One of best things about photography is the community that can be built from hanging out with people with a similar passion. The benefit of this is that you can learn from each other but as well as just be more in the moment. These clubs exist online and off-line as well and this can be a good thing. For myself I like shoot with people but I feel that I am more effective on my own. However, the online discussions can really give you some tips about what to improve or where to shoot.
Over the past few years, I have met so many great people from different clubs around Korea. If you are new or are starting out, I would highly recommend getting involved in these groups and getting out with some people. The connections and networks you can make are really valuable and could lead to some great exposure. Below are a list of the groups that I recommend. In this day and age, most of them exist on facebook, so you may already be a part of them.
If you are wondering why this is first over my own photo club well that is easy, it is better lol. The Busan Lightstalkers is a highly active club that hosts monthly photowalks around Korea. It’s members are some of the best photographers in the country and the most active. They have recently hosted a gallery that was very successful and last weekend went down to Tongyeong to have a weekend photo walk. If you are in the area (even Ulsan) this is the club you want to be in. They also have a flickr group as well.
This is the club I currently manage and I am looking to try and get more activity on it. Ulsan’s best usually head towards Busan for shots and thus the close proximity to the Lightstalkers means that we have sort of joined forces over the years. However, I usually try to keep the page updated with tips and events going on in the Ulsan area. This is also a place to show off your best shots of the city as well. We also have a flickr group in case you’d rather share your images there
Continuing with local clubs and active ones at that, the Daegu Photography Club has a ton of active members. The also meet up with many of the surrounding clubs for meet ups. Their facebook page always seems to have a lot of activity and photos being posted. their members will also help you out with advice on equipment and locations.
Some great shots coming out of the Seoul area. This group showcases some of the great talent from the megacity. It also another great place to pick up used equipment from other photographers. I always see posts for people selling decent equipment. If you are in the Seoul area, this is a good group to join.
For those living on the other side of Korea, you are not left out. Some of the best photographers in Korea are a part of this club and so should you! Some great photos always appear in this thread.
Tons of activity on this facebook group. There is no central location, so it brings in photographers from all over the country into the discussion. Here you can find people selling equipment, offering location advice or sharing photos. The discussion and members span all levels.
A great group for sharing your shots and tips. There seems to be a lot of activity these days and some great photos shared as well. It covers the entire country and thus gets a decent amount of activity. There always seems to be some interesting discussions going on.
Flickr groups are slowly fading out but they are still around and with the facelift that Flickr received, they are easier see. The flickr groups have lost to the monster that is facebook. If you are looking for some flickr groups check below.
While their blog may be MIA, the group pool on flickr still sees a lot of action. There are a lot of great photos shared and with the overall focus on good photography, you should be impressed with the comments received.
If you want to meet up with great people and get out for some shots this is your group. While Flickr groups may not be as popular these days as facebook groups, FIS has stood the test of time and continues to plan meetups.
It has been a while since there was some real activity in this group but perhaps soon there will be more. This group was spawned from the numerous photography discussions over at waygook.org a site for sharing teaching materials.
For those looking to see the wonders of Korea’s abandoned buildings and urbanex scene, this is the club for you. With haunting images of broken down buildings and the haunting memories of items tossed asides, this is an interesting group.
For those that can type in Korean, this is a group that loves to share photos using the Korean language as a title and description. It encourages interaction using the Korean language so that Korean photographers can get in on the discussion. If your Korean is up to the challenge, as well as your photos, this is for you.
This is a group for sharing your love for Korea. Most of the recent images seem to snaps shots from peoples travels and whatnot but it does celebrate the country as a whole. The group was created by a Korean and thus the description is in Korean but that shouldn’t stop you from posting some awesome pics.
Other Flickr Groups:
[box type=”warning”] Be Careful How or What You Post!! Read Below!![/box]
While joining groups is so easy these days and posting to them is even easier, I do recommend that you choose your shares wisely. There is nothing worse than seeing the same image 500 times on my facebook feed. This is because we all get so excited when we have a good shot or want to get more exposure but it also gets on a lot of people’s nerves. So my advice would be to pick your groups and pick your shots wisely. Obviously, a shot of Seoul that is unrelated to the Ulsan Photo Club does not belong on the group page.
So basically, what I suggest is to keep your shots relevant to the group. The Busan Lightstalkers recently went to Tongyeong and thus sharing shots from that trip is expected. Sharing shots from around Busan for that group is also encouraged. However, cross-posting to 10 other groups of a completely unrelated location is generally not welcomed.
If you are looking for a place to dump your random shots then I would start a facebook page or a Flickr page. Choose your photos wisely and they will have more impact on the people that you are trying to reach. Also try changing up the photo and offering exclusive shots for certain groups. Don’t just post the same image over and over again, mix it up a bit.
Finally, dumping photos is fine but being an active member of a group and starting discussions is what makes a group great. Being social with the other photographers is what builds a community. Don’t just be the photographer that dumps their photos and then expects everyone to like it but never contributes anything.