Here are a few important issues that Focus members need to know about :
1. MEMBERSHIP FEE
As we all know, we did not collect membership fees for this year, as we have just started the group and expenses are still minimal. Next year, however, we will be incurring expenses, and as such, we are now going to collect membership fees for the year 2014. Membership fee is pegged at 750 pesos per individual. This is good for the whole year. Student members, however, will have a discounted rate of only 500 pesos.
Where will the membership fee fund go? It will help offset the following :
a.) Photocontest prizes (Photographer of the Year grand prize, monthly photocontest prizes)
b.) Event expenses (venue fee, reservation, et cetera)
c.) Online hosting expense (for our website)
d.) Other group expenses that may be incurred
* May we remind that the membership fee will not cover special events, like exhibits, tours, or workshops, that Focus Bulacan will undertake.
** Rest assured that all expenses and use of membership fee fund will be audited and reported by our Finance Committee.
When are we going to collect membership fees?
- We are going to collect the fee during our Christmas Party in December. It is important that we collect all fees before 2013 ends. That way, we can plan on how to budget our membership fee fund.
- Members may pay their membership fees thru installment. Please contact Noel Crisostomo (of the Membership Committee) or Jinn Figueroa (of our Finance Committee). What is important is to settle the full amount on or before December 31, 2013.
2. MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS
Starting 2014, we will be strictly monitoring members regarding fulfillment of their membership requirements, particularly participation in group activities. Focus Bulacan membership is not merely about signing up or paying dues. It is about participating in our activities (EBs, shoots, group events, submitting entries for contests, voting in contests, etc.) that are designed to improve our photography. The most important thing in being a Focus member is sharing the group's desire and passion for photography. We are, afterall, a photography club.
Members who are found to be inactive or insufficient in fulfilling membership requirements will be issued prompt reminders by our Membership Committee. Continued inactivity may result to membership revocation.
To view membership requirements, please view http://www.focusbulacan.com/membership-application.html and specifically read Membership Retention Requirements.
3. CALENDAR OF ACTIVITIES
The officers have done an initial brainstorming of Focus Bulacan's activities for 2014. We would like to share with members our tentative calendar for next year. We will appreciate feedback and suggestions, so please state them if you have any.
2014 - Photographer of the Year (year-long)
Planned official EBs
January - Dulansangan (Malolos Fiesta Republica)
February - Hot Air Balloon Fiesta
March - Pyromusical Competition
April - Aliwan Festival
May - SummerSlam
June - Macro EB
July - Focus Bulacan Anniversary (Event : Workshop or Exhibit)
August - Full-production studio/concept shoot/competition
September - Angel Festival (San Rafael)
October – Scott Kelby Photowalk (different location)
November - Shooting Trip (out-of-town, Mariveles, Bataan is possible destination)
December - Christmas Party
Other planned activities (no specific dates yet)
- In-house Workshop (Intermediate or advanced workshop open only to official members)
- Out-of-town festival shoot (Optional for those interested, for events like MassKara, Panagbenga, etc.)
- Inspirational Talks (With guests to talk about specific photography genre, like fashion, landscape, wedding, etc.)
- PP Nights (Simple get-together for sharing tips and techniques for post-processing)
- Special shooting challenges (Shoot-out, 50mm challenge, kit lens challenge, etc.)
* These are plans as of the moment. Executing these plans will depend on proper scheduling, logistics, available funds or other resources, members' interest, weather conditions, and other factors.
4. PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
We will be having a Photographer of the Year competition for 2014. This is open only to official members. Basically, the POTY will be a year-long activity that will determine which member had the best performance in our contests. Monthly EB contests and theme contests (plus special shooting contests) will have corresponding points. Each member will have his/her performance in each contest tracked and recorded. The member who accumulates the most points by the end of 2014 will be adjudged as the Photographer of the Year. A very nice item (depending on our funds) will be awarded as top prize.
Scoring and Point-System for POTY is as follows (still open for suggestions, alternatives)
- Submission of entry for a photocontest : 3 points (each entry)
- Being a Top Placer in a photocontest :
+ 10 points - 1st Place
+ 7 points - 2nd Place
+ 5 points - 3rd Place
+ 4 points - 4th Place
+ 3 points - 5th Place
(No additional points for 6th place onwards)
- Being a Top Placer (Top 5 or equivalent) in a reputable contest (other club/organization/publication/etc.) : 5 points (each occurence)
- Get published in a photography magazine, publication, or a REPUTABLE photography website : 3 points (each occurence)
- Participation in our PP Nights / Inspirational Talk Events (sharing of photography knowledge) : 3 points (each occurence)
- Representation of Focus Bulacan in officially covering a public event : 3 points (each occurence)
* Our photocontests will consist of monthly EB contests, monthly theme contests, and special contests (shooting challenges, etc.)
