Serving the Suncoast of Florida since 2004

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ’s

Club Information

Q. Where and when does the club meet?

A. Currently the club meets at the Woodland Community Church, 9607 State Road 70, Bradenton, FL 34202

Q. What does is cost to me a member?

A. Membership dues are $40 for a single membership or $60 for a couple’s membership.

Q. Do you offer a part-time resident discount?

A. No, we do not offer a discount or pro-rate our dues. However, if you join in October, November or December your dues will carry over through the next year.

Q. Is there a student discount?

A. Yes, there is a special member price of just $15 for a student membership. Just show your student ID when registering at a meeting.

Q. How and when do I renew my membership?

A. All memberships are due January 1st. You can register online and pay through Pay Pal or by check or cash at the January meeting. If you prefer to mail your membership form along with a check you can do so by mailing to LWRDPC, P.O. Box 110273, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211

Q. What are the dues used for?

A. We are a not for profit organization and there are no paid officers. Everyone gives their time voluntarily for the good of the club. Membership dues are used for prizes, club equipment such as computers and software that is used during our club training sessions, training session handouts, promotional materials, rental fees for special club meetings, club associations dues and club liability insurance.

Q. Do I have to be a member to attend a meeting?

A. Non-members are allowed to attend but there is a $10.00 fee. If you choose to join before the end of that meeting we will apply the $10.00 towards your membership.

Q. How do I join?

A. There is a membership table available at every meeting if you would like to join there. You may also join ahead of time by clicking on the About Us tab, then Become a Member. You can pay by Pay Pal or just print off your membership form there and just mail your form along with a check to LWRDPC, P.O. Box 110273, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211

Q. Do I have to live in Lakewood Ranch to be a member?

A. No, you do not have to live in Lakewood Ranch to become a member. Although most of our members do live in Lakewood Ranch we also have members from many other Suncoast towns.

Q.What kind of equipment do I need?

A. Any camera will do to start and you will get expert advice when you are ready to upgrade. Most members have a DSLR camera; all brands, all types, and all price ranges.  You are sure to find someone else who shares your brand of equipment.  Members use both PCs and MACs for image processing and management, and a variety of editing software.  The club provides training in Photoshop/Lightroom.

Q. Do I have to be an experienced photographer to join?

A. No, you do not have to be an experienced photographer to be a part of our club. We welcome all levels of experience. Our membership ranges from beginner to professional photographers.

Q. Is this a digital only club?

A. While we are called a digital camera club, some of our competitions include print formats so any method of capture is eligible. You will find our skills building to be focused around fantastic tools and processes in the digital arena.

Q. What do you do at meetings?

A. Our meetings typically include announcements about what things are going on in the area that would be of interest to our members, recognition of member accomplishments, announcements about upcoming field trips or other club activities, a ‘10 Minute Tips’, and a presentation from a guest speaker that covers a topic sure to interest our members. After our ‘Share Your Work’ segment we have a break session to allow members to view our ‘Print of the Month’ photos while spending time meeting other members.

Q. How do I get my photo taken for a member badge?

A. Photos for our member badges are taken at least 4 times a year before our regular monthly meetings.

Q. Do I need to bring my camera to the monthly meetings?

A. Very few members bring their cameras to meetings as it is an exchange and learning forum for the large group. It is not necessary to bring your camera to a meeting.

Q. How do you select your speakers?

A. Currently our Vice President arranges our guest speaker schedule. We are always looking for interesting speakers so feel free to contact her if you have something unique to talk to our membership about or have heard of a speaker or taken a class from someone outstanding. LWRDPC does not pay our guest speakers but they are allowed to spend the last few minutes of their presentation talking about classes they teach, books or their business.

Q. How do I volunteer for a club committee?

A. When filling out your membership form you will check areas that you are interested in getting involved or speak to any club officer.

Q. Who bakes those delicious cookies at the meetings?

A.  We provide cookies and drinks for the meetings. Part of the proceeds from our cookie sales will go to cover some of the Holiday Party.

Q. How do I get a link to my website or blog added to the Members Link section of the webpage?

A. If you are a member with a webpage, blog or other online album that you would like to share with our membership we would love to know about it! If you look under the ‘Contact Us’ tab you will see ‘Members’ Links.’ We would like to see every member listed there showcasing their work. If you would like to have your information posted there just send your link to Tim Wahl at LWRDPC@tampabay.rr.com. He will also need a headshot photo of you. If you have already had your headshot photograph taken just tell Tim in your email and he will get a copy if he doesn’t already have one.

Field Trips

Q. Does the club have field trips?

A. Our club plans 1 or 2 field trips each month. At least one of those trips usually has something to do with techniques that our guest speaker presented the previous month. This gives everyone a chance to practice as well as giving them an opportunity to take a photo for the next months ‘Print of the Month’ contest.

