FAQ

Q. Is WWPS active during the COVID-19 pandemic?

A. Yes, WWPS is having virtual monthly meetings, classes, and photo Show and Tell displays using ZOOM Meeting. For an invitation to the virtual programs, send an email to WichitaWildlight@gmail.com.

Q. What is the purpose of WWPS?
A. Helping members enjoy the art and fun of photography, share knowledge and learn, improve photographic skills, and support the arts and community. Be sure to check the “President’s Message” page of the website: www.WichitaWildlight.org for more information about WWPS and our purpose.

Q. What does “wildlight” mean in the club’s name?
A. When the club was chartered in 1991, it chose the name “Wichita Wildlight Photographic Society (WWPS)” to recognize the members’ interest in photography (light), the close association of Lawton with the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge (wild), and the exceptional photo opportunities it provides to our members. Some people mistakenly read our name as “Wild life”, and assume we are only wildlife photographers. But, WWPS is about every kind of photography.

Q. Who are the members of WWPS?
A. Amateur and professional photographers of all ages and all experience levels who are interested in any aspect of photography

Q. How many members does WWPS have?
A. There are about 200 people who are involved with WWPS and there are usually about 50 people at each meeting.

Q. Do I have to be a good photographer to be part of WWPS?
A. No, not at all. In fact, one of our primary objectives is to help people learn photography and improve their skills. So, if you don’t know anything, WWPS welcomes you. We teach lessons on photography at every meeting. Our members’ experience levels range from none to retired professionals. We’ve had some members who didn’t even own a camera but were interested in learning about photography so they could make a good decision about what kind of camera to get. We try to teach lessons on photography at various levels so there is something for everyone regardless of experience or knowledge level.

Q. What if I am an experienced photographer? Is there something for me at WWPS?
A. Absolutely. Because we have such a wide range of skill levels in our group, there are other members with skills similar to yours. We always appreciate our experienced members, because they can help us teach the others. In addition, we try to present programs and teach classes that appeal to all levels of knowledge and skill. As you well know, you never stop learning about photography. The group has a number of professionals and retired professionals, some of whom are world-class photographers. Some of our members are very active in state and national professional photography organizations.

Q. Is there an age limit for being part of WWPS?
A. No, everyone is welcome regardless of age. We’ve had members as young as 10 years old who came to every meeting with a parent. One brother and sister started coming to meetings when they were pre-teens and are now adults with fine photography skills.

Q. When and where are WWPS meetings?
A. WWPS meets the second Thursday of each month, 7:00 PM, at Boulevard Church in Lawton, Ok (5319 W. Gore Blvd), directly across Gore Blvd from Eisenhower High School. See the website for more information: www.WichitaWildlight.org

Q. Do I have to be a “member” to attend meetings?
A. The meetings are free and open to the public. No reservation needed—just show up. You can come to all the meetings without any cost or obligation.

Q. Can I bring guests to the meetings?
A. We encourage you to bring anyone who is interested in photography. Guests are always very welcome.

Q. Are dues required to be a WWPS member?
A. Dues are not required to attend meetings. But to be a full member, with all the extra benefits, you must be dues-paid and have a membership card.

Q. What are the benefits of paying dues?
A. If you pay dues, you get extra privileges, including a membership card. You must show your membership card to: check out library books and DVDs from the WWPS library, check out photo equipment, show your photographs in the WWPS booth at the Arts for All Festival attend special seminars and workshops free, be eligible for premium-level door prizes at the meetings, go on some club field trips free, use the WWPS work room with mat cutter, shrink wrapper, laminating machine, etc., and use available matting materials at no cost.

Q. How much are dues and when are they due?
A. Dues are due in January of each year- Individual-$10, family-$15, plus we ask that you volunteer at least 10 hours each year to help with our club events. Your volunteering earns funding for our club, and that’s how we are able to keep dues so low. Consider volunteering some time as part of your dues.

