Mothership Hacker Moms

Mothership Hacker Moms

I fully support Mothership HackerMoms (The first women’s hackerspace) and was happy to donate to their Kickstarter campaign. Their goal was/is to construct a workshop with tools and equipment, and create a kids program and business incubator for moms. I think it’s a great idea.

So who would be against this? Nobody, right? Well, actually, some people spoke out… see Anti-HackerMoms send hate mail, HackerMoms respond. Great responses from the women involved. Mothers are important to the world, and having a space where they can get their making fix should be viewed as a good thing. Here’s another blurb:

We are a new kind of playground and workspace for creative mothers. Fun to us is not mani-pedis, but making, breaking, learning and hacking our bright ideas. HackerMoms model active creative lives for our kids who learn, explore and create as mini-makers alongside us. We offer members daily childcare. We also welcome dads.

I don’t think they have any plan to be exclusionary, and they certainly aren’t out to stop anyone else from doing their own thing. You want to start a hackerspace geared towards women who have chosen not to have kids, or for single dads, or for people who view their pets as their babies? Go for it. I’m sure they won’t try to stop you.

And here’s the thing… we all have/had mothers. (Well, unless you were created in some other way, I know some people were.) Imagine being a kid and having your mom take you to a hackerspace, and growing up in that sort of community and culture. I can’t wait to see what the kids who frequent the Mothership HackerMoms space turn out like in 10 or 20 years.

If you believe in creative spaces like these, support them, and let others know how awesome it is.

One more thing… over at Milwaukee Makerspace we’ve talked about how to reach out to more people, men, women, robots, etc. We’re interested mainly in maker, and less about gender, but you can bet that if a bunch of women (or mothers, or men, or cats) came to us asking for advice on how to start their own space, we’d help them out. In fact, we’ve already done that a bit for Spring City Launchpad. We’re also hoping that our new space will be much more inviting to all kinds of people. I guess we’ll find out how that goes in 2013!


Milwaukee Strobist Meetup

I’ve been interested in the strobist technique of photography for a while now, but just haven’t found the time to really get into it… and the fact that my flash died at PhotoCamp certainly didn’t help things…

So when I heard about the Milwaukee Strobist group on Flickr I had this cunning idea… Invite them all out to Z2 Photo for the meetup! This was one way to ensure I’d be able to make it. :)

And come they did! We had at least one guy from Chicago, and I think a few from Madison… We had RSVP’s for about 15, and I’d guess we had about 30+ photographers there, as well as 5 models. (Here’s a group shot we did quickly at the end, some people had already left, but we got a good majority of the group.)

Milwaukee Strobist Meet up 06.23.09

And hey, I even got a few shots that I was happy with… (Thanks to everyone who loaned me equipment. Someone gave me a SB-600 to use, and at least once there was a lens on my camera that weighed 3 times as the body itself, and probably cost 4 times what my camera did!)

Milwaukee Strobist June 2009


I sort of felt like “well done lighting” plus “experienced models” made it easy to get above average shots… I know that when I’ve been left alone with lights and someone who needs a portrait, it’s a lot tougher, and good product photographer can be even more difficult. Walking into a situation where it’s all set and you just snap the shutter takes about 90% of the work out of it. :) (But hey, I’m not complaining, this was still a great experience, even if all you did was watch how other photographers do things, and I did ask a number of questions, and get some really good information in the process.)

I’m hoping at the next meetup there’s a bit more talk of “why” the lights are set up a specific way, and the many factors involved in getting a good portrait shot. Still, this was a really good experience, and a lot of fun.