Q. Is there a fee to participate in a club field trip?

A. There is no fee charged by the club to attend a field trip. However, there may be a fee charged by the place the club visits. Members are responsible for those fees. We usually try to have a meal as a group if time allows. The cost of meals is also the members responsibility.

Q. Why do I have to sign a liability release form to participate in a club field trip?

A. Our club has a liability insurance policy that protects our members and board of directors. It is a Club requirement that each person signs the liability release form before participating.

Q. Do I have to be a member to participate in club field trips?

A. Yes

Education

Q. Does the club offer any type of photography education?

A. The club offers basic photoshop classes (12 hours) and basic, intermediate, and advanced photo editing classes. The club also offers educational segments in each of our monthly meetings and provides links to resources on our web page.

Q. Does the club offer mentoring programs?

A. Yes, several of our more experienced photographers have offered to work with our members one on one. Just ask one of our Board of Directors and they will get you started with someone who uses similar equipment.

Social Media

Q. Does the club have a Facebook page?

A. Our club does have a Facebook page. Visit, https://www.facebook.com/lwrdpc to see what the club has done in the past and is planning on doing in the future. Click through our photo albums to see our members enjoying past meetings and field trips as well as examples of member photos that have done well in local, state and national photo contests.

Q. What is the member only Facebook group?

A. Our club does have a closed, members only Facebook page. When you register as a new member or create a Facebook page of your own you will need to let our Membership Chairperson know your Facebook page address. You will then  be sent a private invitation to join. There members share photos to receive feedback, make announcements about upcoming community activities or just let each other know when something interesting is happening that they might want to grab their camera to go take some interesting photos.

Q. How do I get added to the member only Facebook page?

A. Contact Membership Chairperson at, Membership@LWRDPC.com.

Q. How do I get a link to my website or blog added to the Members Link section of the webpage?

A. If you are a member with a webpage, blog or other online album that you would like to share with our membership we would love to know about it! If you look under the ‘Contact Us’ tab you will see ‘Members’ Links.’ We would like to see every member listed there showcasing their work. If you would like to have your information posted there just send your link to Tim Wahl at LWRDPC@tampabay.rr.com. He will also need a headshot photo of you. If you have already had your headshot photograph taken just tell Tim in your email and he will get a copy if he doesn’t already have one.

Contests

Q. Does the club have a monthly photo contest?

A. Yes, we have a “Print of the Month” contest. Each participant should bring an 8×10 print of their photo. When you arrive just tape your photo in one of the provided mat frames, add a numbered corner to the frame and place it in a stand on the Print of the Month table. Monthly themes can be found at the bottom of the Monthly Meeting details on the club website as well as the club facebook page. Also watch for the monthly themes in our monthly newsletters.

Q. Who judges the Print of the Month?

A. Three club members who have been approved as qualified judges, will judge & score photos on a 0-100 pt scoring system. First, second & third place ribbons will be awarded at the meeting and their winning scores will be announced. Winners should congregate after the meeting for a photo session. All scores & scoring averages will be posted at the scoring table. Participating judges will be at the scoring table at end of the meeting to discuss scoring and how each photo might be improved for competition.

 Q. Who can enter the monthly photo contest?

A. Only members can enter the “Print of the Month Contest.”

Q. How many photos can I enter in the monthly photo contest?

A. Each member is allowed to enter just 1 photo.

Q. How do I find out the theme for the monthly photo contest?

A. The themes are always listed in the club newsletter, Zooming In. You can also find the theme by clicking on the meetings link on the front page of the website to see the meeting details. Each months theme is listed there as well.

Q. What is the criteria used to judge my contest photos?

A. Impact, Technical Excellence, Creativity, Style, Composition, Presentation, Color Balance, Center of Interest, Lighting, Subject Matter, Technique, and Story Telling.

Q. Does the “Print of the Month Contest” photo have to be a recent photo?

A. No, any photo you have taken that matches the monthly theme can be used.

Q. Am I allowed to use Photoshop on my “Print of the Month” photo?

A. Yes

Q. What is FCCC?

A. It is the ‘Florida Camera Club Council’ and a non-profit organization. It holds 6 competitions annually, 3 digital and 3 print. And a year end competition that included all the years winners. Our club pays a yearly dues in order for our club members to be able to participate. Our club is just one of approximately 50 clubs state wide that make up the FCCC.

