Camera Clubs

RichardB 15 328 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2006 8:41AM
Hi to all,

It is the season for clubs to start their programmes and I was wondering if anyone has any thoughts about joining photographic clubs.

I had my interest in photography reawakened with digital and I have used the net to further my knowledge and support my interest.
I would like to learn more especially about portraits do you think it would be a good step to join a club? I have looked through the coming programme of the one nearest to me and it seems to be mainly competitions - is this what camera clubs are about?

All clubs will be different of course - but does anyone have any general views - are they a supportive place to learn or are they about who is top dog ?


ps: I live in south Essex if anyone knows clubs in the area.

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

martinproe 14 293 5 England
3 Sep 2006 8:54AM
I went along to our local club once and only once, I found them standoffish and pompous on the whole, with a definite leaning towards traditional(ie non-digital) photography.
Two members out of thirty odd spoke to me that night.It was a competition judging evening which dragged on terribly and I came away thinking that I'd learned nothing.
This site has been far more informative and beneficial to my learning, along with various books and magazines on the subject.
I sincerely hope that there are clubs out there who support and embrace the use of digital photography because it would be nice to be more social with this hobby.
Centurion 15 1.2k England
3 Sep 2006 8:54AM
If you enjoy sipping tea and viewing a slides then yes I would join your local camera club.

Sorry for the negative reply but thats the reason I left my camera club.

To be honest it might be best to make a visit and find out for yourself.

nikon5700ite 16 1.8k
3 Sep 2006 8:59AM
I think my club is quite a good one. Most members have changed to digital though some continue to shoot slides and these compete in the same competition as projected digital files. But I am questioning my membership as the AGM looms. The net is a source of comment and information available 24/7 whereas the Club is once a fourtnight or whatever and closes down for a month or more in the summer.
A group like ePHOTOzine where you can organise/join trips can provide the personal interaction that maybe the only useful aspect of a club. Of course if you like taking camera club photos and are good then winning comps will be rewarding for you. I've had a reasonable amount of success, despite putting in photos of interest to me and techniques I've happened upon instead of trying to win competitions, but I enjoy the net on a daily basis and have lost enthusiasm for Club activity.
RichardB 15 328 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2006 9:10AM
Thx guys appreciate your replies.

I will go along and have a look - but there is a choice of at least 6 in the area.

I should look to see how much is about digital as that is what interests me.

Don't reckon I'm going to be winning any competitions.
pentaxpete 15 681 1 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2006 9:19AM
Like the Windmill Theatre in London during the war 'we NEVER CLOSE at BRENTWOOD PHOTOGRAPHIC CLUB'! Things happen all year round; with summer excursions and winter Christmas Lights practical sessions. An large influx of new, younger members has meant BRENTWOOD is keeping up with the times-and THEY STAY !! We must be doing something right! Please visit us any Friday from 7.45pm at Friends' Meeting House SHENFIELD 200 yds West from Shenfield Station, free parking in the grounds or roadside. Although there is TEA there is also the PUB after the meeting where it continues ! Many 'Pro' photographers are members and some of the newer ones are already getting experience with them as 'Work Experience'.
MeanGreeny 14 3.7k England
3 Sep 2006 10:29AM
Most clubs allow you to go along 2 or 3 times - and you say there are 6 clubs in the area - that makes 12-18 visits or so that you can make this year.

Ask to see their syllabuses and go on the nights that interest you. Whatever you do, don't do what the guy above did and go on a night you know nothing about and make a judgement based on a single experience at one club. That's barmy.

By that time most clubs will have reduced membership fees so you can then make an informed choice and join one for the rest of the year. You might even join a different one the following year and ring the changes.

You'll easily find one out of six that at least satisfies you 50% of the time. Don't forget that everyones interests are different and the syllabus secretary has an impossible job keeping everyone happy.

pentaxpete 15 681 1 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2006 6:11PM
Just had another thought: remember, 'Clubs' are NOT 'Classes' ie as Adult Education Classes which start in September and go through step by step. People come to Clubs at all times in the year so the syllabus secretary cannot plan a step by step tuition programme. If you have NEVER been to a club ePHOTOzine members then PLEASE be PATIENT and try several times as mentioned in previous post.Do NOT ARRIVE LATE so the meeting has started, then you cannot blame members for not talking to you, as it is rude to chat when someone is doing a tutorial, and if the room is in darkness for a traditional/digital projection session people will not SEE you sidle in the door !
RichardB 15 328 United Kingdom
3 Sep 2006 6:52PM
Thank you for the response.
I will certainly take a look at what is on offer at local clubs.

psiman 16 574 Wales
3 Sep 2006 9:13PM
Hi Richard,

Clubs, like photographers come in all shapes and sizes. I tried a few clubs before settling on Crewe Photographic Society 2.5 years ago. At that time I was one of the first converts to digital SLR's and the first club I visited had a few members who were quite scathing about them which was why I ended up where I did. However in my experience I'd say the sea change has already happened in most camera clubs with the majority of the members now switching to digital. Some members, for whatever reason want to stay with film, and there's nothing wrong with that, but they're likely to find themselves becoming an increasingly small minority.

Nearly every club will have a website and by now will probably have put up their programme for the new season. Many of us try to encourage newcomers with open evenings showcasing last season's work and with advice on all aspects of photography (film and digital). I'd second the "try before you buy" advice and suggest you contact the club secretary before you go along, then they'll probably introduce to the other members and you won't feel like a complete lemon going along on spec.

Most of the clubs in your part of the world are members of the East Anglian Federations of Photographic Societies and you can find details about all their members clubs from their website

Good luck,

Simon Cotter
Publicity Officer

Crewe Photographic Society
LauraJ 14 4
4 Sep 2006 12:25AM
You wouldn't happen to know of any clubs in Australia would you? Never heard of such an idea until now. for me it would be great to join in on one,or to see what its like down here.
pentaxpete 15 681 1 United Kingdom
12 Sep 2006 8:45AM
Laura: YES, there ARE clubs in Australia as one of our best members emigrated there and has joined a club. I don't know how he found it though.Ask the local council or library maybe.
mattw 16 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
12 Sep 2006 8:54AM
....or local camera shop?

MeanGreeny 14 3.7k England
12 Sep 2006 9:01AM
Why don't you go to the Australian Photographic Society Web Page and click on Camera Clubs and then select the Territory where you live ?
stevekhart 14 4.5k 3 United Kingdom
21 Nov 2006 9:47PM
I've just escaped from my local one - oh how droll! I went once before about 6 months ago which I found boring, saw the "exhibition" in the local arts centre, which I found uninspiring, and spent an hour tonight listening to some bloke "judging" prints. I believe I've given it a fair crack of the whip and looking at the web sites, another local one seems to be of the same ilk, hence not for me. What a shame there aren't clubs local to me with epz'ers. I need to add another 30 years to my age to be eligible for my local clubs. Maybe then I'd appreciate them Sad

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.