** Online contests based on Facebook likes will not be considered as reputable
All points will be recorded in a data sheet, which will be updated and made available for members' review every month.
5. FOCUS PORTRAIT PROJECT
May we remind everyone that our Focus Portrait Project is due for submission on December. All photos will be unveiled at our Christmas Party. An on-the-spot voting will be held to determine which portrait is the best. All participating members have been notified via private message and by now we expect you to have discussed among yourselves on how to do the shoot. In essence, each individual will have three months to work on this project (October, November, December). Three months is a lot of time, so please plan accordingly, and let us avoid cramming.
Anything goes. Shoot whatever concept you want, as long as your partner agrees to it, and as long as the photo will not demean or embarrass your partner, then it's all fair game.
Good luck to everyone.
6. OFFICERS NEXT IN LINE
Our current set of officers won't be serving the group in an official capacity forever. They have term limits, and as such, will be replaced when the proper time comes. It is highly encouraged that new individuals step up and do their share in leading the group in the future. We are going to identify members who have shown the potential or the qualities that would make them good leaders. These members will be notified thru private message if they are willing to be nominated for election as officer. The nomination and election process will be discussed in detail during our Christmas Party. The election, to be conducted via email, will be held on the last week of December.
7. OTHER PLANNED ACTIVITIES
As stated in the planned calendar of activities above, we have a lot of interesting ideas that will benefit Focus Bulacan. We hope that they materialize.
A brief introduction of the activities :
- Public Workshop : A basic photography workshop open to everyone interested, made available for free or at a very minimal cost
- In-House Workshop : An intermediate or advanced workshop to be offered only to Focus Bulacan members. Possible topics may include use of strobes/studio lights, advanced post-processing techniques, or a detailed discussion of a specific genre
- Full-production concept/studio shoot : We will let Focus members the chance to shoot a full-prod setup, which includes hair and makeup styling, wardrobe design, set design, lighting setup, and professional/experienced models
- SummerSlam : Our summer bonding activity, which will also serve as team-building. There will be games and contests, food and drinks, a getting-to-know-you sharing of photography experiences, among others. This will be held in a resort or a location exclusive for Focus.
- Shooting Trip : An out-of-town trip just for photography purposes. A coaster or a van will be rented to transport participants to the shooting location, and a whole day will be allotted for shooting. More details will be discussed in the proper time.
- Inspirational Talks : Accomplished photographers from Bulacan or other places will be invited to serve as guest speaker in a simple gathering. They will be asked to share tips, techniques, and their experience in thier field of photography. Please note that they will not go in-depth about the techniques, because 1.) they have limited time (a workshop requires a full day or two, these speakers will have about 30 minutes to an hour to speak in our talk), and 2.) they will be treated as special guests, not instructors, and will not be paid as such. Think of these inspirational talks as a laid-back sharing of thoughts from distinguished photographers to Focus members.
- PP Nights : A simple gathering of Focus members over dinner, with post-processing technique-sharing on the side. Each attendee is required to share a technique of his/her own. In effect, everyone must share something. This is a very good opportunity to learn. An LCD projector and a laptop will be provided to demonstrate the PP techniques.
- Special shooting challenges : From time to time we will hold special challenges for members. One is a shootout, where all participants will be pitted against others (1-on-1, names to be drawn in lots), and they will be given a specific theme to shoot in a certain location during a specific timeframe. Winners of these 1-on-1 matchups will advance to the next round, until only 1 winner remains. Other shooting challenges are the 50mm challenge and the kit lens challenge, where all participants are required to shoot using only a specific lens (a 50mm or an 18-55mm kit lens).
8. THE RIGHT COMPETITIVE ATTITUDE
Obviously, we have a lot of contests and competition. We'd like to make it clear that we don't do these because we want Focus members to compete against fellow members, or make them think that they are better than the others. THAT IS NOT OUR GOAL. Our objective in having these contests is very simple : by challenging the members to shoot the best they could so that they could submit entries that have better chances of winning, we are stimulating and encouraging improvement of their photography. Yes, it's competition per se, but we strongly remind members and contest participants that the ultimate goal is the improvement of our photography. The prizes, the top finishes, the votes, the accolades and recognition, are only secondary. If in the end, every member/participant improves his/her craft, then we have all achieved the ultimate prize.
Let us compete the best we could, but let us not forget the objective. And let us compete on fair terms and within the rules. The race is long, in the end, it's only against yourself.
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