Photography can be an isolating pastime. When I go for a day out with my family the actual process of the photography can be isolating. While I stop to take a photo my companions have to wait for me which also adds to the stress. This can lead to feeling rushed and not achieving the best results.
So rather than going out with family or friends, the ideal solution is to go out with another photographer. When I first started going out to shoot, I did not know any other photographers. Beyond the basic desire for companionship there is also the stimulation generated from sharing ideas and discussing techniques.
Credit: Photo by Annette Murty, Visions Photography Club
I joined a photography club eight or nine years ago. I didn’t really know what to expect when I joined, other than I hoped it would be a place where like minded people could share their love of photography. Over the years since then I ended up as president of the club for a couple of years and am still a member of the committee.
Now, not all photography (camera) clubs are equal! Many clubs have a strong competition element to them. Regular competitions can be a powerful driver for improving your skills as they driver you to continually improve. However, my club (Visions Photography Club, Aberdeen) is a lot more focused on learning and socialising, although we do still run and take part in several competitions each year.’
Personally, I am not too competition focused. I find a club that enjoys trying new subjects and techniques appeals to me along with the social interaction that the club maintains.
Credit: Photo by Rob Romani, Visions Photography Club
I have learned a lot from sharing time with other photographers in the club. I have also tried different types of shoots that I probably wouldn’t have tried on my own.
If you have a local club, it is well worth going along and giving a few weeks to see if it suits you.