F.A.Q.Prospective members and those who are just hearing about us for the first time may have a number of questions about CMPG. Here’s where we answer the most common ones.
Do I need to have a fancy camera to join CMPG?
Definitely not. Our concentration is on education and exploration of technique. Not that we don’t like neat toys, mind you, it’s that they’re not important to the overall goals of the organization. Our members use everything from Brownies to point-and-shoot cameras to 35mm SLRs to the latest digital gear.
I’ve never taken anything other than snapshots. Will I fit in?
The Guild is open to anyone who has a serious interest in either improving their photographic technique, helping others to do so, or both. It’s not vital that you be a good photographer when you come through the door, only that you have fun learning. Experience levels range from absolute novice through advanced amateur to semi-professional.
How “serious” are you? Is this a formal or informal group?
We’re just serious enough to respect each other’s work and effort, and informal enough to enjoy working and learning in a relaxed atmosphere. Educational topics are treated with some formality, in order to respect the presenters and their material. Group discussions and shoots are rather casual.
How often do you meet?
We meet a minimum of once a month, during which we critique work, offer presentations, cover Guild business, and engage in group discussion and/or workshops. We currently plan to schedule at least one additional meeting a month for group photo shoots.
Do you do any work with models?
We’re not a photographic studio, and our “formal” meetings take place in public facilities. It’s not an environment conducive to model work. If you choose to work with models as part of your repertoire, feel free to do so.
Do you hold any standards of conduct?
The CMPG does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, religion, race, ability, nationality, sexual orientation, or familial status (This is covered in detail in our Membership Handbook). We do, however, expect each member to conduct themselves in a manner that lends itself to the environment of respect and learning we promote. Anyone who acts in a manner that causes another member to reasonably feel uncomfortable or harassed, may be requested to exclude themselves from further Guild activities and/or be denied use of Guild resources (equipment, facilities, online services, etc.). In addition, plaigarism or the unethical use of copyrighted materials will not be tolerated.
Do you offer critique?
Yes, we do, on a regular basis. Every other month, as part of our regular meeting, we show and critique each others work on the current photographic assignment. We assign ourselves a new exercise six times a year to develop and strengthen our skills. We do not offer critique of outside works.
How do you critique members’ works?
On months where assignments are due, anyone is welcome to participate, member or non-member. Each participant is encouraged to bring up to three images to the critique session, and be prepared to discuss their work with the group. The critique is an open forum, though we do moderate the discussion to fit the time available according to the number of participants.
Does CMPG show its members’ work?
Yes, we actively seek out opportunities to exhibit work by our members. We are always looking for venues in which we can show. Depending on the venue, works may either be displayed strictly for exhibition, or may be offered for sale to the public. CMPG does not profit from, nor personally promote the exhibitions of member photographers.
Do you hold contests and/or judgings?
Competition is not our main focus (pun not intended). Currently, we have no contests, competitions, or judgings planned. The only ranking or judging in which we currently engage is the bi-monthly vote for the “Featured Photo” displayed on the front page of the site. As we grow, we may or may not plan formal contests. It’s not that we don’t like them, just that competition is not CMPG’s reason for existing – we are primarily a peer-education group.
What is the Featured Photo, and how is it chosen?
The Featured Photos are images that we think have most successfully expressed the theme of the most recent assignment exercise, in subject, technique, and execution. They are posted to the site monthly. Usually, we choose six-to-ten per assignment. After our critique, each attendee receives a ballot on which they rank their top three favorite images. At the end of the evening, the scores are tallied, and those with the highest scores are then displayed in the featured photos gallery. Periodically, we use the same selection process for special events and exhibitions. In these cases, there may be more than four images selected.
What programs do you offer apart from critique sessions?
CMPG’s main focus is on the continuing education of its members and the sharing of knowledge. We hold six critique sessions per year. The other six months, we schedule seminars, presentations by our members, or guest speakers (primarily local professionals).
How do you keep in touch with your members?
Our primary modes of keeping people informed are through this website and the associated web forums. If you are a member, or potential member, it would be greatly beneficial to register for a forum account. The main website is primarily one-way communication – us to you. The forums are a way for members and interested parties to communicate with us and with each other.
I have an item of interest for the website, who do I send it to?
Great! We’re always happy to get well-written contributions for our online library. You can either contact the website admins or you can post your idea in the “CMPG Website” web forum.
Do you maintain a mailing list?
We presently only offer a mail list for our members, which we use to discuss special events, post urgent information or conduct club business. We do not normally send any information via US Mail. Since much of our discussion is via the forums, we make it easy to subscribe to the forums via a RSS link.
Do you know where I can find (insert photographic subject)?
We maintain a selection of links to other websites covering a range of resources. Here, you will find suppliers, vendors, links to other organizations and forums, and other photographers. If you have a good link that’s not listed, suggest it via the CMPG Website forum.
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