Important Message from York Photography Network
Use it or lose it, a call to action.
For over two and a half years the York Photography Network has been an informal photo group in York UK for photographers of all levels, sharing knowledge and taking photos in a fun and supportive way. There is a large social element to it too, and I describe it as “a group of friends who get together once a week to mess about with their cameras.”
We used to meet face-to-face every week at York Photography Studio, and since lockdown we have continued our weekly meetings over Zoom, with a presentation or discussion on a different photography-related topic every time. I’m very grateful to the small group of people who have willingly offered their time to the group in leading these sessions.
We have been doing this for nearly six months now, which is far longer than certainly I, for one, had anticipated, and there is currently no prospect of returning to our get-togethers any time soon. Zoom, as everyone probably knows, is ok but just not the same, and over this time the numbers attending have dwindled from over 20 to typically five or six.
These numbers are really too low to be sustainable given the amount of work it takes to research and put a discussion topic or presentation together. It’s also not fair, or even desirable, to have the same small group of people be responsible for coming up with ideas and putting in the effort for so few attendees.
In terms of numbers, there are 427 in the Facebook group, 209 in the Meetup.com group, almost 200 liking or following the Facebook page and 125 followers on Instagram, so even allowing for overlap, there are hundreds and hundreds of people interested in photography and what being part of the group can offer.
YPN is an amazing group of people, but there is a real danger now of the group simply fading away and closing, as the effort and costs of supporting and running it are simply not sustainable. It would be a shame to lose such a great community, as even online, we have fun and informative sessions.
So now is the time for action and to give something back to the community that you are a part of!
This is what you can do to help:
1. Start joining the weekly Wednesday evening sessions and find out what we’re all about. Follows and Likes are not enough! Over the next few weeks we’ll be having sessions on capturing sharp wildlife photos, editing using Affinity Photo on an iPad, using gimbals for steady video, a historical presentation on photography as art in the 1920s, a photo quiz and a fun editing challenge – a varied programme and something for everyone. I’ll be posting further details soon.
2. Even better, offer to run a session. This can be on any topic you like and is not as scary as you might think as we’re all very friendly. Just something lasting 45 minutes will do as there is always plenty of chat and two-way interaction to pad it out. For example, come and tell us about “your thing”, what you like about it, how you do it and show us some photos.
I could also do with some help in running the group, especially comms and social media to keep people informed and promote the group. Our main channel is Meetup.com, but we also have a Facebook page, Facebook group, Instagram, website and a dormant email list to keep up to date and relevant.
Hope to see you at one of the upcoming sessions, or you can get in touch via the email address below if you’d like to help.
Organiser, York Photography Network