Have you ever wished you could find a real person to talk to about photography or to get a review of your work to help you improve your technique? If your answer is yes – a photography society could be the perfect answer for you.
Almost everyone enjoys taking photographs. However if one wants to develop their skills and take more satisfying photographs, joining a photography society is an excellent step. There is a lot of practical help at hand. Most members are only too happy to share their expertise. If there is something you'd like to be able to do, there's probably someone in the society who can help. Informal 'How-to-do-it' sessions are arranged throughout the season. Also, if you are thinking of purchasing equipment, you can usually find some good advice:
1. Talk with like minded photographers
Most societies have the full range from newbie to pro, and all with varying shooting styles. Don't be afraid that you won't fit in. You will.
2. Educational classes
You'll be able to learn new techniques and methods from people in the know. Whether the class is taught by a society member or an outside source, you can learn about software, how to use your camera, studio lighting and more.
3. Competitions and Critiques
Monthly competitions will usually have a theme; Macro, Flash, Transportation, Portraits etc. These will get you to shoot things you perhaps never would. You'll get inspired by the work of others. Through the critiques and judging you'll hone your skills and improve your pictures. "Come at me bro"
4. Trips and Excursions
You may find professional photographers who run Photo Tours or society members may lead little day trips. You'll get the chance to explore new places and have an experienced guide to show you the best techniques and vantage points to shoot from. This is some of the best (and cheapest) digital photography training you can get.
5. A Shared Library
Brunel Photo Soc have a Shared library, where members donate their books for others to borrow. You'll be able to learn new things and browse photographers portfolios without spending a penny!
6. Friendly Learning
Lastly you learn and get feedback in a much less intimidating and more friendly way from your fellow photographs, that's called a 'Photoclinic'. Members meet and review their images in a constructive and helpful way. This is a great way to start out on the process of improving your photography. Now how amazing is that?
Chris Rathore is the Secretary of Brunel Photography Society and one of Le Nurb's In house photographers. His own blog can be found here. All images Copyright Chris Rathore