On of my favorite passages in the Bible is Proverbs 27:17, which says "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another" - NIV. This scripture teaches us that like minded people grow when they interact with each other. Take note of the "iron sharpens iron", it didn't say iron sharpens bronze, so only elements that are similar, can sharpen the other. It's clear, we progress faster when working with other people. This growth is maximized when there's a common interest, goal or task. What does this have to do with photography? Keep reading.
He So Shy
Socializing isn't something that comes easy to me. By nature, I'm introverted. I was that kid everybody consonantly called shy. By the time I got to high school, I had gotten sick of being called shy, because I never considered myself to be a shy person. Introverted people aren't necessarily shy. Shy is defined as someone who is nervous or timid in the company of other people. I've never been nervous or timid when I'm around other people, accept for that bully in the second grade, man she was mean. I do however relate to being introverted, which is a term popularized by psychologist Carl Jung. Introversion is characterized by reserved or solitary behavior. Extroverts on the other hand, are characterized by outgoing, talkative, energetic behavior. Our American culture celebrates extroverts. The fact is we area all introverted and extroverted, but one of these orientations feels more comfortable. For me, it's introversion, but make no mistake, I can be extroverted when necessary. If any one what's a better understanding of introverted personality types, there's a really good book called, "Introvert Power, by Laurie Helogoe, PhD." Over the years I've had to make a concentrated effort to be more extroverted or social, because I understand that I grow as a person, when connected with like minded people.
In my quest to grow has a photographer, I thought it would be beneficial to connect with other photographers. I decided to join a photography club, but I didn't know of any or how to find them. One day I was listening to a photography podcast called This Week In Photo (TWiP) and the host Fredrick Van Johnson, mentioned a website where you can meet up with other photographers, the website is called Meetup.com. Meetup.com is the worlds largest network of local groups and it helps you find groups of people with a shared interest. This website was just what I was looking for. I searched the website and found tons of photography related groups around the DFW area. Every group has a description of what the group is about and there's an organizer. I joined the groups (you can join as many has you like), that were aligned with my particular photography interest. I'll list the groups I belong to at the end of this post. When you join a group you'll see a list of past and current events, that way you can plan ahead. If you see a meetup you want to join, you just RSVP for the event and you get a email confirmation. You can even see the events you've RSVP'd for on the website. Due to overhead, there are some fees for some events, but there are a lot of free ones. This is what I've see from the photography related groups. Sometimes they hire models or there are fees associated with getting into a venue. The website is easy to use, and you can search for groups based on your zip code.
Overall it's been a great experience and I've meet some really nice people. Meetup.com doesn't just have groups for photographers, they have all kind of local groups with a variety of interest. This website has a national database, so you can search for a local group near you. If there is no group, you can start one. So, if you need sharpening, here's one way to do it - Meetup.com.
- Dallas Photo Walk
- DFW Photography Club of Texas
- The North Texas Photography club
- Dallas Photography Group
- North Texas Photography Explorers