7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects

The post 7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Bond.

Ideas for group photography events

Photography can be a lonely business, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Of course, some people enjoy the solitude, and that’s okay. However, if you’re a photographer who’d like to be a part of a community, there are plenty of ways to get together for group photography. In this article, I share seven ideas for fun group photography projects and events!

7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects
Who’s going to take your photo if you always photograph alone?

The reasons to join a group are varied, and even if you’re a lone ranger, there are likely some ideas here for you. Linking up with others doesn’t have to be extremely involved; sure, it can involve in-person meetups, but it can also just be about an online community. Regardless, if you’re interested in doing group photography but you’re not sure where to start, here are some suggestions to help you out:

1. Create or join a photo walk

One of the easiest and most informal group photography events is the photo walk. These are often organized by photography clubs, and there is a popular one run annually by Scott Kelby. The nice thing about a photo walk is that each participant can go at their own pace. The general idea is to have a starting point, a finish point, and a time limit. You may choose to walk together as a group or split off individually – whatever works for you and the rest of the group.

7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects
Some people like to take all their gear to the photo walk!

There may be some members who pass on tips to other photographers, making this type of event a great learning experience. My recommendation is to end the walk with a meal or a drink; it’ll help you get to know your fellow photographers, and the connections can lead to more group opportunities down the line! Finally, share the photos you’ve taken that day on a social media platform, such as Instagram or Facebook, and then have some fun browsing through the images taken by everyone else!

If you live near a major city, there are probably photo walks going on in the area, and they’re likely free to join. Just do some searching on Google and Facebook to see if you can find some of these events.

If you can’t find anything nearby or you’re not satisfied with the current opportunities, then you can always create a photo walk of your own. For instance, you can reach out to local photographers, asking if they might be interested in a fun photo walk. Or, if you prefer a more structured approach, you can always create a group on a website such as Meetup.com.

2. Join photography clubs

Yes, it’s a bit of a clichéd option, but I genuinely believe that joining a photography club is one of the best conduits for group photography. A club may not automatically offer hands-on group photography opportunities, but through a club, you can feel like you’re part of a real photographic community, and you can often organize many of the ideas mentioned in this article.

Photography clubs typically meet at regular intervals – perhaps once a week or once a month – though lots of activity can occur online between meetings.

7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects
Meeting up with other photographers at a photo club is a lot of fun, and it’s also a great way to learn.

The best place to find nearby photography clubs is by searching social media. You can also contact your local community center or even local universities. And I’d encourage you to call camera stores in the area; some of them run clubs of their own, or at least have the knowledge to point you in the right direction.

These clubs are a great place to learn new photography skills, and evening post-processing workshops are fairly typical. Are you having trouble finding the right club for you? You could always start up your own!

3. Take part in a group photography project

If you’re interested in a group photography option that also allows you to work in isolation, a group project could be perfect for you. These projects generally involve a number of photographers shooting with a particular goal in mind; the idea at the end is to have a body of work under a common theme taken by every member of the group. A project like this could even lead to a group exhibition or a collaborative photography book.

In most cases, you’ll work on the photography individually, though the leader of the project may seek to curate your work in a certain direction. Here are a few examples of group photography projects to give you a sense of what you might do:

  • A subway group project: Most big cities have a mass transit system with many stations. The goal of this type of project is to take one photograph per station. The larger cities usually have many stations, so dividing up the workload makes sense. (For projects like these, it’s often a good idea to seek permission from the authorities before getting started!)
  • A 365-day or 52-week group project: These are classic project ideas that involve publishing a photo on a daily or weekly basis. But you don’t have to do it alone! Instead of working in isolation, share it with others, and ask them to make photographs on the same theme as your own! The dPS bi-weekly photography challenge could easily form the basis of this project.
  • A food photography group project: Everyone loves good food, so combine this with your photography! Each photographer picks a country. Then they make food from that country and photograph it! You could even make this into an international cookbook.
7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects
This photo was taken as part of a subway project in Seoul. It was a big challenge to photograph all the stations!

4. Form a photography team

This group photography idea is less about socializing and more about business. You see, there are times when forming a photography team will give you the edge as a professional photographer. The more you move into the commercial world of photography, the more this becomes important, as you can’t be everywhere all the time.

Think of events like weddings, sports, or festivals. The need to cover all your bases means teaming up with other photographers so they can be where you’re not. Let me give you a couple of examples:

  • Event photography: When photographing events, having more than one photographer allows one of you to concentrate on the wider scene while the other covers moments closer to the action. Think of when tennis players go from singles to playing in pairs on a team. In doubles, they have different roles and need to complement each other.
  • Portrait photography: Another great example of when a team of photographers is needed is when doing portrait work with strobes. For such a scenario, there is generally one main photographer taking the images, but having other photographers or assistants there to help with lighting equipment is desirable. You and your partner might even switch off or contribute ideas during each photoshoot!
7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects
Teaming up with other photographers can be a great way to pool resources.

5. Create an association

Related to creating a photography team is making an association. In this case, you’re creating more of a guild, and indeed a photo team could be formed from members of that guild. A grouping of photographers like this should generally use each other’s strengths to form a stronger unit when a client comes along.

Such an association might look to create a stock library of images, albeit on a much smaller scale than larger firms such as Getty Images. Other models for such a grouping of photographers would be the famous Magnum organization, though you’d likely need to keep the association far more scaled down (at least when you first get started!).

7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects
The more the merrier – as long as you don’t step on each other’s toes!

6. Do weekly challenges

Weekly challenges are a good way to do group photography on an individual basis, and you can decide to opt out of weeks that are not your style. As I mentioned in the section on group photography projects, there is a great bi-weekly challenge run by Digital Photography School, and you’ll find other photography communities that run similar programs.

It’s also possible to organize weekly challenges on a more local level, where perhaps you meet up with fellow photographers in a coffee shop once a week to set your own challenge, and then spend a few hours shooting together afterward.

7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects
Seasonal photo challenges are a staple for many photography groups. Spring is often a popular theme!

7. Enter a photo competition

A final way you can interact with your fellow photographers is through a photo competition. There are many types of photo contests, from broad competitions that cover a lot of subjects (such as the huge Sony World Photography Awards) to more focused competitions that are geared to a specific subject (such as the Audubon Photography Awards, which is designed for bird photographers).

There are also photography contests that require you to tell a story through a sequence of perhaps 10 photos; depending on the type of photography you do, such contests might be a better fit.

Of course, these contests can be adapted to you and your community. If you’re part of a photography club, why not take a leaf out of the bigger company’s book and make a competition of your own? A little competitive edge within your group can often push you out of your comfort zone and help you produce even more amazing results!

How will you do your group photography?

Group photography ideas

There are many good ways to collaborate with others and do more group photography activities. Hopefully, this article gave you an idea or two so you can become part of a photographic community! With any luck, you’ll have a lot of fun – and you’ll make some lifelong friends along the way.

Now over to you:

Have you ever been part of a photographic community? Do you have a novel way to make a community? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

The post 7 Great Ideas for Group Photography Events and Projects appeared first on Digital Photography School. It was authored by Simon Bond.

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