Q. If I pay dues late in the year, do I have to pay again for the upcoming new year?
A. NEW full (dues paid) members who pay dues in Oct. Nov. or Dec., get the following year paid up (and the remaining months of the current year). EXISTING or PREVIOUS full (dues paid) members who pay dues late in the year, are paying for the current year only. Dues for the following year are still owed as of January 1st.

Q. Can I be a member if I can’t attend meetings very often or can’t pay dues?
A. There are two kinds of WWPS members:
1. Full members- These are members who attend meetings frequently and are current on paying dues. They get membership cards for the current year and have full benefits of membership (library use, equipment checkout, free weekend seminars, free use of our matting room and supplies, etc.).

2. Associate members- These are people who were previously dues-paid full members, but are no longer current on dues and only attend meetings occasionally. They do not get a current membership card and do not have full benefits. But, they are welcome to attend meetings anytime. We keep them on our club mailing list (if they wish to) and send them all our announcements so they can keep informed about us and attend events when they can.

Q. How do I join WWPS as a dues-paid member?
A. See the treasurer or any officer at any monthly WWPS meeting.

Q. Will I get a membership card when I pay dues?
A. You will receive a membership card at the next meeting after you pay your dues.

Q. Do I need to bring my membership card to every meeting?
A. You do not need a membership card to attend meetings. But, you will need it to check out library materials, check out photo equipment, be eligible for premium-level door prizes at the meetings.

Q. Do I have to attend every meeting?
A. Come whenever you can. The more you come, the more chances you have to learn and enjoy photography. But everyone has life demands and schedule conflicts. So we’d like to see you whenever you are able, but we don’t keep score or attendance. It’s really up to you.

Q. When is the next meeting?
A. They are always the second Thursday of each month. For more information about the upcoming meeting, see the website: www.WichitaWildlight.org

Q. Are all meetings held at the same location?
A. Almost all regular monthly meetings are held at the Boulevard Church. But, occasionally a meeting might be planned for elsewhere. Be sure to check the website: www.WichitaWildlight.org , and click on the “Upcoming Programs” page. In addition, special weekend workshops and seminars may be held at other locations.

Q. Is WWPS part of or affiliated with the church or other religious organization?
A. No, WWPS just rents a meeting room from Boulevard church and is not in any way affiliated with any church.

Q. How will I know if a meeting is cancelled?
A. See the homepage of the website: www.WichitaWildlight.org. Cancellations, though rare, are posted as soon as a decision is made, but could be just before a meeting if the situation warrants (e.g. power outage). Always check the website just before coming to the meeting.

Q. What is the program for the next meeting?
A. See the homepage of the website: www.WichitaWildlight.org

Q. How can I find out what programs are planned in the future.
A. Go to the website: www.WichitaWildlight.org , and click on the “Upcoming Programs” page. It will show all the programs that are planned in the future.

Q. Do I have to have a current membership card to check out materials from the library?
A. Yes.

Q. Can I check out materials at my first meeting if I have just paid dues?
A. No, you cannot check out library materials or equipment until your second meeting when your membership card is issued to you.

Q. When can I check out or return materials from the library?
A. Checkout is done only at meetings which are held on the second Thursday of each month. Return can be done at any time by dropping the item in our 24-hour drop box located in the garage door of the house at 323 NW 35th St., one block north of Comanche County Hospital on 35th street. “WWPS” is printed on the mailbox lid, so you’ll know you have the right house.

Q. What if I miss the meeting at which I was planning to turn in a library item?
A. Do not wait until the next meeting. Remember other people may be waiting for the item. If you miss the next meeting also, then they’ll have to wait another month. That’s not fair to everyone else. Instead drop the item in our 24-hour drop box located in the garage door of the house at 323 NW 35th St., one block north of Comanche County Hospital on 35th street. “WWPS” is printed on the mailbox lid, so you’ll know you have the right house.

