Monday, March 28, 2011

My First Group Gallery Show in Houston

While I was on my honeymoon in Lake Tahoe, I found out that three of my photographs were selected to be part of the 'The Gathering of Photographers' spring show put on by Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, Skeeter Hagler, and former Texas Highways Magazine Photo Editor, Kevin Vandivier. The opening is this Thursday, March 31st from 7pm-9pm at Betz Fine Art Gallery in Houston, Texas.

These are the three photos that will be displayed:

I am so excited to see my photos professional printed and matted. I am also really looking forward to meeting other Texas photographers. I will post an update after the show and let everyone know how it went.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My latest discovery: Oil and Cotton

Two weeks ago, I attend my 1st movie night, put on by my dear friend Sally Glass, at a wonderful venue called 'Oil and Cotton.' Oil and Cotton is a creative arts exchange that is located in the Bishop Arts district of downtown Dallas. One of the owners, Shannon Driscoll, was at the movie event and was as sweet as could be.

Oil and Cotton has a constant flow of art workshops ranging from glass cutting (I want to go!) to drawing and painting to basket making to music recording and mixing to children classes and on. The list is extensive. You can find specific information about the workshops that are offered here: Oil and Cotton Workshops. The workshops are open to the public and very reasonably priced. The venue where the workshops are held are worth a visit alone. The building is a beautiful, old, open space with exposed brick and high ceilings. The shelves are full of art and crafts for sale by workshop attendees.

After coming from NYC were space is limited and very expensive, I am ecstatic to discover a community arts organization, like 'Oil and Cotton.' We not only should, but we must support local arts venues, like 'Oil and Cotton.' So, get out there and let your inner artist shine through!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Social Media Success with DotJenna at SmugMug Dallas

After having personal success meeting and working with professional photographers from the NYC SmugMug group, I was eager to find out what the Dallas SmugMug photography scene had to offer. I have found that SmugMug groups are a great way to get involved with in the local photography scene while hearing some great FREE lectures. Since I just moved back to Dallas/Fort Worth this meeting was perfect. Sure enough, Dallas has a successful and active SmugMug group.

I attended my 1st meeting on Thursday, Feb. 10 at the Tower Club in downtown Dallas. The speaker was the vibrant and brillant social media expert, 'DotJenna.' As usual, I did a little research on DotJenna before attending the lecture. It was easy to see after spending a few minutes on her website and Facebook page that she not only had a very strong online presence, but that she had turned her social media expertise into a very successful business. I was more than intrigued and absolutely going to this meeting.

After a little trouble finding cheap parking (I found out afterwards that I could have parked in the Tower Club for a discounted price of $5) and trouble finding which door to the Tower Club was actually open (I had to walk around the building and still had to try a few doors before finding the ONE set out of six doors that was open), I made it to the SmugMug lecture. The first person I met at the meeting was fellow photographer and representative of the Dallas-based rental company Light Tec, Miguel A. Pardo. We exchanged contact info and discussed what we shot and the Dallas photography scene. So far, so good with the Dallas SmugMug group.

More people settled in and within a few minutes the meeting was underway. Once DotJenna started, there was no stopping her. She was off and running in the matter of a few seconds. If I had to pick two words to describe DotJenna, they would be 'Hot Pink.' Partly because she is always wearing hot pink, but mostly because of her vibrant style, strong, yet positive demeanor, and her total confidence in who she is and what she discussed. It was easy to tell that she absolutely loves what she does and loves to share what she has learned with other people. She talked about where she started and how she got into social media coaching. She then segued into practical and useful tips on how to achieve social media success.

DotJenna's '7 Steps to Social Media Sales Success' are as follows:
1. Define your brand
2. Locate your audience
3. Attract an audience
4. Captive attention
5. Bond with audience
6. Convert into client
7. Engage continuously

I could write an entire post about each one of these topics, but I will leave that up to DotJenna to further explain. A few additional points I took away from her lecture was the importance of being authentic. Now a days, people (i.e. your audience) want to see and know the 'real' you. They want to connect with you and feel as if they truly know you. If you try to be false or put on a front, people will know. So, just be yourself.

Another important point I took away from DotJenna's lecture was the importance of getting out there and doing something. She talked about how in our society we feel that we must do something perfectly or not at all. DotJenna disagreed with this idea. She suggested that doing something is better than doing nothing. This is a topic I can absolutely relate to. I often feel that if I am not giving 110% and doing it perfectly, then I shouldn't do it at all. Today, the opposite is true. What you are doing might not be perfect, but it's so much better than not doing anything.

Starting my Dallas SmugMug experience with a bold lecture from DotJenna was exactly what I needed. It provided encouragement to get out there and do something, and to get involved and to take risks. I hope this blog will encourage my readers will do the same thing!

You can find out more about DotJenna at the following places:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year, Old Connections

It’s a new year and I almost feel cliché writing this reflective post, however, this post is less about 2011 and more about all the years leading up to 2011. People that know me personally know that my husband and I recently transitioned from New York City back to Texas. Life was almost insane prior to, during, and immediately after our move, but now that the move is over, holidays have passed, and life has slowed down, I have the time to think about everything I have done, where my life is now, and where I am going.

Last night, over burgers and beers, Danny and I talked about people that have had an influence on our lives. By the end of our conversation, I was amazed at how many different people from different parts of our lives we could both name. It often feels that we are traveling our path alone and that we, alone, are the ones making the decisions that influence our lives. But after our talk last night, I realized this couldn’t be further from the truth. Some people have had very specific impacts on my life and others have had a more subtle influence. Either way, I have no idea what my life would be like without meeting these people.

I am not sure how to categorize “these people.” Titles vary from friends, previous bosses, mentors, colleagues, peers, strangers, and people I will never see again. Yet, these “people” have altered the course of my life, with most of them probably not even realizing the impact they have had. While I feel very lucky to have had these experiences, this also makes me stop and think that we need to be careful how we treat and talk to others. You never know when you will change someone’s path.

I don’t see these changes in our paths as positive or negative; they just are. They are how things have turned out. These changes make us the people we are now and the people we will become.

I am venturing into a new chapter in my life and I have no idea where my path is going to lead me. I am not sure whom I will meet along the way, but I am excited to see who crosses my path. While I venture down this path, I want to make sure to stop along the way and personally thank some of the people who have helped get me this far. I know my life would not be what is it today without the guidance of others. I’ll be one lucky girl if 2011 is even half as fantastic/interesting/challenging/exhausting/and all around wonderful as 2010.