg - but it doesn't give away much! You could try emailing them, I guess.
Logged
rwschwanke
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2008, 08:55:50 AM »
ReplyReply

Lee,

I am president of my local camera club, Raritan Photographic Society, and have founded and coordinate a church-based art gallery, Art Way Gallery.

Since you live in a population center (Dayton), I assume there are other camera clubs in the area. Therefore, you might ask yourself, why does your community need yet another camera club? Is there an existing club you could join to learn the ropes, serve the members, and assess the need for another club?

If you haven't found such a club, Google for camera clubs in Ohio, and look for a state organization of clubs. Also look at Photographic Society of America for leads to local and state organizations.

I made a conscious choice to serve in a community camera club so that I was serving people who might never step through the doors of a church. It has been an extremely satisfying journey.

Another approach might be to look for a local camera club that needs a better place to meet, and see if your church can provide that.

Concerning getting the club started, your biggest challenge will be in developing the volunteers. Here are a few pointers I've picked up, for club presidents:

-- Your job is to make it possible for them to do their jobs
-- Your other job is to fill in the gaps when someone has to miss a meeting, etc.
-- Your other other job is cheerleader.
-- But your main job is to get everyone moving in more or less the same direction.

-- Plan your club's activities around what the volunteers love doing. If no one volunteers for a job, maybe it doesn't need to be done. I know another club where they couldn't get volunteers to do refreshments, until they held a meeting without refreshments. Then the volunteers suddenly appeared!

Our club has one lecture meeting and one competition meeting each month. Most of us have learned not to take the judge's comments too seriously; we know that the same print might score a 6 one month and a 9 three months later. (One of our members has a large collection of prints that have done exactly this!) We know that the judge's point of view is valuable, but it is only one of many points of view. The judge's comments are more valuable than the actual score. I learned a terrific amount by trying to form my own opinion of an image before the judge did, then compare my reasoning to his/hers.

The art gallery does mostly photo exhibits, mostly by local photography clubs. In consultation with church leadership, we figured out that starting a new camera club in the church (we're more than large enough to) would just separate church photographers from non-church photographers, which is not what we wanted. Instead, we use the gallery as an opportunity to host receptions for the exhibitors, most of whom are not church-goers. We also provide meeting space for photo lectures and workshops. As you can see from our website, we are doing 5 exhibits in 2008. We may go to six or seven in 2009. We're booked almost a year in advance.

Concerning subject matter, we ask only that the exhibited art be "family-friendly". Sometimes we get a little grumbling, but basically everyone understands that the pictures are viewed by young children and hormonal teenagers, so certain images are not appropriate.

Hope this helps,

Bob
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 09:30:35 AM by rwschwanke » Logged
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad