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The 700 Club

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OregonVelo 5:00pm, 13 November 2009
Well we just it the 700 mark for members. Very cool indeed. Just to put that into perspective. The only other city based group larger than us in the WORLD is Seattle. The only other strobist groups that are larger are country or subject matter based.

Not bad for a group that had its first meetup 2 years ago this month (?) with only three people.

I would like to thank Jeff and all the other people that put in the hard work to make sure the group keeps going and growing… Sorry I am not going to list every person, because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings if I miss a person.

I would like to put out a couple of challenges.

1st - if you haven't come out to a meetup or gathering, come out and be social. I know that some people feel that they don't have the skill... we are a learning group, we welcome all levels of people. Most of us don't bite. There are some photographers on the other end of the spectrum and feel that they don't have anything to learn from the group... that may be true, but why not come out and share a little of your knowledge. I am not saying give up your 'trade secrets", but come out and share a little bit with those just starting out.

2nd - Anybody can put on a meetup. If you want some help or guidance, there are people that are willing to help. It only take 12 people a year to put on 1 meetup each to ensure burnout doesn't happen to those putting on meetups all the time. I would like the group still going strong 5 years from now, and most likely that can only be done if more people chip in every now and then.
admin
kenneth barton PRO 9 years ago
One small correction:

The first ever meeting was almost 2 years ago but with 4, not 3 people; Mike Burry, Jeff Mawer, Luke Olsen and myself. I had noticed Jeff’s Flickr Group and since I didn’t know any Portland photographers I called for a meeting at Fireside Coffee (it’s since gone out of business) in order to meet some. We decided to have a workshop style meet in December for which Mike graciously agreed to let us use his Smashbox studio location. Loads of folks showed up and it was great fun so we had a second meet-up there in January 2008. For February Shane and Jeannie generously set up a meet at their house, and since then we’ve held them at all sorts of locations. Like Shane I don’t feel comfortable singling anyone, but I’m making an exception for Jeff because deserves such a huge huge thank you from all of us for really going out of his way far more than any of the rest of us for putting in such constant and consistent effort to keep this thing going. He’s also the one who originally created the group on line so ‘Thank you big time Jeff.’

-ken

First Meet – December 2007
PDX Strobist Meet - Tara Getting Shot

Second Meet – January 2008
PDX Strobist Meet - Shooting Cat

Third Meet – February 2008
PDX Strobist Meeting - Julia and Her Photographers
admin
OregonVelo 9 years ago
I have also updated the main PDX Strobist page to include the one click search for the latest strobist meetup photos. There are some shoots that are missing a lot of photos. Please make sure you take photos from meetups with: PDXstrobistMMYY

The MM being the 2 digit month and the YY being the 2 digit year.
admin
Woohoo! Yeah for us! I can't believe it's already been 2 years!! Feb 2008 was the first meet for me and that photo above proves it :)
While I wish I had found this group sooner, the two meetings I've been to were great and everyone was really welcoming. It's gonna take a while to remember who's who but I plan on being a regular for as long as I can. Can't wait for the empty condo shoot coming up!!
admin
metakephoto PRO 9 years ago
Now all we need is to get all 700 members out to a meetup/photoshoot, at the same time......and 175 models, so we could keep the ratio of 4 photographers per model.
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OregonVelo 9 years ago
That would be so cool. I think we could do it if we took over a terminal at PDX. Think they would allow that?
admin
kenneth barton PRO 9 years ago
Next time an airline that services PDX goes bankrupt I'm on it. We'll rent their terminal area.

-ken
Our group kicks mega ass. I learn so much every time we all get together. You look at other groups, and their meetups are much more sporadic and seemingly less organized. Sure, things turn into a free-for-all now and again, but that chaos can be fuel for the creative process.

