Entry to The Garden:
The Garden is a place for the "elite" photographers to meet.
Anybody can nominate another member of the board for The Garden, which should be done in a PM to one of the moderators. The moderators will have a NON-BINDING discussion regarding the member and present their recommendation.
A one week discussion period will be held in the "New Members" section of The Garden before the nominee is put up for a vote. Members should read this discussion before casting their votes. This discussion will also include the moderator's recommendation. Moderators presenting their personal opinions should state this.
A nominee should have at least six months of posting on the board. This length of service should be used as a guideline; however there may be times when a well established photographer who is new to our board but has established a reputation elsewhere may be considered with less amount of time. Also, a newer member whose photography exceeds the standards may be considered. Before nominating a member like this, the nominator should consider the potential commitment the nominee has towards the board.
The quality of the nominee's photography should remain the highest weighted factor when members cast their vote. However, members should also consider the nominee's perceived board demeanor and "social competency" (as the individual member defines this) as factors in determining how they vote. Also consider the nominees commitment to the board as you define it.
Once a voting poll has been posted, it will remain open for one week or until the nominee has achieved 50 percent plus one "yes" or "no" votes from ALL Garden members. If a nominee is voted in, there will be a 30 day trial period; after this time, another vote will be conducted. If the trial member passes this vote, they will become a full member of The Garden and allowed access to the more personal sections of the board.
Expectations of A Gardener
Through the voting procedure, the member will have already established their competency in photography. It is expected that a Garden member maintain (or improve) this photographic competency no matter what section of the board they post in.
Members of The Garden will be considered leaders of the board. If offering comments on another member's photography, any criticism offered must be in a helpful, constructive and respectful manner. NEGATIVE COMMENTARY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM BY A GARDEN MEMBER. There is grey area here, so members should think twice before hitting the "submit" button when offering criticism.
Members of The Garden should consider themselves as part of the legislative faction of the board. Members are expected to vote on all polls presented to them in The Garden. This includes but is not limited to voting for new members and voting for the photos presented for nomination to our "museums" (Hall of Fame, Promised Land, etc.) While it is recognized members may occasionally be prevented from voting, the expectation is for members to vote regularly. Members should cast their votes in a fair manner without regard to personal prejudices. Not participating in polls will not be a sole reason for banishment from The Garden, but will weigh heavily during the evaluations.
It is recognized that due to the relatively small membership of The Garden, some members feel their best work can be better recognized in other areas of the board. Therefore, there will be no minimum requirements for posting photos in The Garden. Members should be reminded, however, that participation in the Garden and in the open areas of the board will be a major factor for them remaining in The Garden. Contributing can take many forms--through commentary, through photography, through participation in discussions and in the voting process, and through "behind the scenes" work that helps maintain or develop the board as a whole.
The photographic standards for posts within the Garden will be determined by the membership itself. Each member may define their own personal standards of what is to be presented photographically in The Garden. However, there are guidelines which must be maintained. Posts or photos where a child is the main focus will not be tolerated (with the exception of photos/portraits of a member's own family). Nude photography should be presented in an artistic, respectful manner. Blatant voyeurism will not be tolerated (voyeurism for this purpose will be defined as purposely hiding photographic/video equipment for the sole purpose of obtaining material where the person has an expectation of privacy).
Remaining in The Garden
Participation will be a key factor in remaining a member of The Garden. As stated above, participation can take part in all areas of the board and is not limited strictly to activity within The Garden itself.
As stated above, participation includes photographic presentation, commentary, voting in polls and "behind the scenes" work. Current and future moderators/administrators will be considered as contributing "behind the scenes" and the standards for them will be maintained through the moderator's group.
Each January and July (effective January 1, 2013) the moderators will evaluate each Garden member's contributions to the board. If it is determined the member has not participated/contributed or met the expectations presented above, the member will be dismissed for a period of at least three months. After three months, a current member of the Garden may present the former member for reinstatement by sending a private message to a moderator. As with a new member, the moderators will hold a non-binding discussion regarding the former member and present our recommendations to the board. Moderators presenting their personal opinions should state this. The current Garden membership will then vote on reinstatement.
Should a Gardener decide to leave on his/her own accord due to personal reasons and is in current good standing, they may be reinstated to membership by the moderators without a vote upon returning.
The moderators, at their discretion, may also evaluate a member at any time of the year. This evaluation will be triggered if a moderator feels a Garden member has not lived up to the expectations presented here. This includes but is not limited to participation as a whole. The evaluation may also be triggered by a member's demeanor (or perceived demeanor). Reinstatement procedures are as listed above.