An interesting conversation took place during a planning meeting for the 2017/2018 Club Year last August, which seems quite relevant now that we’re at the end of the year. It had to do with who might be a great speaker for PhotoArt and went something like this.
“OK, we need a dynamite speaker for PhotoArt. Who has one!”
“How about ‘so-and-so’? He’s been all over the world, a Magnum member and won a lot of photojournalism awards for his work. He really has a message to share about serious issues and telling their story.”
“No way! I love photography because it makes me feel good and is relaxing. I won’t go if it’s going to be too heavy!”
Two very different opinions. Same love of photography. Both worthy feelings. Just like…Nikon and Canon. Ooops, well that analogy doesn’t work, does it?
This observation may seem trite and self-evident in your view(finder), but, the key take away was that the conversation took place at all and it was an easy one at that. Everyone was welcome to stake their territory out. No one threatened to sue! The Club remains a safe space and a shared one. That’s something in short supply these days in an increasingly polarized world, and something to be thankful for.
That “sharing part” is what I really want to “focus” on to see what “develops”. So, don’t “f-stop” reading now or you’ll be left in the “dark(room)”. OK, OK. I promise the rest of this blog won’t include my “leading lines”! (Which only worked once BTW, and we are still together, 41 years later!)
Ahem, the serious point is this.
A club like HHCC is many things, and often, our Club is a little like seemingly incompatible objects occupying the same space at the same time in the same place.
While a “club” usually means a group of people who think, act and are basically the same, at HHCC at any given moment, we are more about those seemingly incompatible objects, occupying the same space, time and place. It might mean:
- Expensive – Inexpensive
- Full manual mode – Full program mode
- Outdoor – Indoor
- Digital image – Print image
- Beginner – Expert
- Reportage – Relaxation
- Nikon – Can…sorry, let’s not go there again!
When two incompatible objects can occupy the same space at the same time in the same place, there has to be some kind of powerful “atomic-like” relationship happening to make it possible, and in the Club’s case, there is! The relationship is “sharing”. Sharing a love of something we have in common. Sharing our experiences. Sharing our knowledge. Sharing our time. The sharing is the energy that feeds the relationship among Club members. That’s why:
“I can’t figure out how to…”, shares space with, “Have you tried…?”, or
“How many stops do I need to …” shares time with, “That’ll be about one and a half.”, and
“Can you do a workshop or Q&A on…” shares a place with, “Sure, when do you need it?”
And, all of these different combinations should lead us to the very same destination: “Thank you!”
That’s the formula that makes a club like HHCC work! If sharing energizes the relationship, gratitude sustains the sharing. After all, we’re all about “f-stops”, not “f-bombs”! (Hey, print the T-shirts and copyright that one!)
So, do you, “Get the picture”?
I “shutter” to think what a club would be like if it lost its sense of sharing the love of photography, and more importantly, if there was no shared sense of gratitude for, well, all that sharing! Not to “over-expose” the issue, but all that sharing deserves to be recognized and given some gratitude, especially now that we are about to break for the season.
So, as you head off after the last Club meeting, take a moment to thank the tireless club executive, the dedicated workshop presenter, the enthusiastic PhotoArt volunteer, the Q&A expert, the competition judge (yes, the judge) and even that club member sitting beside you whose name you can’t remember. Thank them for sharing their time, their expertise, their enthusiasm, or, for sharing their Nikon to those unfortunate and misguided Canon owners.
Thank you, everyone!
Until next time…Cheeze!
ps- from Barb – for all who don’t know, Bob is the one who organized all the workshops and guest blogs this past year so if you enjoyed them give him a big thanks at the next meeting … he too is one of those volunteers ! Thanks Bob ….