Thanks guys (and gals) for making it happen. Highlight of the month, for sure.
dath1974 9 years ago
Only been attending meets for a few months, but it's been a wild ride and I've learned so much working with and watching others! Heck, I even like a few of you;->

Seriously though, I've met some really awesome photographers and some most excellent models! I hope to stay regular. Err, you know, whatever;->
GeoFX 9 years ago
I almost join Seattle Strobist after seen their Youtube video. Fortunately I found something closer and save me a lot of travel to North. Thank you all for setup this group and share your knowledge.
admin
metakephoto PRO 9 years ago
@GeoFX: The Seattle Strobist doesnt have meetups...it's the Seattle Flickr Meetup group your thinking of....
admin
ʎɥdɐɹbodıd 9 years ago
I think it's a great idea the group has recently been making the effort to encourage newbie Strobist/enthusiasts to attend more of the regular meetups. Even shooters already experienced with OCF that's never met the group are more than encouraged to come out & meet the regulars. It's always great to see everyone collaborate with new talent. But as of to date, 727 is a heck of a lot of members and I am quite surprised we don't really see more new faces at meetups. Honestly, I think the RSVP list with meetups just fill up so darn quick, it may never give someone new a chance to even think about signing up....cuz "heck why bother, it's full anyway!". Organizers, -how about going forward... (specifically with ones that have photographer limits) perhaps you can obligate a small percentage of the attending photographers to be for first timers?

Example: PDX Strobist Meetup with a 20 photographer limit.
Reserve the latter 5 spots for 1st-timers, while the other 15 spots be the regular-RSVP/first-come-first-served-peeps. As the event date nears and 1st-timer spots still exist, one spot at a time can be given to the person next on the waiting list that didn't make the initial 15. This way 1st-timers can still be wishy washy but has their own RSVP time-window to meet and wouldn't bump anyone else off once they do make up their mind. I guess this can be confusing at first but I think it could actually work out. With warm season long gone and less outdoor shoots during the cold months, i'm sure we'll see more attendee-limits due to space limitations of indoor venues/studio space; the shoots will surely fill quicker than usual.

Still new to the group myself, I've absorbed so much in the past 5 months by just observing & working with many of you and always look forward to the next meetup. I think if this group can appeal & inspire one or two newbies per meetup and get 'em bit by the Strobist bug... (like it bit the heck outta me) that's a win for everyone! :) Especially the banks of my credit cards i've used for all my gear :P But I definitely agree it's important to make that effort and give the 1st-timers a wide-open door.

-pip
charming alarm [deleted] 9 years ago
Great idea Pip! It would be great if those that are new to OCF and Strobism would become more active in this group and take advantage of the excellent learning opportunities here.

I am not sure anyone would be up to it but, a mentor list might be cool too. Members who are more knowledgable/experienced could make themselves available to mentor a newbie who has similar gear for their first meetup. I know everyone is more than willing to offer help and advice when ever it is needed, but some peeps like a little extra coaching. I dunno... Just an idea.
admin
OregonVelo 9 years ago
pip - I think your idea is a good one.
admin
kenneth barton PRO 9 years ago
I think Pip and JayCee both have good ideas here.

-ken
Barley Gnome 9 years ago
As a newer member, and one that has not attended any "functions" I'd have to say it's pretty intimidating. I don't feel that my skills are ready to be involved, I'm sure I'd would learn tons of stuff, but feels like competing just a bit. the mentor idea, and a newbie day might be good. That said, I'm not sure if I would attend anyway. I wouldn't mind being able to show up and be an assistant type of person. This seems like a good group of people, everyone seems nice per se. So thanks to the group in all fashions.
nikonpdx 9 years ago
Without making the organizing of a meet too complicated, perhaps have some slots available for those just wishing to assist/observe/be voice activated light stands to help get over the initial intimidation of jumping in feet first and feeling overwhelmed?

As a side note, on a recent trip down to Florida I thought I'd jump on flickr to see if there were any strobist type things going on and I was pretty disappointed at the lack of enthusiasm in the Ft. Lauderdale area. Portland rocks.
admin
kenneth barton PRO 9 years ago
Barley,

There's no reason to feel intimidated. The shoots are not competitive in any way and nobody is required to take and post pictures. Attendees are always welcome to simply watch, help, ask questions or whatever. Learning is the point, and everyone at all levels can always learn, and the more experienced shooters are always happy to share techniques and advice, just ask.

I know personally I'm sometimes hesitant to help out for fear of insulting anybody or coming across as an egomaniac, but if anyone asks for help, I'm right there.

