About Us

The Portland Photographic Society provides photographers with an opportunity to improve their skills and share their knowledge with others. Photographers of all levels share images at PPS meetings, explore with our field trips, and participate in our educational programs. We welcome visitors and new members. Read more about on the About Page or check the Frequently Asked Questions.

The Portland Photographic Society was founded in January 1940 in Portland, Oregon.  The four founders were Towner H. Phillips, Louise Phillips, Joe Smith, and May V. Nordstrom.  In 1939 and 1940, the four planned and formed a new, central Portland camera club, titled the Portland Photographic Society, as the primary Portland camera club at the time would not enroll women.  The four founders felt that a co-ed camera club, open to all, could be formed and succeed. Read our History Page for more.

Become a Member

The Portland Photographic Society is a non-profit organization (formed as an Oregon Public Benefit Non-Profit Corporation) and all membership dues are used to pay for the costs of our events, such as renting meeting venues.  PPS members do not draw a salary or stipend, and work entirely as volunteers. Although we meet in a church, we are not affiliated with any particular faith or religion, and are open to all.

If you’re ready to become a member, please click the “Buy Now” button below to make an online payment with credit card or bank transfer. You do not need a personal PayPal account to use this feature.

Membership Level:
Mailing Address:
Phone Number:
Address and phone number are optional, but having more than just an email address helps with lost and found items, maintaining contact during field trips, and emergency contact information. We will never sell or share your information with a third party.

For payment instructions by postal mail or in person, please contact us.

Membership dues are only $35 per year, and are billed on the PPS activity calendar, which begins in September and ends in August. Alternatively, a less expensive “non-competing” membership option is available at $10 per year, but does not entitle the member to display their images at club meetings (our “Projected Image” or “Print” meetings). If you are interested in everything the PPS has to offer, or just want to help support the group, the full membership is the best choice.

Of course, please feel free to attend one of our meetings (excluding field trips) before becoming a member, so that you can see what we’re all about and if the PPS is right for you. If you have any questions about membership, or the PPS in general, please feel free to contact us.

Once you become a member, you will need to sign a liability waiver (digitally through DocuSign). This waiver is important as it protects all members, not just the organization itself. It can be previewed here.

Membership Benefits

Projected Images

The Portland Photographic Society holds image sharing and discussion for our members during Projected Image Night (on the first Monday of the month), with a focus on sharing photos, photo ideas, locations, constructive criticism, and knowledge.

For each month, a “theme” is provided in advance (see our calendar or our history), such as “Self Portraits” or “Autumn” or “Humorous”. These “theme” images are discussed in a separate round from “open” category images, which can be any type of image or subject matter. A third group of images is “comments” category where we discuss the image, but the judges don’t score them.

Images are scored by three judges, on a “1 to 9” scale, with 9 being the best (in practice, actual image scores fall in the 6 to 9 range).  The number of points are totaled for each image (for example, 6+7+7=20) and the highest-scoring image (or, sometimes, tied images) are the winners. Judging is a subjective process, so an image may receive very different scores depending on the judges present at the time. Consequently, we try not to take judging and scoring too seriously.

Here is a PDF presentation that demonstrates how we judge images at these meetings.

Images shown to the club during the year can be entered in our year-end “Image of the Year” competitions. You can see previous winning images here.

All types of film and digital cameras and photographic equipment are allowed and used by our members, including cell phones, point-and-shoot cameras, mirrorless and rangefinder cameras, digital and film SLRs, and medium-format and large-format cameras.

Projected images are displayed by a digital projector, similar to what you would find in a modern college classroom.  Images are displayed at 1920 x 1080 pixels by an Epson 5025UB digital projector, on a high-quality 6’x9′ matte white projection screen. Discussion focuses on composition, lighting, intent, meaning, and the other aspects of photography.  Projected images also provide an easy opportunity to receive feedback on your images and view them at a large scale, before committing to making a large print.

Projected Image Submission Guidelines

(please note that these guidelines may be subject to change over time)

Each month, a member may submit up to 3 total projected images, either one in the “Theme” category and up to 2 in the “Open” and “Comments” categories, or none in “Theme” category and three in either “Open” or “Comments” categories.

Typically these images are “due” for submission on the Saturday before the Monday meeting.

  • For horizontal images, set the maximum horizontal dimension at 1920 pixels and maximum vertical dimension to 1080 pixels.
  • For vertical images, set the maximum vertical dimension at 1080 pixels.
  • For square images, set the maximum dimensions to 1080 x 1080 pixels.
  • Make sure your images are in a jpg format.
  • Set the color space to SRGB.
  • Set the resolution at 72 or 300 DPI.
  • The file name should include your name, the title of the image, and should designate whether it’s for the “theme”, “open”, or “comments” category.
    • File Name Examples: JohnDoe_Theme_Iris.jpg or JohnDoe_Comments_FallenLeaves.jpg
  • Attach each image to an e-mail and send them to Projected Image Chair’s email address.

Print Sharing

Print nights provide an opportunity to print out your photos in a variety of sizes and share them with other members.  Depending on the size of the print, the print nights provide the opportunity to demonstrate technical mastery and printing skill — resolution, sharpness, exposure range, tonal gradation and tonal range, contrast, and other qualities that may not be perceptible in a projected image — in addition to the many other aspects of photography, such as composition, lighting, subject matter, and printing methods.

Images are viewed in five groups. (1) Monthly theme images, (2) Large color, (3) Large monochrome, (4) Small color, and (5) Small monochrome. For the monthly Theme, print night uses the same thematic category each month as projected image night, which are on the calendar.

Unlike projected image night, print night does not involve the traditional competition and scoring of images. Rather, we discuss the prints as a group in a less-formal setting, with comments from the maker and the members.

Printed Image Guidelines

(please note that these guidelines may be subject to change over time)

Preparing Prints:

Prints need to be mounted (fixed to a lightweight backing material like matboard or foamcore) so that the prints will stand up on their own when placed on the easel. Even just taping the print to a piece of cardboard is fine, as long as it stands up. No frames – they are too heavy for the easel. Any camera, print method, or paper is OK to use.

At a minimum, the member’s name and the title of the print should be placed on the back of the mounted print in the upper left hand corner. This helps the meeting facilitator orient the print properly. Members must make sure that there is nothing on the front or back of their prints that would damage any other print that may come in contact with it, such as sticky glue. We are gentle with prints, but we don’t recommend bringing expensive or fragile prints, such as platinum or palladium, should an accident occur.

Sizes of Prints:

Prints may be entered in one of two size groups:

1. Small Prints: Up to 8×12″ or 96 square inches. Popular sizes in this group are 8×10″, 8.5×11″, and 8×12″.

2. Large Prints: Larger than 8×12″ or 96 square inches. Popular sizes in this group are 12×12″, 12×18″ and 16×20″.

Monochrome vs. Color:

Monochrome prints are defined to consist of only white and black, as well as all shades of gray in between. Toning is OK, but should cover the entire image and be of a single color; e.g. sepia toning. Prints with spot color, selective color or with two or more colors should be entered as color prints.

Limits of entries:

A maximum of seven prints may be entered each month ( three color, three monochrome and one “monthly theme” print ). Each of the non-theme prints may be designated as “large” or “small” at the option of the maker. The seventh print must be the monthly theme print, not a fourth monochrome or color print.

For example, a member could enter two large color prints, one small color print, one large monochrome print, two small monochrome prints, and one monthly theme print.



Committee Chairs

Other Responsibilities