Many of you are familiar with my regular posts urging attendance at the fall or spring camera show and sale known as Photographica, but I'd like to further urge folks to get more connected to the organization that hosts it, the Photographic Historical Society of New England, or PHSNE. I've been a member for almost about a decade now and have recently been asked to become more active myself. Yesterday, at a board meeting, I got pretty excited about what the organization might be able to do for us, as traditional photographers, besides giving us a chance to buy cheap gear. I have lots of ideas, but I'll ask for more from you folks. How can APUG and PHSNE work together to support what we all love, analogue photography?
Workshops? Lectures and gatherings by region? Members shows? Instructional publications? Sponsorship of school programs? Coffee hours for peer portfolio review? Field trips? ... what else?
I understand there are probably more PHSNE members who are active APUGgers than I know, but growth in that number would be welcome as well. Membership is petty cheap and the monthly meetings are interesting and a great way to stay in touch. Even if you never come to the meetings, the monthly newsletter, Snapshots, and The Journal, published once a year, are worth the membership in themselves. Next month is the members auction, a great time and place to get even more cheap gear and hand with friends. The bulk of the sales often go to dealers, so you know that the cost for any given piece is probably about half what you'd expect to pay at a show. You don't have to live here to be a member, there are members and member libraries and organizations all over the world, but we'd love to get more enthusiastic locals to help move the group forward. They have some funding available to support good programs, it's time to have us tell them how to spend it!
Okay, rant over, but think about it. We're an endangered species. It doesn't hurt to stick together.
As one non-profit photo org board member to another, you have my sympathy (And congratulations!).
At VCP we do a monthly portfolio get together where folks show what they're up to photographically. It's been a good way to meet new/prospective members and draw folks into the organization. Not to mention great for exchanging ideas, learning, and gaining inspiration.
However PSNE's membership is pretty geographically diverse, so a regional approach might be better. I know I don't have much time for getting to the regular PHSNE meetings, much less additional get togethers that would be around Boston.
Workshops are good, but it's been a struggle for VCP to organize them, and get participation. We get people asking for workshops on this or that, but then when we put it on the schedule no one signs up. I think cost has been a big issue, given the times.
We've had moderate success with doing an event for world pinhole day. We've done 3 so far, the first one had lots of people, the second hardly anyone, and good participation for the third. Hopefully this year will continue that trend.
I really enjoyed the program PHSNE did a couple of years ago on the MIT high-speed photography lab during Photographica, more programs like that, perhaps in conjuction with events like Photographica might be good.
By the way, for any APUG folks within driving distance of Brattleboro, VT, VCP portfolio night is the third Thursday of each month, (hint hint).
You throw down an interesting gauntlet, Whitey.
I have been a PHSNE member for 25+ years. There have been some PHSNE sponsored events that are particularly memorable to me, including:
A New York City trip (early Saturday to late Sunday) that included a chance to go to the Statue of Liberty or Ellis Island an hour before the public was allowed—I took some great shots at Ellis of a vacant Great Hall:
A field trip to the George Eastman House in Rochester where we were given almost-unlimited access to their vaults;
A lecture and demonstration of how a daguerreotype is made by Robert Schlaer (who then took, and processed, a daguerreotype of the group);
Alan Kattelle showing early silent films from the Edison studio with a carbon arc lamp (wild stuff) Edison projector;
Meeting people like Sam Raymond (who built the cameras used to find Titanic, among other things);
A lecture by Dr. Brad Washburn (a nice guy) from the Boston Museum of Science on how he mapped Mount Everest using aerial photography;
Some of the amazing rarities that people bring to meetings for “show and tell”.
I had to attend a week of school at the University of Arizona in Tucson years ago, and I told someone from PHSNE that I planned on checking out the Center for Creative Photography one afternoon. When I arrived at the Center, there was a welcome posting for me on the announcement board as I entered! I asked the person at the desk what was up with that, and they treated me like royalty (I think Jack Naylor made a phone call on my behalf). The highlight was when they handed me a pair of cotton gloves and I was allowed to go through their Ansel Adams collection of prints-a memorable day.
We know who the PHSNE members are in the area, but do we know who the APUG members are? That might help. Sticking together is a “no brainer” in my book.
I have always been surprised that we (APUG and PHSNE) do not coordinate with area camera clubs more, especially with instructional programs.
As you know, one of the few things I think I can add to the PHSNE mix is a career in art education. I'd love to see us gain the expectation of regular workshops as we have the expectation of Photographica twice a year - sort of "What are the dates are for this fall's workshops?" as a standard question a PHSNE member or an APUG member might ask. The depth of knowledge in each group consistently astounds me and I want to see us work together. So if there is a gauntlet, it's only the friendly challenge to folks on APUG to come shake us up a bit with ideas and requests for more gatherings. Your list of memorable events and experiences is a great benchmark for the kinds of things that can happen. Thanks for that and for getting me more involved in PHSNE.