First Club Meeting

The first club meeting of the 2017-2018 season has come and gone. If you missed it, here’s a summary of a few things you missed. If you didn’t miss it, you’ll might find notes on things you wish you had remembered.

Through these doors, you’ll find our temporary Showcase Space. We’ve been approved to use the space in October through December, with a chance to have that space or another after that, if there is enough interest. So let’s make sure we’re active in contributing to this unique opportunity to have our work displayed in the museum.

This time around, the deadline for getting your work up is October 3rd (bring it to the meeting). The museum wants us to have the first display up in time for the First Fridays Artswalk. You can submit any work you submitted to a competition last year. These are prints we are displaying, so if your work is in digital form, make sure to have it printed. It might look strange to have an SD card hanging on the wall with the rest of our photos!

No prints larger than what would be allowed in our competitions (16×20). Though not required, you are highly encouraged to frame your prints for display. Your frame should have a wire in the back for hanging, not any specialty fixtures, as we cannot guarantee they’ll fit.

The display will be updated each month with a theme of the previous month’s competition.

Anastasia Stanmeyer, editor of Berkshire Magazine, was our keynote speaker. She spoke about what she looks for in photographs for the magazine, then gave some suggestions on what we might focus on for our topic Giving and Volunteering in The Berkshires.” For the sake of brevity, in this post I’ll only comment on what she said regarding the competition. Soon I’ll do another post focused on the things she said regarding the magazine. I highly recommend reading that post when it comes, as the things she looks for in magazine-worthy photos is likely to be similar to what she looks for in competition-winning photos. Also, several of us would like to have our work published and she’s a great resource for that.

Winning images in this first competition will be in Berkshire Magazine! Not to knock the importance of ribbons (sewn into patriotic quilts), but getting exposure in a magazine is a nice prize too. Winning images that are selected for the magazine need to be available in digital format in a size large enough for printing… You submit to the competition the same as normal, but would likely e-mail the higher resolution image if you won. Exact details/specifications on this are coming and will be updated here when available.

General tips hinted at by Anastasia:

  1. Try to capture unusual images that stand out from the rest. Think outside the box.
  2. There will be lots of outtakes. Even if you think you have the shot, try other expressions, vantage points, etc…
  3. Make sure you have permission to take someone’s picture and that you’re not making them uncomfortable or taking away from their purpose for being there. This is easier at public events where participants usually sign releases stating they know people are taking their picture anyway.
  4. If it’s an older picture, at least make sure it’s still relevant. For example, people volunteering at a building that doesn’t exist anymore wouldn’t be a good idea.

Other suggestions from Anastasia:

  1. The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires, specifically Liana Toscanini, is a great resource for connecting volunteers and volunteer opportunities.
  2. The Walk a Mile event is this Wednesday. There are other walks coming up as well. I’ve seen signs for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s this Saturday. Other walks will surely come around.
  3. If walks aren’t your pace (Get it? Walking. Pace. Oh, never mind) then you could consider a food pantry or coat drive. Senior centers frequently have volunteers stopping by. Some doctors and nurses volunteer with visits to help people without insurance. And apparently Berkshire Bank has its employees volunteer sometimes.


Other suggestions from the top of my head (because I know this will be a difficult topic for most of us because most photographers are introverts and can’t stand other people):

  1. Animal shelters, because animals are adorable and adorable things win photo contests.
  2. Some of the fire departments in the Berkshires are volunteer based. Also, some EMS teams are volunteer based as well.
  3. Literacy tutors.
  4. Mass Audubon

Leave a Comment