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Archive 2011 · New Life for an aging camera club
  
 
douter
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · New Life for an aging camera club


The camera club I belong to is suffering from a lack of interest and I am looking for some ideas to help foster some new interest and perhaps some new membership. I know there are club members here in the forum and was hoping you might throw out some ideas. As it is now, we have 2 meetings per month, one for business and the other for "shoots", demonstrations, fun.
It appears to me that our business meeting has basically just become the monthly competition, which seems to turn away members who come to one or two meetings and then do not return.
I would appreciate hearing any of the things that your clubs think are holding interest in the mebership.
Thanks for your feedback.
Douglas



Dec 09, 2011 at 10:31 PM
redcrown
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · New Life for an aging camera club


Our club was suffering a similar decline. These things increased participation:

The club added "digital" competitions. Members submit jpegs via e-mail, maximum 3 images per session. Those are pre-judged and then all are displayed via projector at the meeting. Winners are announced. Cheap ribbons are awarded. We only have two "categories", color and B&W. No traditional breakdowns for people/portraits, landscapes, wildlife, marco, etc.

Previously, we only had print competitions. The cost of making and mounting prints discouraged many. Plus, the print competitions were judged "live". Each print was displayed one at a time, judges would vote, totals were tallied, then winners announced. It was a long and boring process. The digital, pre-judged competitions caused an explosion in interest.

For years we had two "classes" called "Regular" and "Novice". Points are awarded for winners (1st thru 3rd). When you accumulate enough points in Novice you move to Regular. That could take 2 or 3 years. The Regular class became dominated by 4 or 5 people, and Novice graduates were discouraged.

So "Regular" was broken into two classes, "Master" and "Advanced". That also helped increase participation. Or at least maintain the participation of novices when they graduated.

The club meets twice a month September through April. Competitions are only on about 10 of those meetings, but the competitions maintiain the interest and it spills over to other activities. The other meetings are lectures or demos, some by members, some by outside guests. Once a year there is a still life shoot. Plus a few photo walks, and a Christmas party. The club is in a metro area with 300,000 people. Last I knew, the club averaged 100 registered members, but about 20 to 30 would show up at any given meeting.

Unfortunately, these changes led to the loss of a few long-term members, including myself. For me, it's all about the print, and I don't care for the digital competitions. I can sit at home and view thousands of excellent digital images on my high-quality monitor. So I don't care to drive across town to see a lot of mediocre images and a few good ones on a low-quality projector screen in a dark church basement.

It's difficult to find places to see and talk about prints. Sadly, the club's digital competitions all but killed the print competitions.



Dec 10, 2011 at 05:09 AM
douter
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · New Life for an aging camera club


Thanks for your response. We do a print and a digital competition. We choose a topic for each monthly competition. Our print competition uses 4 x 6 unmounted prints, which doesn't seem to deter entries due to cost. We also allow 3 entries / $1 entry fee but if desired, can enter any number of photos per $. We have attempted to have classes/and demos but we even do them on cd so they can be "borrowed" from our library. Unfortunately, most of the time,the people requesting the topice do not show on the presentation night.
We also have a juried show that we support in October and then we support the Photo exhibit at the county fair. It sounds like we do some similar things.
Douglas



Dec 10, 2011 at 01:23 PM
 

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trenchmonkey
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · New Life for an aging camera club


Topless Tuesday's, just sayin'


Dec 11, 2011 at 08:27 PM
douter
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · New Life for an aging camera club


Will:
Believe it or not that was done some years ago, but we have evolved into a "family" club and those are now verboten!
Douglas



Dec 12, 2011 at 02:28 AM
larhouser
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · New Life for an aging camera club


If I showed up to a club night topless the club would dissolve instantly, just sayin.


Dec 19, 2011 at 02:56 AM





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