Q. What equipment is available for members to borrow?
A. WWPS loans to dues-paid members equipment including: Two complete studio light kits (Alien Bee, and Novatron) with 3 lights each, light stands, and umbrellas; a light meter; camera tripod; monopods; background stands; several backgrounds; Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras; Canon and Nikon external Flash units; on-camera flash diffusers; 18-inch soft box with stand; large soft boxes of various sizes; ring flash; umbrellas; a digital camera sensor cleaner; a table-top light tent kit for small item photography, and more. New items are being added all the time.

Q. Who can check out equipment?
A. Only full members whose dues are paid and current for the year and have a membership card may check out equipment.

Q. For how long can equipment be checked out?
A. Equipment is loaned for 10 days and must be checked in by contacting a WWPS officer.

Q. How do I arrange to check out equipment?
A. The preferred method is to check out equipment at a meeting by asking one of the club officers. A limited amount of checkout can be done between meetings by contacting a WWPS officer.

Q. How and when do I return equipment that I borrowed?
A. Check in of equipment is done between meetings by contacting a WWPS officer. Do not wait until the next meeting to check in equipment, unless directed to do so by the equipment manager. Equipment is due 10 days after checkout.

Q. How often can I check out equipment?
A. Occasionally. When the frequency or length of use gives the impression that the equipment is being used primarily to make money for the user, then our status as a non-profit could be questioned. We have to be careful of appearances of impropriety and limit use of the equipment by any one person to OCCASIONAL USE ONLY.

Q. Can I use WWPS equipment in my business or in a money-making photo project?
A. WWPS is a not-for-profit organization because of the “educational” nature of our organization. We encourage WWPS members to use the equipment to learn and improve their skills, but not to run a business. Philosophically, learning occurs when doing photography work for hire. So, it’s permissible to use WWPS equipment in a money-making activity if the primary purpose is learning the craft. But when, the frequency of use gives the impression that the equipment is being used primarily to make money for the user, then our status as a non-profit could be questioned. We must avoid the appearance of impropriety and limit use of the equipment by any one person to OCCASIONAL USE ONLY.

Q. Is there a list of all WWPS members?
A. Yes, see the “Members List” page of the website: www.WichitaWildlight.org

Q. How do I find out who are officers, board members, and other key people in WWPS?
A: Go to the website: www.WichitaWildlight.org , hover over “WWPS Information” in the navigation bar, and click on “Officers & Key Members”.

Q. Why are dues only $10 a year?
A. Dues are only $10 a year because we raise money to support WWPS in another way. As a member group of Lawton Arts For All, we get our annual funding in proportion to how much volunteer work we do to help raise funds for the arts. We earn money for the club by helping with fund raising activities, setup/tear-down at the AFA Festival and Gala, serving breakfast to the festival artists, and manning booths at the Arts for All Festival. Our members support the AFA Gala photo booth and volunteer to help setup and tear down afterwards. The more we do, the more funding we get to pay for the things the club offers the members. Since we only ask for $10 a year in dues, consider your volunteering as the rest of your dues since it raises money to support the activities you enjoy.

Q. What is the Show and Tell Display?
A. Each meeting will include a “Show and Tell Display” in which members can bring a photo they took that they would like to show to the other members.  Sometimes there may be announced an objective of the month and members challenged to photograph something that meets the objective. Bring a print of any size to the meeting for display. It does not have to be framed. We’ll all vote on the image that best meets the objective of the month. The winner will receive a very nice “people’s choice” ribbon. The image will then be placed on the website for all to see and admire. Check the website: www.WichitaWildlight.org , and click on the “Show and Tell” page for complete information.

Q. Is there a photo theme for next month?
A. See the homepage of the website: www.WichitaWildlight.org

Q. Where can I get the forms for model release and copyright release?
A. Go to the website: www.WichitaWildlight.org , and click on the “Forms” page.

Q. Does WWPS have any online materials for learning about photography?
A. Yes, some great articles and tutorials are posted on the website. Go to the website: www.WichitaWildlight.org , and click on the “Articles and Tutorials” page.

Q. How do I contact WWPS?
A. WWPS has an email address that is monitored every day: WichitaWildlight@gmail.com