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Are you a member of a camera / photography club?

    CJ Swartz
    Senior Member

  • Are you a member of a camera / photography club?

    I've thought off and on over the years about joining a camera club, but backed off for several different reasons -- 1. Meetings were always in another city and required driving thru traffic at night to attend. 2. I'd heard from members of some groups that clubs could be very formal and strict -- Robert's Rules of Order for meetings and strict guidelines for photo submissions -- didn't sound like me. 3. Some initial shyness.

    Last week I decided to use the internet search engine (not supposed to say I "googled") to again look for camera clubs and I found a website called that lets people with all types of interests meet-up with other people of similar interests - for free. (!) I quickly found a camera club in my area that had been active for about a year. They had an online forum for messages about interesting places and events that folks might like to photograph and a calendar to give the date/time/location details. As I looked through the group description and the calendar of upcoming events, I found that members ranged from folks who recently got a new camera as well as pros who wanted to relax doing some shooting of subjects outside their usual field. No mention of Robert's Rules.

    I sent in my request to join and received a friendly invite to join the next morning. Yesterday they had set up a meeting at a local historic site - a "Mystery Castle" built in the 1930's - 40's out of stone and spare parts by a man who came to Arizona when he found he was dying of T.B. (tuberculosis). His daughter still lives there and sells tours; we met in the parking lot, and we all talked while waiting for the gate to open. Everyone wandered about the site during and after the tour and chose what shots they wanted while conversing with the owner, tour guides and each other. When we were done, there was discussion about lunch and about half decided to go eat nearby. Casual conversation over Mexican food with topics ranging from spicy foods from other countries to the Nikon D3 that one of the guys just bought. Again - no Robert's Rules.

    When I got home, I downloaded my card to Bridge, and did some post-processing, then uploaded some to the club's area on Meetup. A couple of other members had already uploaded about 18 images, and by tonight, there are about 75 images for everyone to enjoy. A couple of members uploaded some shots of other members, so I even have some help in learning their names.

    • CJ Swartz
      CJ Swartz
      Senior Member
      CJ Swartz commented
      Editing a comment
      Judging the fair entries sounds interesting, and I can only imagine how much time/effort has to be expended in such an endeavor. Do all members take part, or are judges chosen from the membership, or ??

      At this point, I'm more interested in the group events - getting to go places with other people who want to shoot images instead of going with family/friends who want me to "hurry up and take the shot" so they can go look at the next "whatever". Hopefully, there will be some critiques, and some learning/teaching along the way, but I'll be happy for a while with the events.

    • Janet Petty
      Janet Petty
      Senior Member
      Janet Petty commented
      Editing a comment
      At the fair...first we have to make sure all the the photos meet the required criteria such as size and category. Next comes all the paperwork to catalog and make sure that at the end we get the photo back to the right person. Next we have to hang all those photos (ugh!)

      It takes the better part of a day to judge them. There are three people who do the judging. Those three people cannot have any entries in the photo part of the fair.

      After the county fair, we have to take all of the ribbons, etc. off the photos and put them in envelopes with the person's name and number on it. Then after this hurrah, we accept more photos for the district fair; and the process begins again with new judges.

      Four days later we begin the process of getting all of everything back to the right people.

      It is chaotic and tiring. We get yelled at and there are hurt feelings such as, "Why didn't my dead dog, Fido, get a blue ribbon when that red flower over there got one?"

      But I wouldn't miss it. I have learned so much. It takes the cooperation of the whole club to pull this off.

      Now that I've effectively hijacked your thread , I joined the camera club to have people to go places with. My former partner in shooting got married and moved with her husband (a professional photographer) about 100 miles away. It was lonely without my friend. Now I have new ones.

      I thoroughly agree with you about the "family thing". They don't understand about timing, lighting, patience, or our photography obsessions. Please, please don't ask my husband to go with me. He runs the engine of the truck the whole time and keeps looking at his watch. Sheesh.

    • CJ Swartz
      CJ Swartz
      Senior Member
      CJ Swartz commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm sure that your husband is simply running an automotive test on the truck while waiting patiently for his wife...

      No hijacking of threads going on -- your experiences are the reasons for camera clubs, I'll bet -- the usefulness of teamwork to get the "paperwork" of photography done as well as the camaraderie on the shoot while the non-photographically obsessed spouses/family/friends get to follow their own pleasures without guilt.

      If the typical nice February weather holds up, we have some activities scheduled that should keep me busy and happy and learning. I'm looking forward to it.
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