When the Class of January 2017 finished AYWMC, many had been with me for 3 years, since I started A Year With My Camera back in 2015. They didn't want to repeat the whole year again, so I trialled a camera club for them, so that they could stay together and keep learning.
We are just getting to the end of the first 3 months, and it has been a fabulous success so far. I measure success in terms of:
What goes on in the camera club?
Like AYWMC, it's all online. But it is designed to push your photography onwards, with more intermediate and advanced projects. We have just one project each month, and members are encouraged to take the basic idea each month and then put their own interpretation on it.
In the first month, everyone had to research mono photographers, share their research and then create an image inspired by their research.
Two supermoons in one month prompted this week's topic: night sky photography. Not just the moon - we also looked at photographing star trails and the Milky Way.
This month we are photographing frozen flowers, and interpreting the Japanese concept of mono no aware: "an empathy towards the inevitable passing of all things".
How does it work?
There is one project to complete each month, and a weekly email delivers instructions and suggestions for wider reading and editing. There is access to a private Facebook group where I offer a monthly critique. Membership is limited to to make sure the community stays small enough to work well together.
Applications from new members are invited only 3 times a year, and there is already a waiting list for the next intake. If you would like to join the waiting list and be first to hear when the application process opens, add your email here:
What's it like?
I asked the current members how they would describe the camera club. These ideas kept coming up: community, safe to share, inspiring, challenging, try new things, get outside comfort zone, time to think around each topic, supportive.