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05-18-2022, 03:52 PM   #1
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How to find photogs to connect with in an area with no photography clubs?

I've been teaching myself photography for the last 8 or so years with the only real interaction being with people here on the forums and the couple dark room courses I took a few years back. I've been wanting to expand my horizons and go on outings with people in my area but for the last decade it seems that any photography clubs have just completely dried up and nothing is being held. There's of course stuff in Tampa and Orlando but if anyone has lived in Central Florida knows having to commute regularly on i4 just for a hobby isn't exactly ideal. Plus gas prices are just extremely prohibitive for me.

What do you guys do in areas to connect with others? It feels lonely at times and I just want to connect with others in my hobby. I've tried talking to the bird photogs in my area while on the trails but they just give me a dirty look as if they want me to go away No offense if you're a bird photographer

05-18-2022, 04:03 PM   #2
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Where in Cental Florida are you?
05-18-2022, 04:05 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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Start looking on social media for local clubs. If there isn't one near you, start one!
05-18-2022, 04:05 PM   #4
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Do you have a local brick and mortar camera store? That is how I connected with a couple of photo groups.

05-18-2022, 04:32 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
Where in Cental Florida are you?
Lakeland area.
05-18-2022, 04:32 PM - 1 Like   #6
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The reason I was asking where he more specifically lives is I'm in Central Florida, and a member of several photography groups, a moderator of one of them. It's not too difficult finding a Meetup or Facebook group even in the most central of Central Florida. Just gotta know where to look. Once you connect with one you get contacts who are members of another. Then it's on if you wish.
05-18-2022, 04:33 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
Lakeland area.
Then I'm within 10 miles of you in all likelihood. Send me a PM.

05-18-2022, 07:42 PM   #8
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Other groups have photographers too. I just went to a birding group. A gentleman asked me about my Pentax. After saying it is the ks-2, a 20mp sensor camera from 2015, he smiled. " I have a k1 and a k3iii. I don't bring them birding."
05-18-2022, 09:12 PM   #9
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If you use twitter, use the #believeinfilm hashtag, good chance you'll peak a few peoples interest that happen to live not that far from you to do like a photowalk or something of the sort.
05-19-2022, 12:46 AM   #10
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I was in a few Meetup groups a few years ago, when Meetup started charging more they kind of dried up. Since I relocated there has been Covid to curtail many group activities. The photo walks were always fun, especially when people posted photos afterwards.
You may have to organize something to get it going, or from the posts above maybe you’ve found what you need.
05-19-2022, 02:37 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZombieArmy Quote
I've tried talking to the bird photogs in my area while on the trails but they just give me a dirty look as if they want me to go away No offense if you're a bird photographer
Haha!
"On the trail" possibly means the other photographer was already interested in a subject and didn't want to be diverted, or didn't want to risk upsetting any potential subject
Unfortunately, no matter how quiet people are, two (or more) will always make more noise than one, so the potential disturbance to the local wildlife is increased.
Many outdoor photographers, by the very nature of their hobby, tend to be solitary, enjoying their own company … unfortunately these may feel uncomfortable in the presence of people they don't know, so do be prepared to respect their attitude.
Meeting up in bird hides is likely to be more profitable, if you've got such facilities in your area. The local wildlife is much less likely to be disturbed by people they can't see and other people using the hide can expect not to be alone
Alternatively, local scenic viewpoints, at an appropriate time of day, are likely to attract similar-minded people with a few minutes to spare.

Last edited by kypfer; 05-19-2022 at 02:41 AM. Reason: punctuation
05-19-2022, 07:37 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
Other groups have photographers too. I just went to a birding group. A gentleman asked me about my Pentax. After saying it is the ks-2, a 20mp sensor camera from 2015, he smiled. " I have a k1 and a k3iii. I don't bring them birding."
I can't imagine NOT using a K3III he already owns for birding. It's ideal. Maybe he's just trying to keep it safe and out of the weather.

BTW, a lot to love about your KS-2. I held on to mine for quite awhile.
05-19-2022, 09:39 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Somewhat in this position myself ... until Covid scuppered things.

I actually have a vibrant club near me which has regular meetings. It has a waiting list and there's room in the small theatre they meet in for around 120-150. Trouble is the club is extremely focussed on competitions, which isn't my thing. Maybe it's not for you, so no great loss then :-)

Creating a local group was suggested. However, I then began to wonder if I actually wanted my regular pre-dawn experiences to be changed with another's company. I tend to visit locations with little pre-planning and then go as I please. Company at times would be nice. Travelling with others and then splitting up when at a location might work, but this is still restricts the independence of solo visits. So for the majority of cases it wouldn't work for me. I would like it, in principle, but the reality is different.

So a local group that couldn't care less about competing, doesn't tend to go on excursions together very often, but is still a "group". The group notion starts to become somewhat tenuous. However, meeting up for regular photography/social chats might work and spinning off activities - and importantly feeding ideas - is a possibility.

I wonder if the dearth of clubs near you perhaps allows you to try and decide what you actually want from some kind of group interaction and then "advertising" it in some way. My guess is that there are folk out there who don't find the formality of a club especially appealing, but would be interested in an initial gathering to explore ideas.

Just a thought ... I spent a few years on the art & crafts circuit selling photos. Some of the most enjoyable and interactive were the small, local events where I had numerous conversations with other photographers, guess I could have expanded these interactions towards social meet-ups - I was too busy then, sadly. Big events over several days where entirely different affairs and expensive. Maybe you could get involved in a small show/event? Print a few cards and prints, book a table and see what interactions occur. Showing like this doesn't make much money, typically, but (my wife) and I thoroughly enjoyed most shows and it gave a focus to my photography. The camaraderie amongst other traders was (mostly) positive and being on 'the circuit' (mostly) fulfilling. Who knows where your photography could spin off to ...?
05-19-2022, 10:00 AM - 4 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
I was in a few Meetup groups a few years ago, when Meetup started charging more they kind of dried up. Since I relocated there has been Covid to curtail many group activities. The photo walks were always fun, especially when people posted photos afterwards.
You may have to organize something to get it going, or from the posts above maybe you’ve found what you need.
I've made a plan with the OP who sounds interested in wildlife, BiF. Depending on what other genres he has an interest in there are 6 other currently-active groups I'm a member of within a 35 mile radius and can point him their way. We're a community.
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