When we started planning the OKC SMUG, we weren’t sure how many people would attend the first meeting, so we thought meeting at Nathan’s and my home would provide plenty of space. But after last night, I think we need to find a new location soon! People were sitting on the stairs, standing, and squeezed in every corner. Thanks for being such great sports, guys!
We heard from James Beltz about how to create a website that is inviting and informative for potential clients, in order to avoid the 92%-bounce-within-10-seconds phenomenon. Jimmy also talked about how tiered pricing helps grow your profit margin.
We had a blast, and a great discussion with each other and Jimmy. We gave stuff away, too, like SmugMug Pro camera straps, Bay Photo gift certificates, and a free year on SmugMug. Jimmy also gave away a free website customization and a free pack of Photoshop actions to everyone that attended. Thanks Jimmy!
Watch James’ entire presentation here on Vimeo:
See ya next month! We have more stuff to give away!
Written by: Holly Baumann Ambuehl; Leader of the OKC SMUG
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Check out Holly’s SmugMug Site.
The Baltimore SMUG launch was a huge success. On March 4, 2011 about 20 photographers gathered at the Holy Cross Church Social Hall for the first of many regularly scheduled meetings. Elizabeth and Ryan Bower of Elizabeth Ryan Photography kicked off the evening by welcoming the group. They spoke a little about the history of SMUGs and discussed where they hope to lead the group. Everyone filled out a little survey to help lead the group in the best direction.
Once everyone was welcomed, Elizabeth introduced Jeff Jochum to the group. Jeff is an extraordinary business man and owner of Startup-Strategy. Jeff is highly regarded within the professional photography community. He spoke about business and the value of being “YOUnique.” He gave a lot of great advice and pushed the attendees to think about the “why” when making business decisions. The group was very excited to have Jeff in the room and embraced him with many questions during the Q&A period!
To find out more about the next B.more SMUG check out http://www.meetup.com/Baltimore-SmugMug-User-Group/
As the snow came down outside and other organizations canceled their meetings on radio reports, our first SmugMug Elizabethtown Meetup was a success! With fifteen or so new SmugMug members, our organizer JJ Henderson guided us through introductions to SmugMug and how our meetings will benefit us all: the speakers to come, the sponsors and perks, and future meeting ideas.
As we each stood one by one and introduced ourselves, the room lit up with lively discussion and questions about equipment choices, photography skill levels and other photographic interests. It was very friendly and informal – a wonderful mix of professional photography business owners, avid hobbyists, as well as a couple of high school students looking to meet other shutterbugs and learn from them. Many members stayed after, to mingle among their peers and got to know each other.
SmugMug Elizabethtown has made its mark! We certainly look forward to more meetings and more members to come and join in on the information and fellowship that will surely follow.
Submitted by SMUG Scribe Anita Conder
The Cincinnati SMUG made history at the launch of their group earlier this year. The Cincinnati, Ohio SmugMug Meetup Group ventured into the Great Saltpetre Cave (GSP) in Mt. Vernon, KY to take photos!! This was the group’s FIRST meetup. It was quite an adventure for these brave souls! Hardhats and headlamps were worn by all (I was first to bump my head, by the way). In reality, the route was casual and not a strenuous walk.
In Cincinnati, we have a local photographer who has made cave photography his forte. Robert Coomer led our group through the darkness and showed us how he sets up his cave shots. Then the cave lights were turned on, and we explored other areas of the cave. Two models, who are cavers and dressed as such, posed for our pictures. We visited cave locations called Pig Pen, Soldiers’ Graves, and of course, Fat Man’s Misery. Who names these places anyhow? Experiments with cave lighting were tried by all, while learning about the cave’s history.
Said to be discovered by John Baker in 1798, there is evidence that Daniel Boone and the Cherokee Indians knew of this cave much earlier. Saltpeter mining of the cave, which included 70 miners and slaves at a time, started around 1801 and peaked during The War of 1812. Saltpeter is a critical ingredient for making gunpowder. This cave reportedly out-produced the more famous, Mammouth Cave, by 30%.
Artifacts from mining activities and cave wall writing from the cave’s days of tourism could be seen on our trip. From 1947 until about 1950 the cave was used for tourism. GSP cave was first wired for electricity in 1967, and then it was used for community and church meetings, weddings and for live radio broadcasts. Some shots from the movie Fire Down Below were taken here in 1966. Rockcastle Karst Conservancy currently owns and care takes the cave. They are doing a terrific job. Because we had such a dynamite time, plans are in the works to repeat this meetup event soon!
Submitted by SMUG Scribe – Nancy G. Clarke