The Seattle SMUG’s monthly meetings moved to new digs this month. The new 2011 location is a nice large, bright room in Discovery House, with entrance via Mosaic Coffee House. This location is much more accessible and has better parking than the old downtown location.
Members were able to come early, mix and mingle in the comfortable and inviting coffee house, and enjoy the free Wi-Fi and the “pay what’s it’s worth” beverages and pastries the coffee house offers. (Note: Mosaic Coffee House is open 9 AM to 9 PM on the day we meet.) This was a welcome respite from the typical horribly wet and cold Seattle February weather that settled on the city this Valentine’s evening.
Once the regular meeting started, MOO representative Rebeka Fluet jumped right in with the first of many giveaways for the night. Two almost identical MOO photo business cards were given to each of the almost 100 attendees. One card was on MOO’s standard stock and the other on its “green stock”. The first attendee who was able to identify six differences in the photos on the two cards won free MOO business cards. Several more giveaways were done throughout the evening.
Interspersed with the games and giveaways fun was a presentation on branding. Rebeka covered both online branding (Web site, blog, social media, etc.) and offline branding (business cards, post cards, stickers, greeting cards, and more). She also explained the importance of consistency in branding and how MOO can help photographers achieve consistency in their offline branding to mirror their efforts in online branding.
Starting in March, Seattle SMUG meetings will move to the first Monday of each month, except on months when that Monday is a holiday. This day is preferred by more than a 3:1 margin in a recent poll of Seattle SMUG members.
The first EVER Visalia SmugMug Photography meeting was held on February 16 at The Lunch Box in Visalia, CA. Many thanks to Jen May Pastores for organizing this group. There were approximately 18 people in attendance. The main focus of the evening was to get to know each other and decide what direction this group would like to head in. There were many different levels of photography expertise present at the meeting, ranging from beginners to experts. The one aspect of the group that rang true throughout the conversation was that each person has a burning desire to improve their photography and hope that this group provides them with the support to accomplish that goal.
Our first activity was a Speed Meeting icebreaker. Each person took 3 minutes to get to know each person in the room. Obviously, this isn’t nearly enough time so I think we are all looking forward to getting to know each other better in future meetings.
Our second activity was Photographer Bingo. Finding someone to match each square was not NEARLY as easy as we thought it would be. Lyn Alvarez must have good ears because she was able to successfully find someone that could sign off on each square. For “bingo-ing”, Lyn won a $25 print gift certificate. Many thanks to Bay Photo Lab for supplying that prize!
And lastly, we had a photo critique session. Anyone could send in a picture ahead of time to be critiqued by everyone in attendance. People offered up both praises and suggestions for improvements on each photo. There was a lot of great discussion flying about the rules of composition, exposure, and off camera flash! In the end, each person in attendance was allowed to choose their favorite image submitted. The winning image was submitted by Deene Souza. She won a generous $25 gift certificate from Bay Photo.
Our next meet-up is on Wednesday, March 16 at 7:00 at The Lunch Box. If you’d like more information, please visit our information page at http://www.meetup.com/Visalia-SmugMug-User-Group-SMUG/