Last Thursday Tuesday, I went to the OC SMUG holiday mixer. Ok, it was actually the LA, SD, OC SMUG mixer, but it was held in OC.
Usually the SMUG meetings are about business or motivation. the last meeting had Jasmine Star speak about netmaking. Not networking, but netmaking. She talked about getting out of her shell and into the photography community; learning and helping as much as possible. it was actually very powerful and made sense. I have been trying to do that since then.
Basically stepping out of my comfort zone, I have been trying to be active on different forums, websites, and in a few meetings/get-togethers. Trust me, when I said it was out of my comfort zone, it is WAY out of my comfort zone.
I’m usually the one who stands near the edge of a group and waits for someone to talk to me. Now, I am trying to go and introduce myself to people and talk to them. It is working.
I took a Torye Cooke of PVC Photography (a student of mine) to a FEO (For Each Other) meeting at Dane Sander’s studio about a week ago. It lead by Jen Disney and was about pricing. IT WAS AMAZING!! Jen let the discussion go, but kept it in the realm of the topic and let everyone have their say. Plus, she’s a good photographer.
People were very friendly and very knowledgeable about the subject. Plus, they shared. It was amazing to watch and fun to participate with such giving people.
The best part was when Jessica and Robert of Jessica Elizabeth Photography, started talking to us. We had talked to them once before at an OC SMUG meeting and they were very nice. Out of the blue they asked Torye and I if we wanted to shoot with them during an engagement shoot in the middle of December. I was caught completely off guard by that request. Why would anyone want to have me shoot with them? Of course, we said yes. Why? I need the experience.
Suddenly, I started to figure out how this interacting with others might help me in the business and that brings me to the OC SMUG Holiday Mixer.
Again, with the same student, who was VERY nervous, we went to the mixer. There I forced myself (and the student) to actually mix and talk with the people we met. And we met people.
We talked to Lori and Keith Anderson for sometime. I left Torye and visited with Gabriel Ryan and Chris Becker. I met Gabriel at the FEO meeting; his knowledge of photography pricing and the business is incredible. After that I went back and talked to Jessica and Robert about the shoot and hung out with them for the rest of the evening.
The talking part has never been hard, it was always the introducing myself as if I have something important to say and to add to the conversation. I am learning how to do that.
Here are a couple of bad (as in VERY BAD) pictures of the mixer.