Why Join the Camera Club

By Ann Butts, Competition Chair

The Southwest Missouri Camera Club has a lot to off anyone interested in photography, whether you take photos with a cell phone, a point and shoot camera, or a camera that costs thousands of dollars.   The club offers competitions, field trips to practice and gain tips from fellow photographers, special training sessions, and educational presentations at regular meetings.

I have been a member for a year, and can see a significant improvement in my abilities since I joined.  In the first three months I watched competitions and finally decided to enter one.  I won second place in the Intermediate category of the quarterly competition.  That gave me the confidence to enter other competitions, and I have won or placed in several.  The competitions are designed to help photographers continue to enhance their knowledge of the craft.

This photo won first place in a recent scavenger hunt with the subject, “depth of field.”  It took me about ten shots to get the photo I wanted, and I was thankful that I had been on a field trip where a seasoned member taught me how to change settings to get the best depth of field and lighting in a shot.

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During another recent field trip, a member loaned me a special ND filter that allowed me to get a long exposure of 25 seconds on moving water for this shot.

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At our regular meetings, through social media, our website, and in our monthly newsletter, we hear about photo opportunities in our communities.  Networking like this gives us chances to share and market our skills and photos.  We recently had a Saturday seminar about using social media to market our photography from Shawn Kirkbride with Rethink Tech.

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Many of our members offer to present their expertise at meetings.  I consider this free education, you just have to show up at a meeting to learn something.  Gary Shaver presented on creative photography recently.  At that meeting, I learned how to use textures to create an artistic look on this photo. 

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So if you ask yourself why you would want to join this club, the answer is to enhance the skills you already have, share your expertise, and maybe even learn how to market your work.  We are a unique group of photographers with all levels of skill from novice to intermediate to advanced, and we like to have fun.  You can find links to our Facebook page and Meetup page at the bottom of each page on the website.  I hope you will take the time to look around our site, and that you will decide to visit an upcoming meeting.   Our meetings are open to anyone with an interest in photography.