UW Photo Club - How to attract loyalists to your dive shop

22 March 2009

If I were to have a store...

The GirlDiver model will never have a "traditional shop". It's just not part of the plan. While I would, eventually, like to have a "learning center", we will not have a scuba store as the industry see's scuba stores.

One of my favorite stores in the Northwest is Underwater Sports Federal Way. These guys do alot of things very right. They hold club meetings on the same day every month, so people can attend, they offer trips locally and abroad, they have a knowledgeable staff that DIVE and instruct classes.

Their newest "done right" is the Underwater Photo Club. They had an initial meeting last fall, where pro photographers led the meeting. The group of fledgling uw photographer wanna-be's left the meeting dazed and confused. In the discussion of F Stops, white balance and aperture, most just wanted to know what the difference was between the all of buttons on the back of their cameras. This wasn't a college class.

In comes Britany Shelton, new instructor extraordinairre!! Britany has only been teaching scuba for a few months, so she doesn't know that you can only do things the way things have always been done. She wanted to learn more about underwater photography. So, she started the "one meeting club" up again. AND DECIDED TO LEAD IT.

I'll be the first to say that this is the blind leading the blind. But that's the reason for it's success.

As Britany sets out to educate herself on underwater photography, she invites the club to go along. Each month the club meets together for "the lesson". This is the culmination of one month of research for Brit...and she takes it very seriously. She becomes the expert at "the rule of thirds" or "white balance"...whatever the "lesson" is going to be.

They have the lesson, then receive an assignment. Maybe it's Sunflower Starfish. Over the next month, the group needs to shoot a Sunflower Starfish and try to make it different, or use the lesson, to achieve one stellar shot, which is then shared the next month at the PhotoShootOut.

I'm not into underwater photography, but if I were, this is the place I'd be. If you are, and you're in the Pacific Northwest, stop by to check this group out. It's how a Photo Club should be run! Good job Brit...and I LOVE your enthusiasm!!!