What Is the Role of a Club?

On the members on section of this website, I recently asked the question, what is the role of a club?

I have my opinions, but before we talk about those, I think the first role of a club is to support it's members.  You can't support your members if you don't know what they want.

This might be a little deep for a first blog post in our blog, so bear with me.

Here are my thoughts on what the terms of reference should be for a club.

A Clubs Purpose

A photography club should: -

  • Provide a platform for competitions
  • Provide training and education
  • Give members a chance to present their work
  • Invite photographers to talk to us about their speciality
  • Engage with other clubs to build a supportive network
  • Make a safe and friendly atmosphere for all members

A couple I'm no sure that clubs do and should do (or at least do more of) are: -

  • Push the boundaries - photography shouldn't be formulaic, we shouldn't be afraid to get out our comfort zone and look for ways to explore photography that is missing in the photography world
  • Offer a social aspect for the members - We should talk about the weather, enjoy each others company more
  • Use their skills to provide photographic support for local community projects and charities


I think most of that is self explanatory.   People join clubs for a number of reasons but the one we hear most is "to improve my photography".  So training and instruction by the club or visiting professionals has to feature predominantly in a club (at least in ours).   And that applies to our most advanced photographers as well as our novices.  We all have something to learn.

Why competitions?  Well that helps you develop as a photographer (pun intended).  Getting feedback from an independent judge helps you think differently about your work.  It helps you fine tune your technique and style.  

How about pushing the boundaries?   I don't think club members do that enough.  We get stuck in a rut.  Pushing the boundaries and trying something that might seem counter intuitive won't always get you great results.  And that's OK.  In getting something "wrong" you're still learning.  

I think supporting community projects and venturing into the world outside the club can be rewarding for the individuals, help others become interested in our love of photography and offer members a purpose.

What About You?

Well those are my thoughts.  They are not necessarily representative of Great Barr Photographic Society.  They are some thoughts that have been bouncing around my head.

But what do you think?  Members should pop into the forum and let us know!  Non members are welcome to pop in and see us on club nights (details here) to see what we get up to and whether you think you'd like to be involved.  If you have comments on this article feel free to join the conversation on our Facebook Page