Q. How do I participate in an FCCC competition?

A. Each club member who wishes to compete in FCCC competitions must register with FCCC. Go to the web site, www.f3c.org and register. Once you request membership as a member of LWRDPC, a confirmation request will be sent to the LWRDPC club rep who will verify your club affiliation and an email confirmation will be sent to you. If you chose to compete in one of the competitions, you will be asked to pay the competition fee, currently $10. Once that payment has been confirmed, normally within 24 hours, you can then submit your photos in accordance with FCCC instructions and rules. You will normally start as a “beginner”.

Q. What is the Digital and Print Salon Competition?

A. Our Salon Competition is an opportunity for you to have your photos critiqued by three of our qualified member judges.. Our moderator will be our Competition Chairman. No one but you will know that your photo is being judged. In Digital Salon our photo will be projected on a screen long enough for the judges to give the photo a score and also discuss in many cases what they liked about the projected photo or things to change to improve it. In Print Salon Competition you photo mounted on 16×20 mat board will be mounted in a special lightbox. The highest score a judge can give is 100 for a total from the 3 judges of 300 points. The scores will be totaled and divided by three. An average score of 80 will represent a “Merit Award”. The judges will be scoring based on “The Twelve Elements.” Everyone in the audience will be able to see the projected images or prints and which ones score the best but they won’t know the photographer.

Q. What are the rules for the Digital Salon Competition?

A. You do not need to be present to submit photos. Only one photo (digital file) per entrant for the Digital Salon Competition. The photos can be on any subject and can be Black & White (Mono), or Color. Digitally altered photos are acceptable. If you know how to rename your files, do so by renaming the file with name of your photo 1st, then your name. If you don’t know how to rename your files, make sure you indicate the name of your photo and your name in the email. No previous Salon photos that scored a Merit Award Score are eligible. All photos submitted should have been taken within 12 months of the competition. Photos must be emailed the competition chairman. Photos must be emailed no later than 7 days prior to the Digital Salon Competition.

Q. What are the rules for the Print Salon Competition?

A. You do not need to be present to submit a print. Only one print per entrant for Print Salon Competition. The print can be on any subject and can be Black & White (Mono) or Color. Digitally altered prints are acceptable. All prints must be mounted only on 16×20 mat board. Prints should be securely taped or sprayed to the mat board. The print itself can be any size that will fit on the mat board. We would recommend no smaller than 11×14 prints be mounted on 16×20 mat board. Prints can be either horizontal, vertical or pano. You must put your name & the name of the photo in the top right corner of the photo only. No previous Salon photos that scored a Merit Award Score are eligible. Photos must be delivered to L.B. Blanchard no later than 7 days prior to the Salon Print Competition.

Q. How are prizes awarded for the Salon Digital or Print Competition?

A. The 3 highest scoring images based on the judges scoring average will receive special ribbons, These top 3 people in descending order, if present, will have their pick of the fantastic sponsor prizes. After that, the next highest scores in descending order will pick from the remaining prizes. In the event of ties, those tied will draw cards to determine picking order with the highest card selecting first. We have once again lined up sponsors who will be giving some fantastic gift certificates and prizes for this special event.

Q. Why should you participate in the Salon Competition?

A. You are a member of a photo club that emphasizes taking quality photographs. You will learn what professional judges look for in high scoring photographs. You will then be able to make adjustments to your photos for other competitions. It will be FUN!

Q. What is our club Feedback session?

A. A feedback session is where you can bring up to 5 pictures on a memory stick and get advice from some of our advanced members on how you can improve the pictures you are considering entering into the Salon or FCCC competitions. This is a really great learning opportunity you should take advantage of. Many ribbon winners are a result of these sessions.

Q. What is the Quad Competition?

A. The Quad competition is a friendly photo competition between four local photography clubs, Sun City Photography Club, Suncoast Photography Club, Sarasota Photography and LWRDPC. We participated for the first time in 2014 and won the 1st place trophy. As the winner LWRDPC is required to host this years competition. It will be held on October 1st at the Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.  Each club will submit 15 color and 10 black and white photos that represent their club members best work for that calendar year. This year the top 25 scored photographs from all 4 clubs combined will be eligible to be on display in the South Florida Museum during the months of November and December.

Share Your Work

Q. What is Share Your Work?

A. Each member is allowed to send up to 3 photos each month to be included in a slide presentation that runs at the end of our meeting. Photos can be on any subject. This is a great way to let members see what kind of photography interests you.

Q. How do I submit photos to Share Your Work?

A. Just e-mail your photos to Tim Wahl at shareyourwork@lwrdpc.com

Q. How many photos can I submit for Share Your Work?

A. There is a maximum of 3 photos per member. But there is no minimum so feel free to send just one or two if you are comfortable with that.

Q. Is there a deadline for submitting photos to Share Your Work?

A. Photos should be emailed to Tim at least 48 hours before the scheduled meeting.

Additional Questions

Got a question or comment on the FAQ? Contact us.