Sunday, October 30, 2011

Three ingredients for a successful photo club

Robin Nelson shares some of the stories he has been working on with the Christians in Photojournalism Fall Meeting in Atlanta.
"Birds of a feather flock together," is a proverb that has been in use since at least the mid 16th century. In 1545, William Turner used a version of it in his papist satire The Rescuing of Romish Fox.

When we start school we are put together with people of similar age and start our journey in life together.  We slowly then join clubs and organizations where people of like minds come together.

I believe there are three things to making getting together with others a success: 1) Photography, 2) Subject and 3) Food.

1) Photography

The first thing I know I love to do is to look at others photographs on just about anything.  This is a common interest most photographers have.  We like to see how someone captured a subject.  We want to know what camera, lens, f/stop, shutter speed, ISO and even what lights they used.

Another thing that happens after seeing others photos is we may try to copy them just to learn a new technique. We may even want to stand exactly where they did to make the photo.  This is why so many folks have similar photos of famous places of the world.

One of the best things a tourist can do is to go and find the postcards of a location and then try and duplicate it.  It is like starting from the best position and then hopefully finding another new and unique angle.  But at least you have a good photo if the others don't work out.

2) Subject: Similar Interests

When you get together with folks who have similar interests you have common language of a subject. You tend to have similar experiences. It is through combining multiple interests that we tend to have even more bonding relationships.

When photographers get together in camera clubs they often try to have outings that appeal to different subject matter. some will go off for wildlife photo shoots and others may bring in a model and learn how to do a better job with portraits.

Robin shared a few stories with the group.
I have enjoyed combining my faith with photography.  As a christian I find that the conversations are deeper for me then on other topics and when combined with photography I discover that two of my main interests bring more joy than almost anything else.

When gets together for meetings we see each others work and talk with each other about how we get our inspirations and how we find clients and groups to partner with to do photography.

Over time we have discovered we are not each other's competition, but rather we are colleagues.  It is through our journey's overlapping and sharing with each other that we find inspiration and a kindred soul.

If you want to enjoy your photography at a deeper level, combine it with another subject that you enjoy.  Maybe start your own group.  Maybe it is a club for aviation photographers, bird photographers, Civil War photographers or something else.

We enjoy getting together with couples from our church for what we call "Dinners for Eight." Four couples rotate through the year at each others homes for dinner and time to get to know each other.
3) Food

The last thing that I think always helps in group dynamics is food. Plan some snacks or meals together. This will give you a more casual environment rather than just a stiff presentation.

Water cooler conversations we know are quite different than conference rooms.  Allow for some social time when you get together so people are free to meet others one on one and maybe make other connections than just the main topics that bring the group together. Remember the more topics you have in common with another person give you more things to bond about and help relationships grow.


You are always welcome to visit our meetings for CIP Atlanta.  We have no dues and just do potluck dinners or everyone brings some snacks when we get together.  We always try and see everyone's work and sometimes have special programs in addition by someone.  We post our meetings on our website and you can go there and send us an email asking to be added to the email list to be notified of upcoming meetings.


Here are links to those who showed their work at the last meeting:

  1. Robin Nelson
  2. David Stembridge
  3. Peter Doyle
  4. Jim Loring
  5. Tim Harman
  6. Nick Spratlen
  7. Andy Soloman

1 comment:

KristyKristine said...

If I ever get to Georgia, I'd love to come to a "storytelling" club meeting! =) God bless you all ...