I'm starting a photography club...and i'd like to hear your ideas

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by nakedyak, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    A few weeks ago, i was contacted by a professor who liked my photography, and we began corresponding through facebook (oddly enough). He eventually proposed the idea of a photography club at our school, and i thought that was a great idea. We had an informal meeting with about 10 people and the university photographer (who tought my introduction to photography class). Since that time we have scheduled a meeting and sent out a lot of emails about it, and our first official meeting is tomorrow night. I expect we'll have a decent crowd.

    My questions to you guys would be 1) Have you ever been a part of a photography club at a school or university? 2) What kinds of things were part of being involved with this club? 3) Do you guys have any advice for things to do or not to do with our club and getting started? 4) Do any of you have any websites that you would recommend for beginners that explain some basic photography techinques and stuff? I want to make a list of resources for beginners that they can access online to help explain things.

    I think initially we are just going to try and divide up the people and find out where everyone is coming from and at what skill level they are at. Eventually, I would like to see things like field trips and photography outings happen, a lot of sharing of work, maybe some instruction for the beginners, discussions about equipment and technique, and bi-monthly meetings perhaps. Essentially it would be much like an online community like this, except that we would have meetings in person, and be able to have a lot more hands on experience.

    Please share with me your own experiences or ideas if you have them. Thanks!
     
  2. df3photo

    df3photo TPF Noob!

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    It doesnt sound too bad with what you have... maybe toss some assignments or topics to be shot in there and see what everyones takes on it are... kind of like the monthly contests on this site. You could also toss in different prodjects in there like pin-hole cameras or if you get really adventurous get into things like the zone system or different printing methods.... but thats more than just shooting... make sure its fun for everyone (beginers and the advanced) and critique is important.
     
  3. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, we will definitely do things like monthly assignments or topics, i think that is a good idea
     
  4. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    any other thoughts?
     
  5. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    I tried to start the same thing. Monthly assignments, meetings, communication, learning...

    Didn't work out at all.

    Not enough people would show up. 3-4 people - completely different levels. One with a point and shoot and doesn't know how to use it. One with a broken SLR and one digital enthusiast who at least knew how to expose properly.

    Contests didn't work because it's university and people get caught up in midterms and finals, so even if they show up they don't actually have time to go out and photograph stuff. 2-3 entries per contest

    Nobody knew stuff. At most people had an intro course in photography which isn't much. If you like teaching people, that's fine. If not, then there may not be a point to hold meetings.

    Internet forums work much better in this regard.

    Another club which I joined belongs to a much bigger university. It has darkrooms which people can use, computers, scanners and printers. The hold ONE ANNUAL competition.

    I think the categories are like this:
    best slide
    best BW negative print
    best color negative print
    best medium format maybe?

    You get to use enlargers and unlimited supply of D73, D76, stop and fix. You bring your own paper.

    Other than that, the club executives are involved in management of lockers, fees collection, chemical supplies... etc.

    they've been in business for almost a hundred years and that's the way they function.

    Now that I look back at it, the only thing I've gotten from it is managerial experience and interaction with student affairs. It didn't help me photographically and took a whole lot of time. I'd be better off getting a part time job and taking photography courses or gear with the money I get.

    Not an experience I'd want anybody to have, so if you get into it, make sure you do it for the right reasons.

    hope this helps
     
  6. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    CoOL gallery btw
     
  7. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    I'm already sure we'll have at least 10-15 people show up regularly though, so i'm not very worried about numbers
     
  8. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

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    Go at it then
     
  9. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    Photography clubs at colleges and universities work well if there is good participation and at least a few members who have a good grasp of photography. I'm currently the vice president of the photo club at the college i'm attending, and although it started slow it is picking up well. We have mandatory meetings once a month (well, twice actually...once on the first tuesday of the month and once on the first thursday of the month since everyone's schedules vary). We have a financial grant from the board also, it's not a whole lot, but it's enough to get started. We havent discussed contests yet, mostly because of the relatively small amount of members we have (it's probably best to have at least a dozen or two members before having a contest), but we are having an exhibition in February at the school's art gallery. That might be something you'd want to consider. As for getting started, it is probably best to get your grant approved as soon as possible so you dont have to worry about it later. Elections are important too of course, but you may want to have one or two meetings before that so everyone can at least get to know who is in the club and who they feel should be elected. One thing you should be aware of is that this is not a course and probably shouldnt be taken too seriously. Dont get me wrong, it's a great opportunity, but once you start hosting too many assignments, projects and contests, more and more members will feel it is too time consuming and lose their desire to participate.
     
  10. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, if we make our club an official "organization", we automatically qualify for a couple hundred bucks a semester or something. We'll probably draft a constitution and elect memebers at the beginning of January or something. What kind of activities and things did you do with your club?
     
  11. thebeginning

    thebeginning TPF Noob!

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    Well keep in mind we are also relatively new, so we havent had many events or projects yet. Right now we are working on making it so all of our members can use the school's darkroom (right now only the students that are participating in a photo class are able to use it...which is silly of course). One thing we do is bring our own prints to discuss them and get critique. Many of us enjoy doing other types of photography (gum prints, cyanotypes, lithos, polaroid transfers, etc.) so sometimes we will bring some of our work or someone else's to present a style and discuss different things we can try. It's pretty open, which i think is effective. As for the exhibitions, our first couple are going to be loose, and dont have a specific theme. This way we can just get used to having exhibitions before getting into full shows.
     
  12. nakedyak

    nakedyak TPF Noob!

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    Well, we had over 50 people show up, and more than 30 that emailed us saying they wanted to come but couldn't. I was pretty happy :)
     

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