Getting More Affiliate Mid-Level Participation
Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 53
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    5,479

    Default

    Hi Marc,

    I think the thread ended up the way it's going because you posted this under "affiliate leaders. So we answered based on what does the earning of the degree(s) pertain to the affiliates. But to answer your question directly, yes, I think it is easier to get your craftsman nowadays, BUT, the information age has changed the landscape of "mode of operation". That is, if there wasn't any change made with regards to availability of merits, it was quite possible that the Craftsman Degree program might die on the vine. PPA probably saw that change is necessary and gradually added new ways to earn the Cr..

    Which brings me to my next point regarding Jack's comment:

    I'm sorry but a "closed door" approach will create competition in a bad way. Better to have those photographer included, not excluded in education. It's up to leadership to figure out how to make membership worthwhile. Being "exclusive" is not a good long term solution. If there is enough "exclusion" you will see another local association form and that causes all sorts of political problems. We've already seen that in areas in the past.
    I would agree with you probably 10 years ago that you bring in as many bodies as possible, but like the change previously mentioned before this quote, change in governance is absolutely necessary in this day and age. As a speaker up and down the state of California, I've been sitting with each of the boards and talking membership and organization. Alarmingly, nearly all of the associations are in critical care mode because they have not changed their governance style since the time of their inception (some are over 40 years old).

    The common thing I found with all of these associations are:

    "We have more 'apprentice members' than active members".

    "Our older members and master photographers aren't coming anymore"

    "We can't get enough money to bring in the right programs"

    "Our board members consist of members who've been in this association for less than 2 years (this is a significant problem)"

    "our members are upset at the aspiring/apprentice members practicing without a license"

    "Our President is facing a third term because nobody else wants to step up (this is common in nearly all of the 18 California State Affiliates)"

    "our membership renewal rate is at 40% of our normal membership numbers"

    I could go on, but you get the idea. And from what I heard from PPA sources, this is not just a California thing. Even regionals and states are having financial whoas.

    We saw the same problems as our sister affiliates three years ago. Last year we had two board members (2 year members) start an argument that PPA and PPC is not needed in the structure of our association. This was absolutely alarming to all the past presidents, charter members and 60 PPA members. "Oh my! These two might be President and VP in the next two years!"

    So, you have to adapt and change. Marc once talked about his association and asked how the other associations are doing. I, and a bunch of us in the Northern California Association used to be very active members of that group. Most of us were former board members. When we left, there were up wards of 350 members in that group. Last PPC report was that numbers had dwindled to about 180 members (and counting their online roster, that seems to be correct). So you have to look at the cause and effect. Many of us left that group because there were too many aspiring/apprentice members. Why should we drive over 1.5 hours in SF Bay Area Traffic to get very little out of the meetings? For us older members, none of our friends were attending anymore. So, what can you deduce from all of this? Certainly it would make a lot of sense to rethink the standards of governance. The truth is, two local associations, Northern California and Redword Empire formed because of the aspiring problem.

    Tough love for the apprentices? You bet! I apprenticed with a couple of very well known fashion photographers, and they worked my tail off and they nearly slapped the back of my hands many times for doing things mediocre. Are we an association that wants to promote mediocrity? If your photographic leadership ceases to come to your meetings, who's going to lead the sheep in the right path? A bunch of two year members who's only been in business for less than five years, or a bunch of Master Craftsmen who's been in the business for 20 or more years? Which would you choose?

    It just doesn't make sense anymore, at least on the State and local levels.
    Last edited by Michael_Gan; 02-10-2008 at 05:53 PM.
    Michael Gan,M.Photog.Cr. CPP,
    Meritage House of Photography

    If your business depends on you, you don't own a business-you have a job. And it's the worst job in the world because you're working for a lunatic... You can't close it when you want to, because if it's closed you don't get paid. You can't leave it when you want to, because if you leave there's nobody there to do the work. You can't sell it when you want to, because who wants to buy a job?
    —Michael Gerber
    http://www.meritageonmain.blogspot.com

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Gan View Post
    Last PPC report was that numbers had dwindled to about 180 members (and counting their online roster, that seems to be correct). So you have to look at the cause and effect. Many of us left that group because there were too many aspiring/apprentice members.
    ---- see now you got me on this tangent as well, wonder if we should take this on a different thread----

    Ey now, well we don't really list our students/aspiring and retired members on the website so that true number is really closer to 250. I think that 350 you mention was pre-split which makes sense since the two spin offs each took probably at least 50 each.

