Frequently Asked Questions

Club Information

Q. Where and when does the club meet?
A. Currently the club meets at Grace Community Church, 6932 Professional Pkwy E, Sarasota, FL 34240. We meet on the third Wednesday of the month. Members are welcome to come to the meeting as early as 5:30pm to chat and look over the upcoming events. Meetings start promptly at 6:30pm.

Q. What does is cost to me a member?
A. Membership dues are $40 for a single membership or $60 for a couple’s membership.

Q. Do you offer a part-time resident discount
A. No, we do not offer a discount or pro-rate our dues. However, if you join in October, November or December your dues will carry over through the next year.

Q. Is there a student discount?
A. Students 25 years old or younger receive a special member price of $15 for a student membership. Just show your student ID when registering at a meeting.

Q. How and when do I renew my membership?
A. All memberships are due January 15th but you can renew your membership at any time after October 1st for the next calendar year. You can renew online and pay through PayPal by credit card. If you want to send in your renewal, you can remit by check to LWRDPC, P.O. Box 110273, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211 or you can pay by credit card, check or cash at any meeting.

Q. What are the dues used for?
A. We are a non-profit organization and there are no paid officers. Everyone gives their time voluntarily for the good of the club. Membership dues are used for prizes, club equipment such as computers and software that is used during our club training sessions, printing handouts, promotional materials, rental fees for special club meetings, club associations dues and club liability insurance.

Q. Do I have to be a member to attend a meeting?
A. Non-members are allowed to attend but there is a $10.00 donation fee. If you choose to join before the the next meeting we will apply the $10.00 towards your membership dues.

Q. How do I join?
A. Please join via our website.  Simply click JOIN US at the top of this page and follow the instructions.  There is also a membership table available at every meeting if you would like to join there.

Q. Do I have to live in Lakewood Ranch to be a member?
A. No, you do not have to live in Lakewood Ranch to become a member. Although, most of our members do live in Lakewood Ranch, we also have members from many other Suncoast areas.

Q.What kind of equipment do I need?
A. Any camera will do to start and you will get expert advice when you are ready to upgrade. Most members have a DSLR camera; all brands, all types, and all price ranges (including video cameras and phones).  You are sure to find someone else who shares your brand of equipment. Members use both PCs and MACs for image processing and management, and a variety of editing software.  The club provides training in Photoshop and Lightroom.

Q. Do I have to be an experienced photographer to join?
A. No, you do not have to be an experienced photographer to be a part of our club. We welcome all levels of experience as our membership ranges from beginner to professional photographers.

Q. Is this a digital only club?
A. While we are called a digital camera club, any method of capture can be used including digital, film and video.  You will find our skills building to be mainly focused around tools and processes in the digital arena.

Q. What do you do at meetings?
A. Our meetings typically include announcements about what things are going on in the area that would be of interest to our members, recognition of member accomplishments, announcements about upcoming field trips or other club activities, a ‘10 Minute Tips’, and a presentation from a guest speaker that covers a topic that is sure to interest our guests and members. After our ‘Share Your Work’ segment we have a break to allow members to view our ‘Print of the Month’ photos while spending time meeting other members.

Q. How do I volunteer to help the club or get on a club committee?
A. Please help out if you can.  Simply speak with any board member.

Q. How do I get a link to my website or blog added to the Directory section of the webpage?
A. You can update this information in your member profile via the Photo Website field.

Field Trips

Q. Does the club have field trips?
A. Our club plans 1 or 2 field trips each month. These trips are usually a good place to try the techniques that our guest speaker presented the previous month. This gives everyone a chance to practice as well as give them an opportunity to take a photo for the next month's ‘Print of the Month’ contest.

Q. Is there a fee to participate in a club field trip?
A. There is no fee charged by the club to attend a field trip. However, there may be a fee charged by the facility the club visits and members are responsible for those fees. We usually try to have a meal as a group, if time allows, and the cost of meals is also the member's responsibility.

Q. Why do I have to sign a liability release form to participate in a club field trip?
A. Our club has a liability insurance policy that protects our members and board of directors. It is a Club requirement that each person reviews and agrees to the liability release form before participating in any and all activities. This form is in your "Profile" area on the Club website and is a mandatory part of your profile when becoming a new member or when renewing your membership..

Q. Do I have to be a member to participate in club field trips?
A. Yes. You may not bring a spouse or friend who is not a current member of the club. There are no exceptions to this rule.


Q. Does the club offer any type of photography education?
A. Currently the club’s fall class schedule includes; Intro to Photography, Intro to Post Processing, Basic WordPress, Intro to Cell Phone and Tablet Photography, Advanced Photoshop, and Plug-Ins classes. The club also offers educational segments in each of our monthly meetings and provides links to resources on our web page.

Q. Does the club have a Facebook page?
A. Our club has a public Facebook page and a "Members Only Group" Facebook page. Visit, to see the public page and find information as to what the club has done in the past and is planning on doing in the future. Anyone can view this page. Click through our photo albums to see our members enjoying past meetings and field trips as well as examples of member photos that have done well in local, state and national photo contests. The “Member’s Group Facebook Page” is only for members and you have to be invited by e-mail and accept the invitation to be allowed to view this Group page. If you are not a member of this member’s only Facebook group and would like an invitation to join, please speak to any Board member at the next meeting and they will see that you get an e-mail invitation to join. Please note that this site is only available to, and will only be viewed by, current members of the LWRDPC. It is not for general public use. 


