Happy 2017! Hope the first few months have been treating everyone well. I’m good, busy as a bee, trying to do too many things as usual but having fun so can’t complain. Thing #1 of the fun-having, and the tale I bring to you today: Beers & Cameras.
Fast-forward a couple email chains and a couple months of my colleagues and I going out on a weekly basis to scout the best locations (and sample the beer menus, of course), and somehow, it kicked off with a bang. We had over eighty people attend our first meet-up - more than I dared hope for. Juan, the founder of this whole thing, even flew up to Calgary for it. (Calgary was kind enough to welcome him with sub-zero temperatures, as befits this city in February.)
I’m writing now from the corner of our fourth meet-up here in Calgary, shirking my responsibilities as host in favour of a seat at the bar (there’s none left in our section, due to too many people) and a pint of Village Blacksmith. We’ve had over fifty people out tonight, pretty much just as we've had for all of them, and I’d be lying if I didn’t feel a small spark of pride about it. Mostly though, I’m just glad that we’ve been able to successfully introduce a platform for likeminded people to connect about a shared passion, and to share knowledge, and to explore what the local community has to offer.
In less commercial terms, I’m glad there’s so many nerds out there like me, and that we’ve found an opportunity to be nerds together.
So what do we do? Well, exactly what you'd expect. Drink beers, shoot cameras. We try to have two venues per meet-up, so we have a chance to fit in a bit of a photowalk between, but we shoot the venues and each other too. It's open to everyone. We get all kinds out - working pros, people just starting out, hobbyists, film shooters, videographers, students. It makes for a great opportunity to network and learn and really just nerd out.
I don’t know how far this will run - I have high hopes, and I think a number of people would like to see it succeed. I know I would. It’s fun. I honestly look forward to every meet-up. To meeting new people, seeing new faces, drinking more beer. I’ve had some fantastic conversations and met some amazing people through this, and I hope everyone who has come out has too. I would love to see it grow and grow into a crazy network of beer-drinking, photo-shooting camera nerds of all skill levels in all walks of life all over the world. Screw it, you don’t even need to like beer. Just cameras.
Honestly, I'm just so grateful and stoked on this whole thing. If you’ve come out to a meet-up, thank you. Thank you for showing your support for the local photo (and beer) community. Thank you for helping us build a community of friends and colleagues driven by a love of photography. And thank you to everyone who’s been instrumental in building this - from the guys in San Diego, to the folks at The Camera Store who sponsored the Calgary chapter and got it running.
Over the course of the next few meet ups, I’m going to start putting together some video footage - enough, hopefully, to pull into a short little film. I haven’t done video before really, so please don’t get your hopes up for anything spectacular, but I think it’ll be fun. Rode, one of the audio equipment companies out there, is running a short film contest at the moment, so my goal is to try and enter that, but at any rate it’ll be a good way to get my feet wet in the video world. We’ll see how it goes - maybe I’ll write a blog about the trials and tribulations of trying to do my first short film. Y’know, assuming I get on that whole regular-blog-writing thing.
I’ve put all the relevant links below - if this sounds like fun, check us out. If you’re in Calgary, come hang out - our next one is Thursday, March 30 at Barcelona Tavern (6pm) and James Joyce Pub, (8pm). If you’re not, see if there’s a meet-up in your area. Think about applying to host one if not. I promise it’s fun. Let's make this thing huge.
B E E R S A N D C A M E R A S Y Y C
Hosted by: Me (@theblurredline) -- Alex Beraru (@sevencirclestudios) -- Chris Niccolls (@tcstvchris)
Jordan Drake (@thecamerastoretv) -- Ron Bubnich (@ron_bub)
Sponsored by: The Camera Store