    I can't really speak in a "official" capacity but my personal opinion is that PPGBA is has always been open and aspiring/semi-pro friendly no pressure with a no compulsory homework kind of a group feel. I think it's culture is gonna continue like that. Oh and not only San Francisco, I'm with Sacramento also which is probably at 155 and that's how things are there also. They even go as far as inviting entire community college classes to the meetings.

    Now if the old timers are really just showing up because they want to hang out with their old friends then wouldn't that be say a little to click'ish?

    --------------------------
    Last edited by Marc_Benjamin; 02-10-2008 at 06:45 PM.
    -Marc Benjamin, M. Photog. Cr. F-PPC
    marcbenjamin.com

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Benjamin View Post
    Now that I think (if I'm reading everyones post right) the consensus it there's not really much incentive in the merits to begin with. ?
    OK I'm starting to think I don't really understand the system. When this whole merit thing was introduced to me it was in the context that (People who want to give back, get degrees to show people they are willing to help) That was it. No this means they're good or this means their smart or anything like that. Just hey, when you see someone with a ribbon on, it means they are willing to help you out.

    I know lots of great business people and terrific photographers who don't have any merits and never will. I have just always assumed they don't go after them because they don't have the time or the inclination to wear a sign that says they would mentor other photographers.

    I am slowly but surely pursuing my degrees because I learn from it and I am willing to help when asked. If I need to be more than that to deserve wearing the ribbons then I probably won't ever get them. Not a big deal really. A good incentive for me would be a free oil change.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Lottes View Post
    OK I'm starting to think I don't really understand the system. Not a big deal really. A good incentive for me would be a free oil change.
    You know what, maybe I'm the one who's really thinking that it was more of an incentive than it was a reward. You know that oil change incentive sounds good. Though I would like to at least get a brushless car wash in addition to.
    -Marc Benjamin, M. Photog. Cr. F-PPC
    marcbenjamin.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    5,479

    Default

    Nope, not it. 350 count was as little as 3 years ago. PPRE started 20 years ago and NCPP started 10.

    Clicques were not it, because the masters at the time were there to share which gave rise to a whole bunch of Masters who've now moved to Redwood Empire and Northern California. But you know what was the single most reason for leaving GBA? Internal Politics. From the time GBA started to divest itself from PPC about 20 years ago, many felt the direction was not in the best interest of the Professional actives.

    Please, Marc, keep in mind that many of us, including myself, still have a place in our heart for GBA. We all cut our teeth from that group. But the main difference was that Me, Hanson Fong, Jim Fidelibus, Mary Small, Tom Dawdy, Peg Jackson, John Pauson, Judy Host, Lisa Evans, Diedre Lingenfelter and many others in our "Master's Generation" had Barry Evans, Ted Gurney, Gage White, Paul Tumason, David Peters, Bob Pierce, Harvey Henningsen, Fred English, Virgina Felch (Clayton) Bill Martinelli and many other Masters to look up to. I'm counting and praying for you, Paul Tsang, Zee Bezehbeh and Julie Olson to rebuild that aspect of GBA. See the difference in numbers of Master then, as opposed to now?

    Getting back to the craftsman. Its quite often that those who attain their degrees for selfish reasons usually don't get asked to speak anymore. If I were in it strictly for the degree, I wouldn't be spouting off this much on this forum, toaster, or not.
    Last edited by Michael_Gan; 02-12-2008 at 10:03 PM.
    Michael Gan,M.Photog.Cr. CPP,
    Meritage House of Photography

    If your business depends on you, you don't own a business-you have a job. And it's the worst job in the world because you're working for a lunatic... You can't close it when you want to, because if it's closed you don't get paid. You can't leave it when you want to, because if you leave there's nobody there to do the work. You can't sell it when you want to, because who wants to buy a job?
    —Michael Gerber
    http://www.meritageonmain.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Diego, Calif
    Posts
    5,846

    Default well....

    "David Peters, Bob Pierce, Harvey Henningsen"

    You haven't live until you've judged print comp with those three....I've spoken at PPRE a number of times, every time I was blown away by the work these three do......just amazing.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Normal, Illinois
    Posts
    7,783

    Default

    "We have more 'apprentice members' than active members".
    "Our older members and master photographers aren't coming anymore"

    "We can't get enough money to bring in the right programs"
    "Our board members consist of members who've been in this association for less than 2 years (this is a significant problem)"
    "our members are upset at the aspiring/apprentice members practicing without a license"
    "Our President is facing a third term because nobody else wants to step up (this is common in nearly all of the 18 California State Affiliates)"
    "our membership renewal rate is at 40% of our normal membership numbers

    Are you sure that's all the fault of the newbies? I'm not an old-timer in PPA, but I've had a lifetime of experience leading men and women through tougher times and situations than ever occurs at an association of photographers.

