Attending photography meetups are a great way to learn . . .

more about photography.

TriangleStrobist01

You have that new camera you just picked up and you’ve tried to read the manual and it kinda makes sense, but you want to go learn and shoot some stuff. Yet you spend another night with the manual taking pictures of your furniture… There could be a good way to solve that problem.

Photo meetups!

In many communities, photographers get together and go shoot stuff. It could be anything from shooting sunsets to shooting urban decay to events like a small town rodeo. At meetups you get to meet other photographers who’s experience runs from someone who just got their first camera to seasons professionals — all sharing a common love of photography.

There are three main ways you can find meetups. Flickr, Meetup.com and your local computer club.

Flickr

Many photographer’s have found each other through Flickr. Flickr is a photo sharing service that has put a lot of effort into the social aspect of photography. Flickr has good tools for meeting other photographers. You can easily search for photographers, mark them as contacts and friends, email them, comment on their photos, mark your favorites and so on. Flickr also has “Groups” which let people come together on various interests. If you are into photographing urban grunge, there is a group for that. For meetups though, you need to find groups based on your location.

Searching for your city or region will give you a list of groups in your area. You can look at the information for the number of photographers and last activity. Find the one with the most photographers and recent activity and join them. If those groups are not currently having meetup’s free free to make a post inviting people to come to a meetup.

If you’re lucky you will find a raging active community with multiple meetup chances. Here in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina we have three groups that manage active meetups:

The Raleigh Flickr Group and Raleigh Social group are tightly coupled. RFG holds a standing 1st Tuesday meeting every month. The topics vary, but frequently they are shooting based and generally involve meeting for drinks and dinner then shooting afterwards. RSG fills in with ad-hoc meetups that are scheduled when people feel like it and can vary from just getting together to random shoots. In addition to shooting and social meetups, these groups also get together to talk about post processing with programs like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom .

Triangle Strobists is a bit more focused on using camera strobes for more creative lighting. Almost all of their meetups are shooting meetups where the photographers get together and share knowledge and equipment. They meet on the 3rd Tuesday every month. The photographers of Triangle Strobist are a sub-set of the overall Raleigh/Raleigh Social Group groups, so in effect we have two standing meetups and a lot of ad-hoc ones.

In all cases, the groups are open. There are no dues like clubs, you come when you can and no one judges you based on your skills. If you show up with a point and shoot or a pro grade camera you will be equally accepted. You will find this kind of openness among the Flickr meetup communities across the world.

Meetup.com

Meetup.com is a website for meetups, not just photography, but for any thing. But photography people make good use of it. You put in your topic you are interested in and your zip code and the website will present you with a list of meetup groups along with the number of photographers and you can find out how often they meet and what previous topics are.

Searching for a Raleigh zip code and photographers, 11 groups were presented. Some of the more popular ones include:

Local Camera Clubs

You can use Google or check with your local camera stores to find information about any local camera clubs. Many cities have them and some will be more active than others.

These various groups are great ways to meet new people with common interests and learn more about photography.

Are there any resources that you have found that helps you? Leave a comment below.

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2 Comments

  1. topsurf
    Sep 19th 6:37pm

    I am going to look at the meetup.com that is a great tip. I need to get into a photography group. There is so much I want to learn how to do with my camera.

  2. Sep 19th 11:14pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Sharing experiences and learning from those of others is a great way to learn and it’s fun!

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