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Hi all, I've never been part of a camera club but wondered those of you who are, how often do you use the clubs websites? And what do you use them for?
As an outsider to these groups, I only ask as I have been looking at them recently and some are full of info about the club, meetings, competitions and external links, while others offer pretty much nothing.
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I'm joint webmaster of our club's website and it is used for a lot of things as you can see here. We are constantly looking at new ways of extending its utility as well.
(Mods - I hope this isn't infringing any T&Cs, if so, please remove - but it seemed relevant to answering the thread query)
you are on my camera clubs website right now.... and it doesnt even cost me any fuel getting there
Brian that does seem a very useful website, obviously your members use the site a lot, and for varied reasons, you have plenty of external links etc, information and so on, but compare it to Knutsford (hope this is OK, I have no affiliation being from Milton Keynes). Now there is nothing wrong with Knutsfords site, but it contains far less information or helpful (in my oppinion) links. If I were a camera club member I would rather join you in Boscombe than the guys in Knutsford.
Which is kind of why I was asking, you would think that most camera clubs would want to:
a) attract new members, and websites are the easiest form of advertising these days.
b) offer their members the most thay can.
The last "news" item on our club site is our exhibition last month, then the previous news item was our Christmas party.....
Brian (1208) I see you have Terrick coming to see you, he is always worth listening too/seeing his portfolio.
He is good value isn't he, I'm a great fan of his (because he likes my work and usually gives me 10's when he judges our club / inter-club comps! )
@ Meercat - it can be too much of a good thing, we ended up with a waiting list of new members, some had to wait over a year to join at one point. The club is now just about full to bursting but we have manged to keep a very friendly and informal atmosphere
The club is now just about full to bursting..
DOH i live in bmouth and was playing with the idea of a camera club. A: to get out mroe but B: for more togging usage..
have a look at our website Matt and if you think it may be of interest let us know, you can then visit three times for free and without commitment - then decide if you want to part with some money and join us.
We are a pretty light-hearted group of people of all ages and who don't take ourselves too seriously, (although we do take our photography seriously)
Thanks for the replies guys, it would seem that either not many EPZ people are members or not many use the websites
To be honest the camera club I belong to does things through meetings rather than the web site, and the attraction is in the meeting other photographers and activities etc, but here it is the problem all clubs I have belonged to (photographic or not) is getting someone to spend the time keeping a web site up to date.
Have a look at Hexham PS. It really is a good one and well used by members.
Having looked at the one for Crewe, it doesn't really inspire anyone to want to join. The programme only seems to be a list of the closing dates for competitions and doesn't really say what if anything else they do.
The other month they did have an exhibition at the local theatre, which looked to be well attended. I went along with a view to asking what else they did. While wandering round looking for someone to talk to I was greeted with an opening comment of
"You just looking at the girls (he was stood next to an image of Ivory Flame) ...... brief pause..... or photography?"
Before anyone asks if he was a representative of the club, I preumed he was as he appeared to have a badge with his name on it.
I didn't bother hanging around to look anymore or try to find out what else they did, I considered the annual membership fee and weekly meeting fee better off in my pocket.
Like Strawman, my camera club is all about personal attendance at weekly meetings, rather than about websites. You will learn far more from being in the company of 50 or 60 like-minded amateur photographers, with a huge range of interests and skill levels, than you will ever learn from any website. The breakdown of the weekly meetings is approximately:
25% practical projects
25% guest speakers
25% members' presentations
Left Forum sounds like our clubs have a similar mix, it has a rotating 4 week cycle.
So as an example from the diary for this month
1 Competition B “Macro and Close-up” and Open
8 An Evening with John Chamberlin FRPS EFIAP MPAGB
15 Practical Night—Fun with Portraits
22 Philip Mugeridge ARPS Wild Life Photography—Lake Michigan 2010
winter practical nights do end up indoors, but it can be a good time to try out different kit, for example lights, or different flash guns or even macro lenses. Like this site, it relies on people being open and sharing plus doing it all in a good natured friendly way. The difficult line is avoiding delivering lectures, or leaving people out. And clubs can be inviting, but a fun group where everyone knows each other can look imposing to a new member so its also about taking time to step back and chat to new members to see what they want.
It can be hard to not do the same again so you need a bunch of people taking responsibility for the differing aspects, not the same old every month quite looking forwards to the portraits and wildlife stuff at the latter part of the month myself.
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