Since Lee and I first started Fstoppers 5 years ago, we have always wanted it to be a place for inspiration, news, reviews, and of course educational behind the scenes material. One thing has always been missing though, and that is the voice of you our readers. Today we are expanding the Fstoppers Community by opening Groups to the public. Anyone with an Fstoppers account can now create and moderate their own photography community directly on Fstoppers.com
What are Fstoppers Groups? Groups are basically our version of a message board or forum but with a much more personal twist. Since different genres of photography require unique skills and approaches, why should everyone be required to join a broad and generic group to learn from their peers? With the Fstoppers Groups, you can join or create a group that fits your specific needs and expectations. Each group allows members to share content, photos, tips, and even run specialized contests open only to members of the group.
Who Can Create Groups? Anyone who is a member of the Fstoppers Community can create their own custom group. We have been slowly rolling out Groups over the last several months with a few groups run by our writers, but now the Fstoppers Groups are open to the general public.
What Group Should I Create? The Fstoppers Groups can be a very powerful tool for both learning and networking. Before starting your own group, I would suggest searching existing groups to see other popular communities. However if you want to be the captain of your own community, I would suggest starting a niche group that caters towards a very specific genre of photography. Some good examples of groups would be Beauty Retouching, Men's Studio Fashion, St. Louis Wedding Photographers, Asian Landscapes, or Drone Photography. You can be as creative as you want but remember all these group names are searchable so make sure you give your group a unique and catchy name if you want people to participate. Make sure you label your group with solid Tags and a thorough description so other photographers can find and join your group.
Are There Any Rules? At the moment, the only rule is your group cannot have a vulgar or offensive title. The Fstoppers staff and Writers do have Admin control over all groups but the founder of each group has full moderator control. If you want your own group to be completely open to free speech you can do that, or if you want to assign additional moderators within your group to keep the peace you can do that too. At the moment we simply want to give photographers the ability to create groups that promote education, personal growth, and community building. If things become out of hand we might introduce some more guidelines but at the moment anything is possible.
How Do I Sign Up? Creating your own group is easy. First make sure you are a member of the Fstoppers Community. Being a member allows you to comment on Fstoppers.com Posts, upload your own portfolio to your profile, participate in Fstoppers Contests, and stay up to date with your posts with our notification system anytime you are logged onto the site. Once you have an Fstoppers Community account, simply head over to the Groups Page and hit "Create A Group". It's that simple.
Future Group Announcements: We have a lot of cool and useful ideas for Fstoppers Groups such as private groups and groups based on location. We are also looking for a way to reward those groups that offer the best interaction. As we roll out new features to the Fstoppers Community and the Fstoppers Groups, we will announce them directly on the front of Fstoppers.com
We are really excited to open up these groups to the entire community, and stay tuned because Fstoppers will be selecting a few popular groups for several contests in the near future.