Q. Does the club have a monthly photo contest?
A. Yes, we have a “Print of the Month” contest. Each participant should bring an 8×10 print of their photo. When you arrive just tape your photo in one of the provided mat frames, add a numbered corner to the frame and place it in a stand on the "Print of the Month" table. Monthly themes can be found here. Also watch for the monthly themes in our newsletters that are sent to your e-mail address every month.

Q. Who judges the Print of the Month?
A. Two club members who have been approved as qualified judges, will judge & score photos on a 0-100 pt. scoring system. First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded at the meeting and their winning scores will be announced. All scores & scoring averages will be posted at the scoring table. The winners should congregate after the meeting to have their photo taken. Participating judges will be at the scoring table at end of the meeting to discuss the scoring and how each photo might be improved for competition.

 Q. Who can enter the monthly photo contest?
A. Any member can enter the “Print of the Month Contest.”

Q. How many photos can I enter in the monthly photo contest?
A. Each member is allowed to enter just 1 photo.

Q. How do I find out the theme for the monthly photo contest?
A. The themes are always listed in the club newsletter, or look here.

Q. What is the criteria used to judge my contest photos?
A. Impact, Technical Excellence, Creativity, Style, Composition, Presentation, Color Balance, Center of Interest, Lighting, Subject Matter, Technique, and Story Telling.

Q. Does the “Print of the Month Contest” photo have to be a recent photo?
A. No, any photo you have taken that matches the monthly theme can be used.

Q. Am I allowed to use Photoshop on my “Print of the Month” photo?
A. Yes

Q. What is FCCC?
A. It is the ‘Florida Camera Club Council’ and a non-profit organization. It holds 6 competitions annually, 3 digital and 3 print. They also hold a year end competition that is open to all the years ribbon winners. Our club pays yearly dues in order for our club members to be able to participate. We are just one of approximately 50 clubs statewide that make up the FCCC.

Q. How do I participate in an FCCC competition?
A. Each club member who wishes to compete in FCCC competitions must register with FCCC. Go to their web site, and register. Once you request membership as a member of the LWRDPC, a confirmation request will be sent to the LWRDPC club representative who will verify your club affiliation and an email confirmation will then be sent to you. If you chose to compete in one of the competitions, you will be asked to pay the competition fee, currently $10. Once that payment has been confirmed, normally within 24 hours, you can then submit your photos in accordance with FCCC instructions and rules. You will normally start in the “beginner” category.

Q. What is the Digital and Print Salon Competition?
A. Our Salon Competition is an opportunity for you to have your photos critiqued by three of our qualified member judges.. Our moderator will be our Competition Chairman. No one but you will know that your photo is being judged. In Digital Salon your photo will be pre-judged and the images that gain a merit score projected on a screen long enough for the judges to discuss in many cases what they liked about the projected photo or things to change to improve it. In Print Salon Competition your photo must be mounted on a 16×20 mat board. It will be pre-judged and any that have a merit score or higher will be shown in a special lightbox where the judges may discuss what they liked and or what may be needed for improvement. The highest score a judge can give is 100 for a total from the 3 judges of 300 points. The scores will be totaled and divided by three. An average score of 80 will represent a “Merit Award”. The judges will be scoring based on the widely used and accepted “Twelve Elements” of scoring. Everyone in the audience will be able to view the projected images or prints and see which ones scored the best but they won’t know the photographer until the end when the winners will be announced.

Q. What is our club Feedback session?
A. A feedback session is a great opportunity where you can bring up to 5 pictures on a memory stick and get advice from some of our advanced members on how you can improve the pictures you are considering entering into the Salon or FCCC competitions. This is a really great learning opportunity you should take advantage of. Many ribbon winners are a result of these sessions.

Q. What is the Quad Competition?
A. The Quad competition is a friendly photo competition between four local photography clubs, Sun City Photography Club, Suncoast Photography Club, Sarasota Photography and LWRDPC. We participated for the first time in 2014 and won the 1st place trophy.  Each club must submit 15 color and 10 black and white photos that represent their club members best work for that calendar year.


Q. What is Share Your Work?
A. Each member is allowed to send up to 3 photos and/or a short video each month to be included in a presentation that runs at the end of our meeting. Photos and videos can be on any subject. This is a great way to let members see what kind of photography interests you and what you have been shooting during the past month.

Q. How do I submit photos to Share Your Work?
A. Just e-mail your photos and/or video to Dave Kurshan at

Q. How many photos can I submit for Share Your Work?
A. There is a maximum of 3 photos and one short video per member. But there is no minimum so feel free to send just one or two if you are comfortable with that.

Q. Is there a deadline for submitting photos to Share Your Work?
A. Photos and/or videos should be emailed to Dave no later than the Friday prior to the Wednesday meeting.

Feel free to talk to any Board member at any meeting if you have any additional questions or concerns. Members can also E-mail any Board member. Their E-mail addresses are on the Executive Board pages.

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