This is one of those afternoon ramblings I just thought of writing out of the blue.
Don't get me wrong here. I have nothing against photographers joining camera clubs. For all intends and purposes, it's still one of the best means of honing your craft and to share knowledge. But it is what we bring into these gatherings that I would like to challenge people. Because chances are (and this is from my experience attending camera clubs before), people end up just sharing the same things. We tend to look over the shoulder of another person's work and get try to get inspiration from there. What happens is what I would call, "concept incest." Images over time would tend to look the same and monotonous. The concepts for fashion for example, dull out and harden to literal meanings. Some hobbyists tend to make a direct correlation between evening gowns and the notion of "high fashion". So anything in a gown for them is already considered "high fashion." It isn't the case most of the time.
So, nothing original comes out. And when we get ideas from the next photographer beside us, the work we produce wouldn't be unique from what he or she already did.
If I were the president of a camera club, I would rather invite a fashion designer to give a talk on fashion. Now that's getting the genre from a horse's mouth. The photography side of things eventually come out when you get to learn what you're shooting in the first place.
I would take a page off Steve Jobs. I never realized the idea of fonts actually came from one of his contributions. This was out of voluntarily attending calligraphy class back in college. Calligraphy, being the classic form of typography, had nothing to do with the lines of code in programming, but its introduction into the GUI of Macs (and eventually PCs) changed the way we appreciated what we read off the screen. He was part-geek, part-artist, part-hippie, but all-imagineer. He introduced the world of aesthetics and design on cold clunky devices.
The best ideas come by immersing yourself to crafts outside of your chosen one. Read a book, watch a movie, walk in a park, and just get out there to experience things. I ended up attending comic book conventions and hanging out with illustrators, simply because they do things outside of mine. Their works are inspiring, and gives me ideas on poses, anatomy, composition that I wouldn't normally get from fellow photographers. The inspiration you bring back is something more valuable than just taking pictures of the same things you and friends would talk about in the monthly camera club meetings.
Eating: Spinach Artichoke & Mozzarella Sandwich
Drinking: Iced Tea