    How can it be the newbies' fault if they just got there and aren't running anything? That would be like a general blaming the loss of the war on the privates.

    I can gauran-doggone-tee you every single one of those problems is a result of neglecting the people in the middle.

    The question isn't what's happening at the entry level, it's what's happening at the middle levels where all the real work is being done. In the military, that's the middle-grade sergeants and middle-rank officers, the squad leaders and platoon leaders.

    What motivations and incentives exists for people who are beyond "entry level" but still below "master?" Those are the people who are training the newbies and in training to be the leaders. What do you give those people that makes staying in the battle important to them?

    It's not about the newbies, it's about the people in the middle.
    --Elephants can swim...
    ...and very gracefully.
    Knowing that,
    I do believe
    Anything is possible for me.

    Kirk Darling, CPP

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    San Diego, Calif
    Posts
    5,846

    Default well....

    "What motivations and incentives exists for people who are beyond "entry level" but still below "master?""

    Great question, and it applies to experienced pros that stopped attending meetings. Telling them they "owe us" is no real reason. If they give those folks an incentive to be there, make it worthwhile for them, they wouldn't have a lot of these challenges.....

  9. #9

    Default

    Well, I'd like to consider myself as a member of that "middle class" and ultimately it feels like everyone falls into 3 categories - MWAC-type newbies, rockstar speakers, and old Masters. Granted, that's judgmental and unfair, but it feels like trends in the industry have forced a certain distance in membership. There are a ton of youngsters that need to be brought up to snuff. Alot of the education out there is really aimed at bringing those people up who might be dragging the market down - and I think rightly so.

    However, as a member of that middle class, I'm finding it difficult to know where to go for advice, inspiration and methods of improvement. It seems like those middle class folks are finding what they need more from forums like this and annual seminars rather than local associations. Most of the photographers that I know who seem to be at a similar level wouldn't be caught dead at a local (or any PPA gathering) meeting, but they go to WPPI every year. Why do you think that is? Is PPA and the local/regional organzation structure not as "sexy," for lack of a better word? What are they getting from those organizations that they apparently don't think they are going to get from their locals?

    Anybody have an opinion? I have yet to attend a local, and due to a scheduling issue won't be attending until possibly the fall seminar. I didn't even know about it until recently! Is it an issue of the locals not effectively marketing the value or benefit?

    - trr (not an affiliate leader )

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    5,479

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KirkDarling View Post
    Are you sure that's all the fault of the newbies? I'm not an old-timer in PPA, but I've had a lifetime of experience leading men and women through tougher times and situations than ever occurs at an association of photographers.

    How can it be the newbies' fault if they just got there and aren't running anything? That would be like a general blaming the loss of the war on the privates.

    I can gauran-doggone-tee you every single one of those problems is a result of neglecting the people in the middle.

    The question isn't what's happening at the entry level, it's what's happening at the middle levels where all the real work is being done. In the military, that's the middle-grade sergeants and middle-rank officers, the squad leaders and platoon leaders.

    What motivations and incentives exists for people who are beyond "entry level" but still below "master?" Those are the people who are training the newbies and in training to be the leaders. What do you give those people that makes staying in the battle important to them?

    It's not about the newbies, it's about the people in the middle.
    The common problem of these associations is that there are no middle grade sargeants and middle rank officers. The newbies are the officers. This is my point of all of this. All of the upper rank people, the established working pros aren't coming to the meetings, or getting involved anymore, and all the middle rank people aren't going because they are burned out. So, it comes down to who's training whom? There are at least five affiliates where their president has less than 3 years membership in their associations, all the rest except four have presidents serving a 2nd, 3rd, and some have come back for 4th terms of office because they either don't have enough members, or they can't find anymore to serve.
    Last edited by Michael_Gan; 02-10-2008 at 09:29 PM.
    Michael Gan,M.Photog.Cr. CPP,
    Meritage House of Photography

    If your business depends on you, you don't own a business-you have a job. And it's the worst job in the world because you're working for a lunatic... You can't close it when you want to, because if it's closed you don't get paid. You can't leave it when you want to, because if you leave there's nobody there to do the work. You can't sell it when you want to, because who wants to buy a job?
    —Michael Gerber
    http://www.meritageonmain.blogspot.com

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Live Chat is closed