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From: Bill A.
Sent on: Thursday, December 27, 2012 10:29 PM

This group has been in existence for nearly five years and now has 240 members. When I saw it was about to be closed down I stepped up to be organizer to preVENT its closing. Since assuming the position I have done little more than pay the requisite dues.

A new member wrote to me and asked about the group…what it's like…what it will be like. I replied and decided now was a good time to introduce myself and some of my plans for the group.

I am currently the organizer of Philly Video Pros and I have been organizer or co-organizer of six other photography Meetup groups. It takes a LOT of work to be a GOOD organizer. This year is about to close and when it does a new one will begin immediately. This group will, however, evolve over time. It's too abrupt, IMO, to just start changing things that have worked for years. I expect when I take on an organizer role that I will serve for a year. You needn't make much of that expectation—it keeps me focused.

I am a working photographer. Now THERE'S a start. I choose to define photographers as either working or hobbyists. WHY? Because I know some working photographers who, by most definitions, would be called professional, but their work fails to match that of a dedicated hobbyist who would be defined, by most, as an amateur.

I cover news events, mostly sports, for local and regional newspapers, and a couple national magazines. I also do commercial work for a variety of clients. The majority of my recent commercial work has been limited to photographs used for websites and collateral materials. I've done stock photography but none recently.

I've written about photography and taught photography classes. Currently my writing interests are confined to photography gear and my teaching endeavors are limited to Meetups and some mentoring.

My life is ever changing. A might find a news event so engaging I will devote several months to JUST its overflow, such was the case with 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Occupy, to name a few.

My avatar is one of my favorite photos. The woman in the photo is a long-time friend, [url=]Gina Kaz[/url]. She's a singer. I took the photo MANY years ago while testing a new camera I then wrote about. Gina used my photos for her second CD, and what is now my avatar photo was on the back cover. It was a CRAZY shoot. One I'll never forget.

Enough about me. Moving forward. What can you expect to see changed, what will remain, and what can you expect to be forthcoming?

I expect I will be changing the canvas for this Meetup. NBD. I plan to leave most, if not all the current photo albums in place; exhibited therein is some EXCELLENT work, some by people who are no longer members. Once I determine what most of you WANT from this group I'll begin seeking consensus on future meetups. I plan to suggest monthly photo challenges which will allow all of us to participate without having to deal with much more than the challenge itself.

If you are thirsting to shoot something interesting with your camera in the next week, there's hope. Four of the photography Meetup groups to which I belong are planning to shoot the Mummers Day Parade on New Year's Day. ALL are assembling at different times at Broad & Washington Streets (my favorite spot). I plan to attend. I am also assigned to shoot the Fancy Brigades Competition in the Convention Center, probably the later of the two shows. Last year I squeezed in the Villa Classic Basketball Tournament but this year it was held December 15. New Year's EVE I expect I will join other photographers in one of two places to shoot the New Year's Eve fireworks at Penn's Landing. There are TWO shows, one at 6 p.m. and the other at midnight. I have shot the 6 p.m. show for the past six years, the last two years from Sugar House Casino, three years ago from the parking lot beside Campbell's Field in Camden, and the year before from the deck of The Battleship New Jersey. It's going to be VERY cold according to the forecasts.

Quickly on the heels of the New Year's starting, there is the Philadelphia Auto Show,  The Home Show, The Boat Show, and The Flower Show. ALL are held in The Convention Center where it's warm. I'll be assigned to cover those shows and lots of sports. The quarterfinals of the NCAA Championships will be held in Philadelphia this year.

I will suggest the New Year's Eve fireworks and the Mummers Day Parade as possible meetups. They will ONLY become official if ten or more members agree to attend.

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