Benalla Camera Club – FAQ’s

1.    What is Benalla Camera club?

Benalla Camera Club is a small (around 50 members) hobby/ interest club that caters for people who are interested in the art of photography. We have members of all ages, all abilities and using all kinds of cameras. The club offers friendship, meetings, education, support and a range of photographic opportunities for members. The club is based in Benalla, but does not have any geographic restrictions for membership.

2.    What are the fees?

Fees are paid annually, and are due after the AGM of the club, which is held in October. Any member who has not paid their fees by the first meeting in the following year are deemed unfinancial and as such are not able to submit for competition and do not receive the newsletter. The fee structure is as follows:
•    Full membership: $50 per year with a 10% discount for 2 or more members of the same family at the same address (as at time of writing, 2018), which allows the members to participate in the full range of activities, entry to competition and exhibition and subsidized workshop.
•    Social membership: $25 per year, which allows the members to participate in the full range of activities but are unable to submit for competition or exhibition. This membership caters for spouses, and those photographers not wanting to participate in competition or exhibitions.
•    Junior membership: $20 per year, is for full time students still dependent on parents, and allows juniors to participate in the full range of activities including competition and exhibition as well as subsidised workshops.

3.    What do you do?

The club provides a range of activities that includes;

•    monthly member meetings
•    a monthly activity or outing
•    workshops on a range of topics such as portraiture/ landscape and these can either be during a club meeting or at other times
•    An annual beginners workshop.
•    Informal photoshoot opportunities
•    a monthly newsletter
•    Monthly photographic challenges/ competitions
•    Annual awards
•    an annual exhibition of members’ work
•    informal support and education from experienced member photographers

4.    Do you have meetings?

Club meetings are held on the first Wednesday each month, starting at 7.30 pm. Meetings are held at the Avon Street Campus of Benalla P12 College. Members are asked for a gold coin donation each meeting to assist with providing a supper. Some of our members meet at 6 pm at the Bowls Club (in Arundel St) for dinner before the meeting.

5.    What happens at your meetings?

•    Meetings commence at 7.30pm with a short presentation of ‘housekeeping’ (ie important dates, upcoming events, reminders) and then there is a presentation of the critique/ scores from the previous month’s photographic competition. 
•    We take a break in the middle for supper and socialising.
•    After supper there is an activity or workshop on a specific topic. Sometimes there is a visiting judge providing this, or there is an activity set up by the committee.
•    The meeting usually ends around 10pm.

6.    Do you have competitions?

•    The Club runs a monthly competition for all members that includes both print and EDI images. Each month members are invited to submit 2 images in each category, with a theme or open theme alternating each month. More information about image sizing, mounting and presentation is located in the documents section of the club’s website.
•    The Club is involved in 2 interclub challenges, one annually with Wodonga-Albury Camera Club and the other with York County Camera Club (in the USA). These are fun activities that all members are invited to join in
•    Members are also invited to submit images to represent the club at the VAPs annual interclub competition.
•    From time to time we have informal challenges on our Facebook site.

7.    Do you have club awards?

The club has annual awards that include the following:
•    Best Monochrome image for both print and EDI competition
•    Best image for both print and EDI
•    Best portrait for both print and EDI
•    Best landscape for both print and EDI
•    Best freestyle for both print and EDI
•    Most improved photographer
•    Volunteer of the year.

More information about these awards is located in the documents section of the club’s website.

8.    Do you have outings?

•    Each month the club organises an outing or activity that supports members to improve their photography. Examples of this might include – Autumn in Bright, Winton Raceway, Benalla Show, a portrait shoot, a macro shoot in a local garden.
•    From time to time the club is asked to participate in a local project and to provide images. In 2016 we supported the Black Dog Ride, having the opportunity to photograph the motorcycle riders for this worthy cause.
•    Suggestions for activities or workshops are welcomed.

9.    Do you run workshops?

Due to the geographic location of the club at times it can be difficult to provide high quality workshops for members. We attempt to bring teachers to Benalla to run workshops such as Landscape, Portraiture and our annual beginners workshop.
If we have a judge visiting, we always ask the judge to provide some form of education for members and to show us some of their work.
Members are also informed of workshops in the local area that cater for beginners such as that provided by Camera House, and the local TAFE.

