If you know who sang that song and you can whistle it, this blog may resonate with you.
When I do my presentations at camera clubs or attend photographic competitions around the country I look round the audience and in the main the hall/room is graced by people (mainly gentlemen) of a certain age. I lump myself into that category – except that I am lady of a certain age not a gentleman- just had a birthday too, so definitely well over THAT particular hill.
So for a long time now I have wondered why aren’t the younger generation coming to the various clubs, what is preventing them from attending? Are they a generation of Snapchatters, Instagramers, mobile phone snappers, selfie stick wavers and who don’t own (and have no desire to own) a “proper” camera? Do they want instant gratification and can’t be bothered learning how to compose a photograph or learn Photoshop (I know a lot of experienced photographers who kick against that particular aspect… referring to Photoshop if you haven’t already guessed). Are the various weekly speakers at the camera clubs of no interest to them? I know that my particular heart sinks when the speaker brings in his (usually his) slides or starts the talk off with ‘ I’ve not embraced the digital age yet”. I know for other people slides and pictures “straight out of the camera” would have them queuing at the club door……. but would that kind of presentation draw in a younger audience?
Although I did a little bit of photography and dark room developing when I was just leaving school (back in the day you couldn’t leave school straight after you finished your exams you had to stay on to the bitter end) so they let us loose in the dark room – their mistake….. but that’s another story. So I came to photography late in life via the digital age.
How do other clubs entice the young folk into their clubs? What do they do to encourage them and how do they get that message out? Do the younger people attend for a couple of evenings and then drift away? I think we, as a photographic family, should try and work this one out before we all drop off the perch and have nothing to hand down to the next generation. And (never start a sentence with and) if you have the answer please let us all know.