August 29, 2011

The Value of a Photographic Society

I am a member of four photographic societies. Each has helped me become a better photographer in different ways.

The Photographic Society of America has on-line critique groups, which helped me learn skills quickly because as part of the group, you critique everyone else's work. Each member critiques your photographs and all the information is compiled and posted in pdf files for review. It is helpful to see if other members agree or disagree.

The Roswell Photographic Society of Roswell, Georgia is one of my favorites. It meets twice a month, which helps me stay connected to members. The first Monday of each month there is a critique. The third Monday of the month a speaker teaches about photography. In the beginning I attended the critiques but didn't submit. After a few months, I added my image to the collection. These critiques are anonymous, which may motivate you to submit your work. Now, I place in the critique judging. This club also has several juried shows during the year.

Women in Focus is an Atlanta based photography club that meets on the second Wednesday each month. This club also has periodic critiques and an annual juried show. I like this club because there are only women in the group and this provides a less intense environment for the beginner. It is also smaller in size, so it is easier to get to know fellow photographers. This group has an artists' choice show, which is a perfect place to begin showing photography in Atlanta.

Atlanta Photography Group is a group based in Atlanta that has a gallery they support. The club has many juried shows in the gallery each year. They have an open review on the first Wednesday of the month, where you show and explain your work in front of the club and listen to advice from members. This group has a speaker each third Wednesday of the month about a photographic subject. I haven't attended these meetings, but enjoy the shows and recently was juried into In Your Dreams. The competition is stiff here, so beware, but pat yourself on the back should you get in a show.

If you don't live in Atlanta, search the web for a society near you. If there isn't one, consider starting something informal via This is a great way to connect with people that have similar interests and become a better photographer.

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