Natural History Museum Instameet

(Photos in this post are mine unless otherwise indicated.)

I was selected to attend my very first Instameet today at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History!


I was so surprised to be selected because I really only applied as a “couldn’t hurt!” type of deal, trying to go for opportunities and really get myself into the DC community. I only recently opened my own Instagram account to the public and, spoiler alert, the content isn’t really great. I know that I’m not a cool photographer on #igdc but hey, a girl can dream! So imagine my shock when I got the email confirming my attendance! At first I thought “Maybe not enough people applied so everyone who applied got in!” But I saw some people lamenting not being chosen — some of whom had way more followers than me and way better content. Who knows what made them pick me but I’m glad they did!

Even though it was ridiculously crazy cold. Remember polar vortex season from last year?

That is degrees Farenheit. Don’t even look at what that is in Celsius; you’ll cry and then your tears will freeze right on your face.

I’ll admit, I was pretty intimidated when I showed up. A lot of these Instagrammers were very familiar with the DC Instameet scene. Several brought their DSLRs. A handful had multiple cameras with them. One even had a vintage twin-reflex camera with him!

Featured: Dave (@beingdave) Photo credit: Adil (@elektron9)

Along schleps me, in my panda hat and my Android phone. (Creative types always seem to have iPhones, so I was definitely in the minority here…) In answer to the most DC question you can hear (“So what do you do?”), people’s responses were wildly impressive: working for Facebook or Instagram itself, social media at NatGeo… and then there’s Starr and her panda hat.

I got some good shots though, and I’ll be sharing ones that I didn’t get to put up on my Instagram account because you are all very special to be putting up with my posts.

“Happy Year of the Goat, mofos!” – what I imagined this one was thinking
The famous Hope Diamond. Could’ve used a polish and shine, but I guess it’ll do.
This is the African Moon Moth. It has no mouth when it emerges from its cocoon, doomed to face death after just one week of life. During that week, their only purpose is to mate. 
I guess I’d look pretty sassy and mad if that was my fate, too.

The Butterfly Pavilion is easily one of my favorite parts of this museum. It’s warm and humid to keep the butterflies and moths comfortable, and they flutter by freely. People are generally really respectful of the butterflies, and I like that we as a species acknowledge the delicate majesty of these little creatures.

Plus, you get magical moments like this!
Featured: Andy (@andymstone) and a lacewing. Photo credit: Sarah (@smithsonian)

We were given time to roam about the museum freely, but it was nice to have the whole group gathered in the Butterfly Pavilion. It paved the way for us to see what Instagrammers are really like to get the perfect photo.

Instameets, am I right?
Featured: John (@johntassparker) and Priya (@onomatopriya)
This fella is pretty popular at the museum because a) he’s always willing to share and b) he’s in front of a bench.
Some Rothschild moths doing like they do on the Discovery Channel. The rest are awkward third wheels. (Third and fourth wheels?)

If I didn’t make it clear earlier, I was incredibly intimidated by everyone else in attendance. I have a “lifestyle” blog and Instagram account, just little tidbits from my life that I feel like sharing. I’ve never been a very visual or artistic person, so seeing these folks roll up with their DSLRs and their #igdc status (the founders of @igdc were at this Instameet, by the way) made me really nervous. I was also nervous that they’d be just so ah-tistic that they wouldn’t be terribly friendly. While some folks were quieter than others, there were plenty of extroverts and everyone was generally really nice! Phew!

Here are a few photos from the #NMNHphoto Instameet from my fellow IGDCers (check the caption for their accounts):

Henry the elephant welcomes all to the museum.
Photo credit: Joe (@jbano1)
Got buns, hon?
Photo credit: Holly (@golightly) (what a great name!)
Photo credit: Andy (@someguy)
Check out his great photography site: ihitthebutton.com
Photo credit: Kerrin (@kerrinsuzanne)

Starting to get overwhelmed by the photos so I’ll leave you all to discover the rest yourselves. I’m sure more will continue to be uploaded as folks edit their beautiful photos. (I felt like I was obligated to upload as I went along, it was pretty stressful. I wanted to read all the signs!)

I had a really great time and am looking forward to getting more involved with the DC Instagram community and beefing up my photography skills!

Not sure who took this one, but it’s up on the @smithsoniannmnh account with loads of other great photos. This is the closest we got to a group photo.
  • Have you ever been to an Instameet? If so, how was it? If not, where would you like to attend one?
  • Have you ever been to the National Museum of Natural History? What are your favorite exhibits?

 

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4 thoughts on “Natural History Museum Instameet

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