Today I decided to give another visit to the A2D, Analog to Digital, social group of photographers that meets every Friday at Einstein Bros. Bagels in Atlanta.
A2D is a very mixed group of photographers. Besides the mix of professionals and amateurs, what they like to photograph is diverse. Some were into art, some nature, and the list of topics they wanted to photograph was vast.
This group all made me think of my days playing in orchestras and bands. Each instrument was part of a sectional. I was always part of the trumpet section. We didn’t all play the same trumpet part. Some were playing 1st. Others played the orchestration’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th parts.
In an orchestra, the different sections were not even using the same type of music. For example, some instruments were reading treble clef, bass clef, alto clef, and tenor clef.
This morning, I was reminded of the diversity when a lady asked how much I would charge to do selective color editing of one of her landscape photos. I realized then that her request was like a violist asking me, the trumpet player, to play along with her music. It just wasn’t going to happen for me. I had never learned to read alto clef.
While I could most likely help the lady with her photograph, I would have had to work on her picture with little experience doing the selective color. It is just not my approach to photography.
The differences between people don’t have to lead to divisive.
If everyone in the group had to have everyone do the same style of photography, most of the group would no longer exist. We each have unique ways of seeing the world.
Learning to stay engaged with people who are so close to your passion will enlarge your worldview. They can stretch you and help you become a better version of yourself.
Since 2002, this eclectic group of photographers has socialized and enjoyed each other’s company.
Here are a couple of things that have helped them overcome some speed bumps with many social groups that fall apart
- No politics
- No dues
- No leaders
- No agenda
I did notice that someone would mention having a party or a zoom meeting to complement their social time on Fridays, but it was serendipitous in the approach.
Could you start a similar group in your community? For example, if you live in metro Atlanta, you can join this A2D group at Einstein Bros. Bagels on Fridays from 10:00 am to noon at 2870 N Druid Hills Rd, Atlanta.
It is much easier to walk away from a social group if you don’t think you fit in rather than trying to find common ground. The question that can motivate you to work at it more is whether you are looking for relationships or just someone who agrees with everything you believe.