Join a Meetup group
If you’re like me you’ll say “I think I’ll go and make some photos tomorrow.” Well, tomorrow gets here a week or two later and you still have not gotten out to make those photos. Then you start over again, “I think…” You see, we can all find things to fill up our time and photography is one that is often pushed to the back burner. Here’s a suggestion, join a photography group at Meetup.com. I joined a meetup and within a month I took over that group when the original organizer was ready to step down. Then in October 2010 I changed the name and the direction of that meetup group and I haven’t looked back since.
The original name of the group was “When Everyone Else Is Working Photography Meetup Group.” I joined because I liked the name and I have time to shoot when everyone else is working. Well, before I could go to my first meetup along came a message saying the organizer of the meetup was stepping down and did anyone want to take over. Even worse, if no one wanted to take over the group would fold. Just my luck, I find a group to join, when I can get out and shoot and the group’s organizer is ready to call it quits. But then I had an idea, why not take it over! If I was the organizer I’d have to show up, right? That would get me out shooting! Well that’s what I did. I became the group’s organizer.
Being the organizer of a photography meetup group is not very hard at all. All you really have to do is pick a location that you want to shoot at and then schedule the meetup. If you are starting from scratch you will have to let people know about the new group. That’s not too hard because Meetup.com has some ideas on how to attract people to your group.
After about a year, the meetups during the summer months having very low attendance with people going on vacation, and low attendance over all, it was time for a change. Last October I decided to change the name and the direction of the group. So that’s what I did. The When Everyone Else Is Working Photography Meetup Group became the Night and Low Light Photography Group. We meet every three weeks at different locations in the Northern Virginia and Washington DC area. Over the winter months we have gone out in some cold temperatures, 17º on one occasion! Yeah, that was cold. For a guy from Key West, that was REALLY cold! Being the organizer has gotten me out shooting when I would have otherwise not gone out and that’s a good thing.
Even if you are not up to being an organizer, join a group that will get you out shooting and you will be glad you did!
Update July 25, 2011: I have started a third Meetup: Digital Photo Academy DC. If you are in the DC area and would like more info on DPA Classes join this new Meetup, we’d love to se you at a future Meetup!