My understanding of a camera club is that all it’s members come together, meet, and share information that helps each photographer grow to be better photographers. The members do this by passing on their knowledge to the lesser experienced photographers, through speakers that come in for meetings and present on what they know, and through competitions and critiques that also help photographers to grow.
When I set up a workshop in different parts of the country, typically major cities with large populations, I will contact the local area camera clubs letting them know to let their members know that a multi day course about macro photography will be in their area, and that it would benefit their members and help them become better at macro photography.
Most clubs are very happy to see my workshops being offered in their area, and they do contact their members to let them know, as that is what a camera club should be about, helping their members grow as photographers. Why would you not want to offer this information.
It amazes me on how many clubs refuse to let their members know about this opportunity. The club president will say, well if you are not a member of our club, or haven’t presented at one of our club meetings, then we will not promote your workshop.
I don’t understand the reasoning that they would withhold this information from their members, which would be a benefit to their members, and could help them grow as photographers. This is what a camera club is about, helping photographers grow, and not about withholding information that may help them.
Now I can understand that they wouldn’t promote workshop leaders workshops that are in other states, but mine are right in their backyard, close for the members to attend without any cost for travel.
Club presidents have said that they can’t promote a workshop without knowing anything about the workshop. Why not pass on the info, and then say the club is not endorsing the workshop, and that it is up to the members to do their own research about the workshop before they sign up. That way the club is not responsible if someone attends a workshop that they promoted, and was not happy.
Some will say, well Mike you are a business and making money, so maybe that’s why they don’t want to promote your workshops in their area. Well of course workshops are making money, that’s how they exist, but the fact remains that the people attending are all benefiting from an experienced photographer, and money is what allows a workshop leader to come into the area and teach the workshop. Without the money there is no workshop, and the photographer loses the benefit of an experienced teacher.
On the money making side, camera clubs members talk about their latest camera they have bought, and how great it’s working for them. Last time I checked camera companies are making money, so maybe the club shouldn’t talk about their equipment because those manufacturer are making money. So the excuse that they can’t promote a workshop leader’s workshops because they are making money is crap.
If I was a member of a club and interested in macro photography and found out that a pro was in town teaching on this subject, and the club refused to let that info be known, when they knew about it, I would be a little upset.
Maybe I’m missing something with these clubs that refuse to let members know about these opportunities for their members to learn and become better photographers, or maybe they are trying to keep all the learning within the club, like some kind of secret society.