There is a new club!!


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Aug 16, 2007
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A new photo club is starting up in my small town!! :D Woohooooo!! It's in the very beginning stages....I plan on helping to set it whatever I can. Any tips, ideas, experiences with a camera club?? ...Things we should consider....things to do....ways to advertise and increase membership?? Fun stuff??? (We plan on doing the "usual"...speakers, workshops, field trips, photo competitions, etc....) you belong to a club?? Why or why not??

Thanks guys!!

1 - Keep an open attitude that 90% of the people who join will not be active participants

2 - It is the active participants that make the club a quality club,

3 - Without good leadership any club will fail early and fail fast. If the one who starts it gets bored, overwhelmed or tired, he will drop it, when that happens, it all goes down the tubes fast.

4 - The more people "at the top" of the club management structure, the stronger it becomes... to a limit. 2 is better than 1, 4 is better than 2. 25 people pulling in 25 different directions is a recepie for disaster.

5 - Structure. Have events regularly and often. Some people come to some events, some to others. Make the events interesting.

6 - Take advantage of what the pool of club members can offer. If one member is (for a random example) a gym owner, set up a shoot session in the gym with various club members, almost like a trade for pics session. How many body builders would not want to have some awesome pics of themselves flexing away?

7 - Do not make a club expecting to make money. The moment you start imposing large fees or dues or regular donations, many people start to leave. Times are tough, do not add to them. However, if you do events that require money (rent an old thearter for a day for some 1920's shots), promote the event, split the costs evenly.

8 - Network. Contact local make-up artists, local models pro AND amateur. The more here the merrier. Contact hair salons. They also are good sources. Talk to the local camera shops, and while you are at it, talk to the local news papers once you are a bit stronger established... get known in a POSITIVE and POPULAR manner. Do charity work. Visit the local old folks home, the hospitals, the shelters, help out with more than just photos, but be sure photography is ALWAYS an integtal part of it

9 - Regular meetings are nice but having an internet accessible forum is important. It can be free... like a flickr group! Use that tool a lot and use it hard.

10 - This one is related to #5... consistency. Don't make 3 events one week, 5 the next and then nothing for a month. 1 maybe 2 events or gatherings per month is enough. A central gathering to discuss ideas or something could be done once a week, but this is better done online without a schedule.

I could go on and on becuase at one point, I was going to start one (but someone beat me to it)... but thats enough ideas for a start. Congrats and good luck!
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I agree with much of what Jerry said there!

Also make sure you set yourself up with a website - that will get you some free publicity and also act as a good central base for people to find out info about the club, details on becomming a member and also things like a timetable of events and member lists - you could even provide a short profile section for members with a space for them to write a little bit about themselves, a profile photo (if they want one) and a link to their website/blog/flickr.
Further keep areas of the website - like weekly/bimonthly news updates or something - but keep it updated on a regular basis - nothing worse than having a website with no updates for half a year or more - any people surfing the net for info will assume that the club has died off or is no longer looking of new members.

Also consider little weekly competitions - just little fun things for people to take part in - the prize could be something as simple as their profile and winning photo on the frontpage of the website for a week. Its just little bits that help to bind the community together and get people attending.

ps - if you go the line of an online forum in all cases I would keep it viewable to anyone browsing through the website so that potential members can see what sort of people are part of the club (with sections like meetups, trading and other more personal things hidden to non-registered members). However you will also have to choose if its an open membership forum or a restricted one - restricted only to people who can turn up to the physical meetings - ie local people.
A good compramise might be a limited access section for those that are not full members of the site - so as to let some be a part of the community (it might take off in a big way - you never know - and its a way for others to take a part in the club even if they cannot attend).
Thanks for the input!!! I appreciate it!!!! ....I'll let you know how it's going as we get us and running!!

I agree with Jerry it goes for all clubs. Our astronomy club had a few core members, who would pull all nighters at star parties and, then there were those of us who ground glass. Everyone else would show up for an hour or so then they were gone till the next meeting. Just learn who is going to be hardcore and, hang with them.

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