There is a rule that you have to make at least one shot available to each model you shoot, but that's assuming you feel they came out. If for some reason a beginer deletes his/her images - not feeling they are good enough to keep - let us know and we'll be cool with it.

It's not about pressure of any kind, only about sharing the joy of making images.

-ken
admin
metakephoto PRO 9 years ago
i like all the ideas that are coming out of this....and hopefully in 2010 we'll be able to make some changes for the best....
Barley Gnome 9 years ago
I would like to restate that, while I had written about feeling intimidated. It has certainly not come from any member, or anything I've read, well maybe pro's being down on Pentax (heheh) but thats a side story. I appreciate the ideas and the pics the members have put up as a learning tool. I've never felt a pic was put up as a "hey mine is best" but more along the lines of "hey this is one I got". This is a seriously talented group, and I do look forward to showing up someday. Thanks all.
Barley
Sarah.Lynch Posted 9 years ago. Edited by Sarah.Lynch (member) 9 years ago
As long as we're on the topic of newbies feeling comfortable, maybe we can address the issue of other photographers shooting out of turn. I've only been to a handful of meetups (though I'm loud so it seems like more) and at my first few I did feel rushed and uncomfortable when it was finally my turn to shoot and other people just started shooting around me.

I've heard other new members say that exact same thing.

I know it's the same people over and over again and that we mention it at the intros....

Any thoughts?
admin
ʎɥdɐɹbodıd 9 years ago
I agree with ya Sarah. It's a peeve I've witnessed a handful of times happen to myself and others. Sometimes stepping away just to make a setting change on a speedlite, only to have the model being instructed to face another direction by another shooter for their own shot. Even if they're not strobed up and state they're just shooting ambient, it's really not kosher. The model's attention really should just be focused with the photographer inturn.
While I've only been to one shoot, I can pretty much say that my insecurity and non-shooting status involves more personal inexperience - a little bit with equipment but even more so in working with models. Maybe it's a guy thing but you don't want to look like a dumb ass in front of a girl. I can do that just fine without a camera, thank you very much.

Is there any interest in a meet-up with an experienced model on what makes for a great shoot and what they like/dislike/prefer during a shoot and from a photographer? And should all of this be in a new discussion thread?
admin
metakephoto PRO 9 years ago
@heyheyjk: keeping all this on this thread is fine, the 700 club describes it pretty good right now..because our group is growing and there are new people all the time that need a little extra help at these shoots. and like ken said above.."if you need help, just ask"...

@pipography: each group is supposed to have at least one experienced shooter/moderator that you can talk to when stuff like that happens...and people shooting models with available at the shoots really bugs me too, this is a strobist group, right? So if anyone see's people doing this at the shoots, please let me know.
dependent circle [deleted] 9 years ago
@heyheyjk: you are too funny. Photogs really put way too much pressure on themselves! The models (or at least in my case) do not mind if you are trying to figure out your shot in order to get it right. We are there to have fun and get experience just like you guys, so we understand if you look like a dumb ass (you really don't though!). I wouldn't worry about it so much if I were you... the models that come to these things are always nice, patient, and cooperative. If not, they shouldn't be models! :-)

Just my opinion... slipped it in there... yep, I did.
Haha, thanks Kaytee. Okay, let's see ... turn right a little ... no, I mean your right ... not that much ... okay good ... now chin up ... eyes toward me ... uh ... uh ... hands on your hips ... maybe just your left hand ... i mean my left ... nah, switch them back ... yeah, that'll work ... now knees together, feet apart, smile, wait no smile, okay smile but no teeth, look sexy but playful, lean over just a bit, tush out more, eyes right in the camera, now hold it, hold it, hold it ... damn, the flash didn't go off!
admin
ShutterCraze (NUEL) 9 years ago
I wonder if the photo requirement causes new pdxstobists to not participate in an event? I mean, what if they are REALLY new to off camera flash and they have the same photo requirement as I. This in my opinion might scare the person away. Maybe a few slots reserved to assistants/observer might entice them to attend. Just say'n.
admin
OregonVelo 9 years ago
@shuttercraze... I could see that the photo requirement be optional for first time participates. But only the first time. Even if someone takes a bad photo, it shows that the photographer is trying to make their obligation.
DaveWeav 9 years ago
Why don't we schedule a "Newb" meetup and have some experienced photographers come to instruct/help (bring their equipment but not shoot). Then have only new or inexperienced people sign up.

