We've had a first exploratory meeting of a few local people interested in photography. It's just a few of us living in a very picturesque area of England, each with different experience of photography and different perspectives on what we would like to do as a group.
We would welcome any suggestions and tips from this august community.
Thanks in advance!
I belong to three clubs in Ohio. The photo walks are one of the good features, and the problems to be solved there are when to do an all-day outing (and how many members can't do an all-day), and when to do a shorter outing, and how to have some sense of a "group" when everyone is going their separate way once they arrive at the photo site. One helpful purpose that can be chartered by the club is to help beginners, and in fact to help any member with their questions, so people don't feel intimidated by the "expert" members.
One of my big gripes about clubs is that there's usually a trend to place chairs at the meeting sites so that everyone is facing front, toward a presenter or what have you, like schoolchildren, and not communicating with each other, or sharing their photos and experiences. So I would suggest having chair placement be very flexible and easily moved, so different modes of meeting can take place. One method is to have tables placed in a square pattern so that everyone can face everyone else, and also place cameras and prints etc. on the table next to them which everyone can observe at will.
Coffee and treats are an absolute must.
One club I belong to allows almost no input from members at meetings, another has presentations by members at every other meeting (and guest presenters at the other half), and the third club I don't know for sure because I've attended only one meeting. I'm not in favor of contests generally - what I think is more helpful are presentations and critiques by the members, so that members and guests can see what other people are doing, and how they do it.
One thing that two of these clubs do that I like is setting up a row of tables before the meeting starts, and allowing members to place a half dozen or so of their prints on the tables, so people walking in get a real sense of what the club is all about.