Meetup Experiences?
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Gehjl
Registered: Feb 24, 2011
Total Posts: 265
Country: United States

Has anyone here had experiences with Meetup groups? I'm looking to join some to meet some people around the area and gain some experience and there's a few groups that focus on studio photography and modeling, but they have annual fees. Some are around 100 bucks for a year and you still end up paying like 20 bucks per event and I wanted to get some opinions before committing to something like that.

Thanks!



Bernie
Registered: Aug 24, 2002
Total Posts: 4145
Country: United States

I joined the Philly group when I was living in the area and went to one of their outings for Halloween 2009.

We had a great time.

The deal was that we had free models, but in exchange had to supply each one with 3 shots. Low res for Model Mayhem was good. It still took a month's worth of my "free" time to get them all out for my side of the bargain. There was a nomiinal $20 or so involved for the venue.

I know they had other events with paid models that were a lot more ~$100....



GCasey
Registered: May 30, 2006
Total Posts: 1251
Country: United States

Take a look at some camera clubs in your area. Annual fees for many clubs are in the $25 - $50 range. Do a search on "camera clubs Charlotte' for local information.

In our case we have an educational program monthly, a competition monthly, and special interest groups including studio photography.

Several people were interested in studio photogrpahy. Since space was limited, two groups visited a studio a year ago to learn more about studio photography. There was a charge for using the studio, which was shared equally by those who attended. For the demos, club members posed for one another.

The studio owner worked out a plan helpful to club members who wanted to use the studio for their personal work. It worked out to be about $10 per visit to the studio for those who agreed to rent space over a three-month time period. The studio owner has added additional shooting rooms since then.

Each photographer made arrangements for models through Model Mayhem.

This is working well for our members and the studio owner who spoke to the entire club two weeks ago on printing.

A factor membes considered: the cost of setting up a studio in their garage, bedroom, basement, etc., would have cost a minimum $2,000-$3,000. The studio had excellent lights, triggers for the camera which would trigger the lights, backgrounds, etc.

How do the 'special groups' work? Very simple. An interested member puts together a plan and 'champions' it. Put the plan together, promote it among other club members and coordinate activities for the group. Groups are formed among people who are interested in macro, light painting at night, studio, etc.

A local 'meet-up' group, which had about 200 members, closed recently, after the volunteer organizer was overwhelmed with all the work required. Our camera club has more than 20 members involved in a core leadership group; this spreads the work load much more evenly.

There are no 'free lunches' in our approach or that of the meetup groups. If you want something to happen, you will need to get involved and make it happen. There are costs involved: renting studio space, hiring models, etc. Expect to pay your share.

Some studios in our area have advertised on criagslist for $75-$100 for an evening. Model fees are in addition.

This is more than you asked for, but I though it might be helpful as you explore possibilities.



Gehjl
Registered: Feb 24, 2011
Total Posts: 265
Country: United States

Thanks for the insight Bernie and George! I'll look into camera clubs in the area and I'll also keep in mind the initiative you took for the studio. Makes a lot of sense and it looks like it worked out great for you guys!

I don't have a problem paying my share if I gain something out of it, I just didn't want to pay $100 to join a group, then $20-40 per event and walk away disappointed. I think I'm going to look through some pictures from the group and events to see if they are along my style before joining.



GCasey
Registered: May 30, 2006
Total Posts: 1251
Country: United States

Gehjl wrote:
Thanks for the insight Bernie and George! I'll look into camera clubs in the area and I'll also keep in mind the initiative you took for the studio. Makes a lot of sense and it looks like it worked out great for you guys!

I don't have a problem paying my share if I gain something out of it, I just didn't want to pay $100 to join a group, then $20-40 per event and walk away disappointed. I think I'm going to look through some pictures from the group and events to see if they are along my style before joining.



When some in our camera club wanted to explore studio photography, we learned about and then talked with a studio that rented their space and lights. The charge was about $100; I don't recall the exact figure. We planned the shoot for 90 minutes.That allowed 12 or so minutes per person for actual shooting time -- not a lot, and not a lot of time to change lighting positions or backgrounds.

Some members wanted to do more, and another studio offered to host a group and offer discounts to individuals who would agree to pay a set amount every three months. This particular studio's major emhasis has moved from photography to professional digital printing.

They had space and lighting equipment available and saw this as an opportunity. It has worked well for them as well as our club members who want to use professional studio space and lighting rather than have the expenses of setting up a studio at home.

This is a rather unique set of circumstances and will not work for every studio. After one signs an agreement, pays for three months in advance, the scheduling is set up entirely on line, saving the studio the hassle of arranging individual shoots person to person.

I hope this brief 'sketch' of the arrangements is helpful.