The Vancouver Photography Meetup Group Message Board › Messages from the Organizer › Month 2 - Growth Status - Vancouver Photography Meetup Group
It's been an exciting summer for photography in Vancouver!
When I began this journey, I had no idea that my desire to learn more about photographic art and my desire to make friends would take on such momentum, and garner such wonderful support... not only from people interested in taking great pictures but from the photography community at large. It's a beautiful thing we're a part of.
With every conversation with each and every one of you the vision only expands. And, with every conversation I have with people in the community the doors of opportunity blow wide open. Whether you realize it or not, something big is happening here and I'm proud and humbled by the experience... and I'm very happy to share it, this journey, with all of you.
Since our inception on July 7, 2006, we've enjoyed 4 field trips, 1 pub meeting (with unstructured photo opp afterward), and 1 presentation (last night, wonderful!). The overall rating for the Group is 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Today we have 158 members. Of these 55 members last visited over two weeks ago. The rest of you have been actively participating and/or reading the site.
We've cut back advertising on Craig's List's main community page and this is generating a few new members each week. Word of mouth is now generating new members as well. We just made up a very small run of business cards at the request of Exposure Gallery as they'd like something to hand out if they mention us to guests to the Gallery. We have a few from this run to give out at field trips when the public asks us who we are.
Members are uploading their field trip photos with gusto! This is excellent from the point of view of Meetup.com visibility as our photos show up in various places throughout Meetup.com searches. We can be certain we are viewed as the active and ECLECTIC photography meetup group that we are -- our membership ranges from new beginners, to the full range of amateurs, to pros, (all with a respect and appreciation for manual and digital technologies), AND we have members with an interest in photography from various perspectives... such as designers, artists and models. The greatest part of this is we're all proud to be part of this diverse group.
Our Photo Contest for August is underway. A more complete overview and the outcomes of the Contest will be discussed in the next status report (as voting is underway today).
We currently have 5 open Polls. The results of these Polls will continue to be the foundation and integral starting point to planning events and outings. If you've not visited the Polls recently, go back and check to make sure your answers still reflect your expectations for the group.
The strategy so far has been to set up Events which fall in the top tier of requirements from the Polls to try to satisfy as many people as quickly as possible while setting a routine for the Events themselves. After 4 field trips, it's safe to say we have some experience with field trips now. We've had some constructive feedback which helps with direction too.
At the beginning of August the Group account opened with a balance of -$46.19. Members contributed a total of $55.00 at Events. Expenses for business cards totalled $10.00. The balance at August 31, 2006 was -$1.19.
Last week, I had the great pleasure of meeting with Marc Koegel to discuss the possibility of using his Vancouver Photo Workshops as space for a number of needs of the group into the future, such as learning environment, group meetings, studio work, clinics, etc. I'm pleased to announce Marc has graciously agreed to allow us to call the Vancouver Photo Workshops studio home to meet any of our needs (space and times permitting) for a generous fee, much lower than his normal space rental fees. New Group events will be posted shortly as the plans for speakers and presentations are confirmed.
I'm recruiting now for Organizer Assistants, and helpers. We need many assistants so that none of us are burdened, and if something needs doing it's sure to have someone available to step forward for it. I'm very interested to have as many of you part of the Organizing Team as want to be on it. The Meetup.com site functionality limits on assistants won't hold us back (I think we're allowed 200 assistants), so it's up to us to come up with a formula that works. Some Meetup.com groups have a lot of assistants. I LOVE this model. If you're interested in becoming part of the "Org Team", right now is the time to contact me to get involved. We're on the verge of planning and synchronizing the Fall and Winter schedule (field trips, learning, presentations), a Spring Festival, and who does what, where, when and how. The more people who get involved, the more can happen. Small contributions such as one-off tasks (bring cups to the meeting), are valued just as much as larger time contributions such as leading field trips. So, if you're inclined to want to be part of getting around a table with some really nice folks and planning what to do, and taking on a few things to run with, then give me a shout. Right now is the perfect time as things are in serious planning mode for the coming months.
Questions and Concerns
As always, please send me your questions, and concerns. As my time is tight I may not be focused on personal contact or I may forget things (I'm finding I'm doing that more and more). Forgive me and better yet, forgive me AND remind me!
Send your questions to me if something doesn't seem right or if you are wondering about something or if the answer isn't apparent. If you have feedback (good or not so good), I really want to hear it. I would much rather you tell me than someone else as I can actually do something to change things right away; and please people, let's not foster any bruises in our apple barrel.
Special thanks go to
Shannon for her strong support from the beginning, her remote view (which actually has a huge benefit -- who's going to do this for me when you come home?), for forging beautiful friendships and then inviting me to join them, and for whispering when I'm forgetful; Ciao for his encouragement and support of my vision from its inception, and for his continued thoughtfulness; Tim for his support of my vision, for keeping me on my toes and pointing out details I wouldn't have otherwise noticed, and for bringing to light that it's okay to be less serious sometimes; Jen for her friendship and for sharing her knowledge so freely; Gilles for being in synch with this group and the journey, and for being willing to share his knowledge through learning; Marc for his support of my vision and for allowing me to support his, and for sharing himself so openly; and last but certainly not least to, Brooke for inspiring synchronicity in our field trips and learning experiences.
Thanks also to each and every person I've had the extraordinary pleasure to meet and speak with in the past two months vis a vis this Meetup Group. In my wildest dreams I would never have expected that I would have been honoured with meeting you and sharing what we have, be it a small conversation about your work, or my child or yours, or a photo, or a trip down a dusty road, or a dinner meeting, or a long conversation about something simple or philosophical. All of these conversations are firmly planted in my memory and have helped shaped who I am.
Thank you all.