I went to an instagram meet-up this past weekend to join in some friendly competition with some new creatives. Here are a few keys things that I took away from a meet-up:

1. Familiar Strangers

You walk into the place where the meetup is held and you may see familiar faces. Familiar through images but you have yet to meet these personas in person. In my case, I have no faces to put with feeds due to the photographers that I follow resisting the urge to post selfies. I tend to follow photography purists. If it’s not their profile picture, then you may never know what they look like until you meet them.

2. Old friends

You may be the new one in the room but there are definitely old friends in the building.  This may seem intimidating but it is an easier way to be introduced to more people faster.  Get over the mindset of cliques and keep an open mind when introducing yourself. This keeps future collaborations a possibility.

3. Inspired new mode of thinking or creative process

People watching is a component of my laundry list of natural habits.  I was in my reserved state during the meet-up so I observed how the photographers around me came up with concepts and ideas. I also watch how they interacted with fellow photographers and the models. That gave me a good example of how to work with potential clients in the future.

4. Great networking/collaboration opportunities

Network! Network! Network!  There may be a sign in sheet at the meet for you to jot all of your social info on. Make sure you take a picture of it or get a copy before you leave. Business cards are cool too but I tend to lose those.  If you are a creative, buttons or stickers are some memorable ways to promote your brand.

5. A rise in creative morale

After all is said and done and you say your final goodbyes and your see-you-laters before heading home, you’ll find yourself on a natural high. Camera in hand full of photos to edit and a notebook full of materials and ideas to create quality content to share with the world.

Photo courtesy of @tonyohhmg on instagram

All in all,  I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the NC Instameet for photographers.  I gained a lot of new material and some amazing contacts.  I have not seen a downside to meet-ups yet and I look forward to more in the future. They are events that you can utilize for opportunity and growth.  If you are a creative or blogger and you hear about a meet-up, you should try it out!