Starting a local club, need your wisdom

Brownie

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I posted on one of those local neighbor sites to see if there is any interest and got two immediate replies. I need some information about typical monthly challenges and their respective parameters. Things like 'Composition' with no cropping/photoshopping allowed other than for aspect ratio. A monthly themed challenge that must be taken in the month of the challenge, an open challenge that can come from you catalog, etc.

I don't think film would work these days and don't really expect a lot of experience to join. I want to keep it simple with maybe 2 divisions a month.

What does your club do for contests and what rules? How do they keep newbies interested, etc.?

Man I hope I don't live to regret this...
 

Brownie

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My plan is for photo walks and outings too, but I don't need any tips on those so I didn't mention them. I was also thinking about doing some basic presentations for the expected newbies, like rule of thirds, leading lines, and inviting others to make presentations too. I want this to be fairly open and free wheeling with just enough structure so as not to be disorganized.
 

BosseBe

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When I read this I thought: I would like to join a club like that! But i am a bit far away to do so.
Your idea about presentations for beginners is something I would like to see even if I am not a beginner any longer, but saying that they are for beginners might turn more experienced people off, so make it inclusive?
Often such presentations are to long, keep them short with lots of time for questions and discussion, but you probably already know that.

For competitions there are several here on the forum to steal ideas from.

Good luck with the club!
 

Brownie

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When I read this I thought: I would like to join a club like that! But i am a bit far away to do so.
Your idea about presentations for beginners is something I would like to see even if I am not a beginner any longer, but saying that they are for beginners might turn more experienced people off, so make it inclusive?
Often such presentations are to long, keep them short with lots of time for questions and discussion, but you probably already know that.

For competitions there are several here on the forum to steal ideas from.

Good luck with the club!
The invitation to join says "learn and mentor". I'm hoping that the more experienced members will want to help the less expereinced.
 

Robstar1963

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I belong to a club
It arranges several activities through the season (when COVID restrictions don’t apply)
We've had things like evening demos in the dark on burning wire spinning (can’t recall what’s it’s called) where someone demonstrated, someone did the spinning and we were invited to learn how best to shoot the photos
We’ve had other demo and activity evenings
We have a series of competitions but it has developed into the same small group of people winning the competitions and one particular member who thinks he should win every time he enters and who gets quite angry if his shots are marked down !
I do quite well sometimes with my motorsports shots and have come out with top marks sometimes etc but I don’t like the way the club has been performance driven in the last couple of years to the point where entries for our club into external competitions has become too analytical - looking at the slightest burnt out areas and various other critical parameters - driven by the judging to an extent but also by the chairman who wants to win more than taking pleasing pictures
We had one extremely good music event photographer leave because of the way things went
Those who don’t fit into the top end (who’s pictures win competitions) are left to be spectators and they tend to come along for a while and then leave
This last COVID year has been run as best as possible using zoom and it is nowhere near as good as meeting up but that can’t be helped at the moment
I would aim to have a club which is all inclusive where competition is part of it as you need to cater to those who wish to compete against each other and against other clubs etc but have learner and intermediate classes so everyone can take part
We used to have a b class for comps but this has fallen by the wayside
leaving no outlet for those who are still learning but who wish to be given feedback and develop through competition
Our club has no outside social activities (even before Covid) so I would encourage going out for a meal together and going out on photo shoot activities in the field for more social interaction (COVID permitting) and further learning and development opportunities
Hope it works out if it goes ahead 👍
 
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Our local group went under and as we tried to restructure and reorganize I went thru meetup.com and joined other groups for ideas and info, tbh I dropped contact after covid shut us down and I unsubscribed from meetup.
 

PakkyT

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I on also of the opinion of competitions being somewhat intimidating especially to the beginners. Photo walks and demos of certain types of photography would be fun. And instead of competitions how about a type of photography with a demo about how it is done, then a month long gallery of what members were able to do with it with any judging nor "placing". Simply, I tried this and here is what I came up with.

I thought about doing something similar with my local Next Door area with starting an informal photography group, after people can start getting together again, that is simply maybe once a month someone comes up with an idea and people can meet up to somewhere to execute that photo idea for an hour or two. I was thinking of it more of people sharing some of their favorites spots to photograph and taking others to check it out. It wouldn't even require any sort of showing of what you did that outing; keep it to yourself if you prefer. Just a social get together to take photos and chat during that time maybe learn a tip or two or discover someone uses the same {whatever] as you.
 

John King

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Yeah. I hate competing.

I joined a club once that was moribund, and focused too much on competitions IMHO. Same old committee members, same old ideas.

Photography took second place to what you took it with, etc.

Concentrate on the joy of getting the image right in the camera. Don't have competitions, have exhibitions where people can talk about each other's photos, not judge them!

All the best with it.
 

Brownie

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Let's say that for these exhibitions, competitions, or whatever they end up as (which will most likely be a combination), we want to do everything digitally yet remain anonymous to avoid favoritism or unfair biased. How could I do that? It seems that doing it digitally, at least one person will have to know who the photographer is. Even if everything is stripped the image would have to be uploaded or emailed. Is there an upload site like Flickr we could use where this is possible?
 

Mike Wingate

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I joined a club as I wanted a Digital ILC, thus advice, comparisons etc. plus it was a condition of getting a camera set by SWMBO. The group was o.k. Lots of people dropping out, but it was a group. Then I joined a propper photographic society. Holidays and comps. Very little advice, apart from being asked what I did with such a small camera. GX80. I came second in a comp, as the judge preferred steam engines to flowers. I did not renew membership. Still going to original group meanwhile. U3A phot group. 2 meetings a month, one an outing, the other to show a selection of photos taken . Chat, a few demos. Still going via Zoom over Covid. First photogroup folded due to Covid. Joined a Lumix Zoom group. Weekly meetings on zoom, weekly project, info, show and tell, going well.
 

Macroramphosis

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This website is my photo club. You who post are all fellow club members. Most of you have more experience than me, take better pictures, and some of you have become penpals and given me some great advice. My only regret is I cannot buy you a drink (or a cup of coffee/tea/ginseng or whatever). There are photographers here from all walks of life, and from varying levels of skill and knowledge, and this is one of the nicest and friendliest places I can pass an hour or two visiting. Thanks to you all.

But as for your club, Tim, I do not have enough experience to offer you advice - sorry :(
 
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