It can get a little lonely having an interest that none of your friends and family are interested in. Just think how more enthused you’ll be about photography if you surround yourself with like-minded people? Setting up your own camera club could be the perfect way to keep your passion alive and meet some great people in the process.

Here’s the Parrot Print guide to setting up your own photography club…

The benefits

Whether you’re a complete photography newbie looking for someone to mentor you into greatness, or you’re looking for creative individuals to help to take you to the next level, setting up a group for this is the ideal solution. The benefits include:

  • Meeting like-minded people
  • Giving yourself a space to be creative
  • A sounding board for new projects/competition entries
  • Interesting ways to collaborate
  • An activity you could do with the kids (depending on the group)

Setting up

First and foremost, do a little research to see if there is a camera club already in your immediate area. It is better to join a club that is already up and running – and well established – than launch into setting up one that could leave you with fewer members and a few noses out of joint!

Think about the type of photography club you’d like to be a part of; will this be focused on a niche sector of the art form or will it be an all-inclusive hub for people of all abilities an interest levels?

Where could you set up a club? To begin with, this could be a ‘living room’ set up while you garner interest and then when your group gets bigger you can look at alternative housing for the meetings. Local community halls, a room in the local church or school etc.

It’s also useful to look at the local, regional union of camera clubs for inspiration as well as joining photography organisations so you feel part of the wider photography community.

Projects

Once you’re all set up, it’s time to think about what you will be doing each week/month. Try to put together a theme each month for members to get creative with – be as collaborative about these decisions as possible so that everyone feels involved.

Invite known photographers and artists in the region (or further afield) to come and talk to the group about their work, as well as putting together a recommended reading/watching list of great photography books and films that will be useful and interesting.

As the nights are drawing in, now is the perfect time to set up something that will bring together photography enthusiasts. Your first theme could be on the changing seasons and the wonderful colour palettes that autumn brings. Another project in the coming months could be working on producing photographs that could make the ideal canvas print gifts for Christmas.

Have we inspired you to set up your own photography club, or have you recently joined one yourself? We’d love to know, so please share your thoughts with us in the comment section.