I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my camera tomorrow. That's because I will be taking advantage of the opportunity to get some uninterrupted time (2 hours) in the fabulous Fox Theatre, one of Atlanta's most prized possessions. I would have never been able to do something like this if I was just "on my own". I could just imagine the response I'd get from the management of the Fox if I called them up and said "Hi, i'm an amateur photographer and would like to have exclusive access to your lovely facility so I can take some pictures. When can I schedule that?" :-) But since I'm a member of a couple of photography groups, this conversation never needed to take place. Instead, one of the other members (who has much more pull in the world of photography than I) was able to schedule a couple of 2-hour blocks of time for members of our group.
There will be some cost involved, $10 each, and we won't be able to use images from the shoot for commercial purposes or to promote our own photography business. Other than that, we are free to take as many images as we can and share the results with others.
Tripods are allowed and encouraged so I plan on taking advantage of that and hopefully getting some decent images that I'll share with all of you once I have time to process them.
The Benefits Of Joining A Photography Group
Like I said up above, gaining access to a historic venue like the Fox Theatre would never be possible on my own. But as a member of a larger photography group I will be able to test my photographic skills in this classic venue. In addition, I will be there with 12 other photographers who have a lot of experience that I can learn from.
I joined 2 local photography groups soon after I got back into photography last June and I am so glad I did. I've met some great people, made a few new friends and learned a lot about photography in the process. There are some very talented and experienced photographers in the groups and they are very willing to share their experiences and offer advice when asked. If I hadn't joined a group I'm sure that I would be much less proficient than I am (although I have a long ways to go).
So, for all of you aspiring photographers out there, no matter your experience or skill level, who don't belong to at least one photography club or group, join one today!! There are many resources to find a group that matches your interest. One of the best sources is Meetup. I used Meetup to find the 3 groups Pam and I belong to. All I did was type in "photography" in the search box on the Meetup site and Voila, I found a few groups that seemed worthwhile. There are groups all over the place so check them out and find a photography group near you.
Your camera will thank you.