By Teresa Ransdell, NANPA Membership Coordinator
Did you know that NANPA has organized 20 Meetup groups around the US that will connect you with other nature photographers in those areas? NANPA’s Meetup program has been in existence for a couple of years, but it may be one of our best-kept secrets.
NANPA members in 20 different areas are organizing opportunities for nature photographers (not just NANPA members) who live in the area (or are vacationing/traveling to an area) to “meet up” and do what nature photographers love doing – shoot. It is a way to network locally around the common interest of nature photography.
These Meetups are generally free to attend, there is no cost to join the Meetup group, and you pick and choose what events and activities fit into your schedule and lifestyle. There are outdoor shooting opportunities, indoor events, classroom-type sessions, and very informal “let’s-just-chat” meetings.
If you live or vacation near one of these areas – or plan to be passing through – join the Meetup and see what they are doing and if you can participate.
What is a Meetup? A Meetup is an outing or event that, for our purposes, focuses on nature photography. It can be a time where Meetup members get together at a local park or area in/around a certain area and have a chance to shoot nature photography together. It could also be a meeting indoors where the attendees talk about some aspect of nature photography or even share their photos and give feedback to each other. Local nature photographers volunteer to lead the group and organize the activities.
How Can You Join a Meetup? Visit the www.Meetup.com website, click on “Find a Meetup Group” and search for NANPA. You can also find the list of NANPA Meetup groups with links directly to that group’s page at http://www.nanpa.org/events/local-meetups/. Once you join, you’ll begin receiving notifications about upcoming activities and events. Through the Meetup system (and the event notifications you receive), you can RSVP for the event so the Meetup leader knows who and how many to expect. Details about each event will be included in the event posting.
How Much Does It Cost? Nothing. (Really!) There may be outings planned where there would be a fee to the park entrance or a facility that would be a nice place to photograph nature, but that would be the only fees and you choose what you attend, so you’re in charge of deciding if something meets your budget.
How Can I Help Lead a Meetup Group? Many of the current leaders would welcome an extra organizer or two to help take the load off of one person to do all of the events. Contact Teresa Ransdell, NANPA membership coordinator, for details.
What If There’s Not a Meetup in My Area? We can look into starting additional Meetups as NANPA has the availability. The most successful Meetup groups have at least 2 leaders/organizers so they workload doesn’t fall on one person. We would need to find leaders of the Meetup before we could set up a group in an area. If you are interested in being an organizer of a Meetup group, contact Teresa Ransdell, NANPA membership coordinator, for more information.