Since there were no board members present at the meeting last night (it appears that we only have one person remaining on the board), I doubt there were any minutes recorded, so I’ll communicate what happened. As there was no formal beginning to the meeting, I offered to start a discussion about… photography. The opening question I asked was: Between the time that you see a subject that you want to photograph, and the moment you click the shutter, what goes through your mind? What do you think about? What sort of planning is involved in creating the picture?
Of course, the conversation detoured through all kinds of subjects, including a little art history. It helps that we have a few people who hardly need any encouragement for breaking out of their shell, but on the flip side of the coin, there are some shy people hesitant to speak. I’m particularly sensitive to people who might feel they are not skilled enough with their photography to say anything in front of others. But this is a club for all skill levels so everyone’s opinions are as valid as anyone else’s. We’re all at different places with our photography, so it’ll be natural for the club discussion to reflect that. That said, I think everyone contributed to the discussion… and that’s good. People develop a commitment to the group when they get to know each other a little better. Now I recognize that some people learn more from a formal presentation focused on a single subject. And we discussed how one meeting agenda or another can influence a member’s desire to stay or quit the club. But I sensed throughout the evening that everyone was, indeed, processing a lot of good information. The act of articulating one’s own thoughts often helps us to put some clarity on our own beliefs. So, I think it was a good meeting.
As far as the predicament that the club faces of having no officers… I suggest we forget the problem for the moment, and focus on the present. We got by for roughly an hour-and-a-half last night before the issue was even raised, and I’d have been content going home without talking about it at all. There were no answers. Some good ideas were mentioned for club activities, programs and such, but still nobody making any commitment for serving on the board. Eventually we need to fix that, but my proposal is to ignore it for a few months. We have enough cash on hand to pay room rent through the rest of the year. Maybe we can conduct meetings as if everything were perfectly normal… show pictures, discuss photography, and share our experiences; and by the end of the year, the board positions will take care of themselves. Put our best face forward for awhile; conduct a meeting that people will look forward to coming back to the next month. Let’s see if we can double the size of the club meeting attendance by the end of the year, at which point the formal structure of the club might look different.
I’m willing to keep the club meetings going for a few months, but I’m just one voice though. If you support my plan for the club, bring a couple pictures to the next meeting and we can discuss what we like or dislike about them. More importantly, we can discuss why we respond to an image the way we do. After all, the “why” is the path to improving our images. But say absolutely nothing about either Voldemort or the issues that “must-not-be-named.”