10.    Do I have to have a big camera?

Our club supports members that have all sorts of cameras from simple point and shoot, up to complex DSLRs. We believe that it is important to be able to take a good photograph regardless of the camera, and to learn as much as we can with the cameras we own

11.    I have a new camera, can I join?

Anyone with an interest in photography can join our club. Even if you are thinking about buying a new camera, you will find support and guidance to assist you with this.

12.    I don’t know how to use a camera, can I still attend?

Of course, we were all beginners once. Joining a camera club will assist you learning about all those crazy buttons, as well as meeting like-minded camera enthusiasts.

13.    Where can I learn about using my new camera? 

The club runs an annual beginners weekend workshop, usually around August/ September. You can also attend the workshop run by Camera House in Shepparton, or attend TAFE or U3A. Individual members can provide some instruction, and attending an activity will always find someone who can work with you. From time to time we also run basic workshops for new members, or for those with new cameras. It’s just a matter or asking.

14.    Where can I learn about Photoshop (or other post production program)?

The Club does not have any formal workshops planned for learning about post production, as many of us are also still learning. We do a little instruction at club nights and individual members can help get you started. There are workshops at our local TAFE, and lots of instructional videos on the internet.

15.    Where do I get my images printed?

Images can be printed on a home computer or at a store that provides this service. The club do not recommend any particular place, so it’s worth asking members where they get their printing done.

16.    Does the club have a printer/ computer I can use?

No, the club does not have this service.

17.    How do I get information about the club activities?

The club has a monthly newsletter, send to all members as well as uses email to provide information about activities. We also have a Facebook group that provides information, links to tutorials and the occasional photographic challenge.

18.    What is VAPS?

VAPS stands for Victorian Association of Photographic Societies. It is the state body that oversees camera clubs throughout Victoria. By being a paid member of our club, you are automatically a member of VAPS and are covered by indemnity insurance. More information about VAPS, the annual VAPS convention and the VAPS interclub challenge is located in another document on our website.

19.    What is APS?

APS stands for Australian Photographic Society. Membership to APS is by individual choice and more information about APS can be found on the internet.

20.    Do you get club discounts anywhere?

We have not organised any formal discounts with any store or service.

21.    Can I attend a club meeting without being a member?

You are welcome to attend 2 meetings before deciding to become a member. Until you are a paid member you are unable to submit for competition or exhibition and will not receive the newsletter.  Upon paying the membership fees you will also be given a ‘new members pack’ that contains information about our club and how it works.

22.    Who runs the camera club?

The camera club is run by an elected Committee, who are voted in at the AGM in October each year. The Committee comprises of the following positions:
Vice President
Other members take roles such as ‘newsletter editor’, ‘Competition Secretary’, ‘new members’, ‘publicity’, ‘webmaster’ or ‘activity coordinator’.

23.    I am interested in video, do you cater for this?

Even though many new cameras have a movie facility, at this stage we have not provided any education or information about making movies (sorry).

24.    Are you ‘on-line’?

We are slowing moving into the internet age, and have a website (currently under reconstruction), email address and Facebook page. (Note that the Facebook page is open for anyone to see, but only members can contribute or comment)
Search for Benalla Camera Club on Facebook.

25.    How do I contact the club?

The best way to contact the club is via the club’s email address As an alternative you can use the Contact Us Page on this website

26.    Do you let children attend?

Children are welcome at our club and we have a special category for junior membership. However it is essential for children under 15 are accompanied by a responsible adult at both club meetings and outings. From time to time, when we have sufficient numbers of juniors we run a separate category for competition.

27.    Do you have insurance or indemnity as a club?

Benalla Camera Club is affiliated with VAPS (Victorian Association of Photographic Societies). A sum of $8 from each member’s membership fee annually, is paid to VAPS and enables the club to have indemnity insurance. If you need more information about this just ask a committee member.

28.    Can I belong to more than one camera club?

There is no limit to how many camera clubs you belong to.

29.    How can I help the club?

The club is run by a volunteer committee and we are always looking for people to help the club out. Here is a list (not complete by any means) of ways you can help the club:
•    Become a committee member – you do not have to be an experienced photographer to help out. We have roles for people who are good at things like newsletters, communicating with the local paper, preparing suppers, writing articles, welcoming new members, as well as the usual committee positions
•    Put up your hand to organise an outing, speaker, or photo opportunity
•    Join in activities
•    Welcome new members, help out with their new cameras.
•    Write an article for our newsletter or website



BANNER -Sunset at Mindil Beach, Darwin - Ken Jenkins