We could have different stations that they could work (ie Pocket Wizard stations, CLS Station, 1 light station, 3 light station etc.) I think we have a lot of experienced photographers that would be interested in this and new people would then feel more comfortable coming to future meetups.

Please feel free to add any additional ideas.

Dave
dath1974 9 years ago
@heyheyjk - Those are better directions than I give 90% of the time and with many of the models, you will find that you don't need to give more than general directions to get started as they know how to pose and what looks good. I've had models do exactly what I wanted after me only saying something like "uhhh, the left, can you..."

@ShutterCraze & OregonVelo - I really don't think the photo requirement should ever be optional unless you have some kind of equipment problem. It is already very minimal. If you shoot a model, give them at least one photo. I always try to give them much more than that myself and I'm still learning, so some aren't perfect, but maybe they can still use them. They also don't have to shoot their first time out, or inexperienced first-timers could simply be paired with someone who will share gear and help them get good shots.

I have to say I was really intimidated my first couple of times out as well. The biggest reasons for me is that I literally hadn't shot posed shots of people more than a handful of times before joining this group, so I know how heyheyjk is feeling about giving direction. Secondly, there are some really talented folks and I felt I wouldn't stack up.

After a few meetups, I realized everyone is super cool and I relaxed a little bit. Though I personally haven't asked for much help while at the events, I've seen lots of assistance given to both new and old alike and I'm always happy when someone offers some suggestions. With the way I learn, the experience and later constructive feedback is invaluable to me. I think as a group we need to work on the collaboration more as that is something that you can get from a group of photographers (or even only a couple) that you won't get when you're on-on-one with someone.

-Dan
average plant [deleted] 9 years ago
I try and always let the newer people go first in my group and sit back and help out if they look like they might like some additional input. I also saw at the last meetup someone that had put their camera away and asked them if they were done shooting. When they said they were feeling a little over whelmed I went and got a model and worked together with them to work through a concept he had that he wanted to shoot. His idea was brilliant and I was very happy to help him out. I think I will be spending at least half my time at meetups now with my camera put away and looking to help anyone that wants it.
admin
kenneth barton PRO 9 years ago
This is sort of a re-statement of what I said earlier, but my take is that the photo requirement is important because it is only fair that the models who donate their time get the quality images we all take in return. That’s why photographers may not be invited back if they don’t share at least one image per set-up with each model. However, if the photographer doesn’t get a good image (and this is a common as it is a group for learning and experimenting), then there may not be an image worth sharing. I don’t think participants should be intimidated by feeling they must get a great shot or else. They should just try their best and if no shot worth sharing results they can just explain they didn’t upload a shot because they didn’t get a good one. As long as they are telling the truth I think we’ll all understand. What we want to prevent is photographers getting good shots and then ripping off the model by not sharing. So, if you are a newbie, and you think you’re shots sucked so much you won’t be sharing them anywhere with anyone then we’ll make an exception for you.

-ken
charming alarm [deleted] 9 years ago
How about a "Where did I go wrong" thread?
For Example:

I take a bunch of bad shots that I don't really feel are useable. Instead of not posting them anywhere. I post them to the "Where did I go wrong?" thread. More experienced photographers take a look at them and point out what may have contributed to the poor quality of the images and give tips on how to correct it for next time.

Again just a thought... I know I am pretty new here, so if I am over stepping my bounds please let me know.
admin
kenneth barton PRO 9 years ago
JayCee,

That's a really good idea.

-ken
admin
OregonVelo 9 years ago
Good idea JayCee.

Don't worry about over stepping your bounds. We encourage newbies and oldies alike to contribute as little or as much as they like as long as it is in the realm of "strobism".
admin
metakephoto PRO 9 years ago
@JayCee: If someone is attending a "pdx strobist" shoot and photographing with the models, they have to upload at least 1 image per model that they shoot with. And you don't need to post it over here on flickr for the world to see, just make sure to post it over at the www.pdxstrobist.org galleries.

Also I like your "Where Did I go Wrong" thread idea.
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