It’s Time for the Sixth Installment… PodCamp Western Mass.

Be part of the push: share the press release here!

A full day of lively discussion, info-sharing, and plenty of documentation via smartphone, tablet, or laptop awaits at PodCamp Western Mass. 6 (#PCWM6), this year slated to convene on Saturday, April 19 at Holyoke Community College’s Kittredge Business Center.

The event welcomes anyone interested in learning more about social media and networking, from beginners to advanced practitioners. It’s one example of an ‘unconference,’ at which participants choose the topics they’d like to discuss on the day of the event. It’s the longest continually running PodCamp in New England, organized by local volunteers.

As a co-founder, this is my take on the day: it’s a democratic approach in line with the key tenets of social media and networking, which aim to involve everyone in a global conversation.

Our world has always been a social one, and while technology is moving the medium forward, it’s still a very human phenomenon. ‘Real-life’ events like PCWM highlight that fact, and offer all types of people – extroverts and introverts alike, opportunities to both learn and teach.

PodCamps also aim to promote education, innovation, and collaboration between new media enthusiasts and professionals of all types, including bloggers, social networkers, marketers, and the people who read, watch, and listen to them. Anyone can also suggest or lead a session, and topics often include overviews of current and emerging trends.

PCWM will be held on Saturday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at HCC, with an after-party at Slainte in Holyoke to follow, with a special after party performance by country singer AJ Jansen. Attendees are encouraged to bring laptops, power strips, smartphones, and cameras, and can come and go as their schedules allow. The cost of the program is $30 and $10 for students, which includes a box lunch and morning refreshments, as well as a PCWM t-shirt as supplies last. Tickets are limited, and participants are encouraged to pre-register via EventBrite.
About PodCamp WesternMass
PodCamp WesternMass (PCWM)launched in 2009 to allow anyone interested in the online world to share ideas, hear from industry experts, and participate in discussions at their own pace. PCWM is part of a large network of similar events; the first PodCamp was held in September 2006 in Boston, and today camps are staged around the globe in response to this rapidly growing phenomenon. To learn more or to register, visit the PodCamp WesternMass website (http://podcamp.westernma.biz/).

Solid Gold Sponsor: HCC Kittredge Center

Timeless Classic Sponsor: Constant Contact

Front Row Sponsors: Winstanley Partners, RedHeaded Diva

Backstage Sponsors: Valley Gives , Epic Filmmakers

…And the Winner is

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 11.48.46 PMThe votes are in and a winner has been chosen! Beat your hands on the desk or laptop briskly for a drumroll, please…

The winner is Natasha Clark, author of The Wicked Mrs. B!

Natasha is the founder of The Lioness Group, a full-service media relations firm in Springfield, Mass., and publishers of Lioness magazine. Natasha also manages the Partners in Education program at Springfield School Volunteers where she recruits the business community to get involved in the local school district.

https://i1.wp.com/www.berkshirenaturals.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/b-Foaming-Soap-150x150.jpghttps://i2.wp.com/www.thegardenerseden.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/1-natural-floating-votive-candle.jpghttps://i1.wp.com/www.berkshirenaturals.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/soap-web-03-150x150.jpgFor taking top place, Natasha wins a gift basket from Berkshire Naturals and Berkshire Outdoors of Lenox, Mass. with a lemongrass-scented soy candle, soap, and foaming hand wash.

It’s been another great Blogtoberfest season! Thanks to everyone who wrote, read, and voted … we’ll do it again next year.

A New England Autumn Wedding and tips for ‘Guest Photography’

We attended a fall wedding this weekend, one of my favorite things to do!

I’m a sucker for any wedding, but as autumn is my favorite season and October my favorite month, weddings this time of year are sort of a nuptial hat trick.

This ceremony and reception were held in two different Berkshire towns — the ceremony by a small private pond in Hinsdale and the reception at the quaint and totally New Englandy Morgan House in Lee.

Emily and Jay's Wedding

In addition to posting some shots from the big day, I thought I’d share a few of my guest-at-the-wedding photo tips in the process. Most of us are armed with the cameras on our smartphones these days, and guests taking photos at weddings is a ubiquitous affair. Throughout every moment of the ceremony and reception, guests will be glued to their devices at varying times, snapping photos, editing them, and posting them online faster than you can say ‘cheese.’

The very first rule of ‘guest photography’ is to be a guest first, and a photographer second. The professional who’s been hired to capture images that day will thank you, too…go ahead and have fun, and if taking photos and video is part of the fun (it is for me), snap away. Just make sure that, when your nose is two inches from the cake as you try to take an artful shot of the rosettes on top, the professional photographer isn’t behind you trying to do the same thing.

That leads me to tip number two: not all of your photos need to be perfect. The urge to delete that picture obscured by Uncle Bill’s giant noggin immediately is great, when the little trashcan icon on your camera is right there egging you on.

But don’t delete. Not only can you edit photos later, the moment is more important than the composition when it comes to guest wedding photos. The professional photographer is in charge of capturing the money shots… you’re in charge of capturing memories for yourself and the couple. There’s nothing visually special about this picture I snapped of the ring bearer, for example, but the bottle behind him — and the little hand in the right of the frame — serves as a reminder of the babies in attendance that day.

Emily and Jay's Wedding

Because of the over abundance of the aforementioned smartphones and other gadgets, it also bears mentioning that a lot of your photos might end up being pictures of people taking pictures. That’s fine … I call them paparazzi shots, and in a few years, it will be interesting to see what kinds of phones and cameras we were using.

Emily and Jay's Wedding

It’s also an interesting angle to take a family photo from behind another person taking the same photo:

Emily and Jay's Wedding

Things the bride and groom aren’t likely to see while they’re bustling around in their own wedding haze are great things to look for when taking pictures… guests arriving, the ceremony space before it’s filled with people, candids of the people around you, etc. Not only will these be pictures they’ll want to see later, they’ll stand out once the barrage of photos from every guest begins to flood the social networks, and help to create a full, detailed timeline of the day.

Emily and Jay's Wedding

There’s something to be said for snapping pictures of little touches at the ceremony and reception. Chances are, the couple put a good amount of thought into their colors, decorations, and location; a snapshot of the flowers at your table, for instance, is not just a burst of color in your set of photos but also a great marker of the season.

Emily and Jay's Wedding

Share your photo tips in the comments!

More Reading:

Getting Social with Wedding Planners

Nice Day for a White Wedding – Carrie and Kevin

The Art of the October Wedding – Rob and Sara

Shooting from the Hip with Lou Jones – Travel photography tips

Prize Secured for Blogtoberfest Guest Post Contest!

There are nine days of October left, and that means nine more days of Blogtoberfest! Guest posts submitted and published between now and Nov. 1 are eligible to win The Jump’s annual contest, and we’ve just secured our first prize, with more to come.

Readers will be asked to choose their favorite post on or about November 1, and voting will run for a week. At that time, one lucky winner will receive a gift basket from Berkshire Naturals and Berkshire Outdoors of Lenox, Mass.!

The holidays are nearly upon us, and this is perfect for gift-giving… but I’m fine with it if you’re gifting yourself. Regardless of who it is, the recipient will receive a basket with a lemongrass-scented soy candle, soap, and foaming hand wash. It’s wrapped and sitting in a cat-proof area of the house now, and I can already smell the lemongrass when I walk by.

I’m psyched about this prize, and grateful to Berkshire Naturals and its owner, Jay. Check out their web site — you can order great, organic stuff right online — if you’re in Western Mass., make a trip to Lenox to visit the store or even go on an outdoor adventure!