Photography Advice

5 Reasons Why You Should Join a Camera Club

It's always better in person!

Human interaction! You read that right; the best reason to join a camera club or photography group is for human interaction.

Sure, the educational opportunities are excellent- lectures, workshops, competitions, field trips, etc.- but imagine interacting with fellow photophiles to talk photography or get straightforward critiques of your work.

Joining a camera club or photography organization can be a transformative step for amateur and professional photographers. 

Use this link to view a Camera Club Directory of over 500 camera clubs and photography organizations in the United States.

Benefits of Joining a Camera Club or Photography Organization

Community and Networking

One of the most immediate benefits is the sense of community. 

Photography can be a solitary activity, but joining a club introduces you to a group of like-minded individuals who share your passion for photography. 

This network can provide support, friendship, and opportunities to collaborate on projects or events. These connections can lead to business opportunities, partnerships, or referrals for professional photographers.

Skill Development and Education

Camera clubs and photography organizations often organize workshops, lectures, and outings that can help members improve their skills. 

Learning from more experienced photographers and participating in group critiques offers valuable feedback that can be hard to obtain otherwise. 

These activities cater to all levels, from beginners learning the basics to professionals looking to master new techniques or styles.

Access to Resources

Many organizations offer access to resources that might be expensive or difficult to obtain individually. This can include studio space, darkrooms, or specialized equipment. 

Additionally, group discounts on workshops, gear, and software are common benefits that can save members money.

Exposure and Inspiration

Participating in club exhibitions, competitions, or projects can provide valuable exposure for your work. 

It’s also an excellent way to see a wide range of photography styles and subjects, inspiring your work and pushing you to try new things.

Influence and Advocacy

Being part of a larger group can amplify your voice in matters affecting the photography community, from copyright issues to access to public lands for shooting. 

Many organizations take an active role in advocacy and offer a way for individual photographers to contribute to these efforts.

📸 Did you know?
Some of the most iconic photographers, like Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Edward Weston, were once members of camera clubs.

Six Tips for Evaluating Photography Organizations

Align with Your Interests and Goals

Look for clubs that match your specific interests in photography, whether that’s a particular style, technique, or subject matter. 

The organization should also cater to your level of expertise and offer growth opportunities.

Consider the Community and Culture

Attend a few meetings or events before joining. Talk to current members about their experiences and what they value most in the club.

Every club has its own unique culture. Some clubs are very competition-focused. Other camera clubs prioritize field trips and opportunities to gain experience.

Most groups will also invite you to attend a meeting or two at no cost before you join. This allows you to get a sense of the community and whether it’s supportive and welcoming. It is also an opportunity to see how many members share interests similar to yours.

Review the Schedule and Activities

Make sure the club’s schedule of meetings, outings, and events fits with your own availability. Also, evaluate the quality and variety of the educational offerings to ensure they meet your needs.

My local club meets monthly, while a group just a few miles away meets every Monday evening. 

Each meeting centers around a theme, a workshop (how-to) session on equipment or software, a presentation by a member or expert on a particular subject, a competition between members, or a night to review and critique each other’s work.

Check Out Member Work

Looking at the work of current members can give you insights into the club’s level of expertise and whether it aligns with your aspirations.

Understand the Costs

There is generally an annual registration fee to join these groups, but it is less than the cost of the gear, computers, and software you invest in.

Evaluate membership fees and any additional costs associated with club activities. Make sure the value you expect to receive aligns with the cost of joining.

Evaluate the Organization’s Reputation

Do some research online and talk to members about the organization’s reputation within the broader photography community. 

This can include its contributions to photography, its history, and how it’s perceived by both members and non-members.


Joining a camera club or photography organization can offer numerous benefits that accelerate your growth as a photographer, provide a supportive community, and open up new opportunities. 

By carefully evaluating potential clubs or organizations against your personal goals and interests, you can find a community that not only enhances your skills but also enriches your photographic journey.

I hope you found this information useful. Now go pick up that camera and shoot something! Because – Your BEST shot is your NEXT shot!” — Joe Edelman

Use this link to view a Camera Club Directory of over 500 camera clubs and photography organizations in the United States.

A Video with my thoughts about camera clubs back in 2016

Joe Edelman

Joe Edelman is an award winning Photographer, Author, and "No Bull" Photo Educator.  Follow this link to learn more about Joe or view his portfolio. Please be sure to connect on the social media platforms below.
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