Skip to content

Suggested Hobbies & Passions Groups near California

Photography Walks & Workshops in San Francisco by Casey

San Francisco, CA

Photography Walks & Workshops in San Francisco by Casey

Let's explore San Francisco by taking pictures (and videos) and learn new techniques along the way. Plus get outside for fresh air and exercise too! About me: I have been doing photography for over 35 years and used to shoot weddings, portraits, commercial work for decades. I am an expert in still photography having started with the Nikon F4 film camera plus the Hasselblad 503cx medium format film camera in the 90s, then transitioned to digital with the Nikon D1x and D2x in early 2000, and more recently changed to all Canon gear with the Canon R5 and 90D and M50 digital cameras. I also actively use the Canon XF400 and G60 camcorders for creating online content for my YouTube channel "Casey On Location". I am also an expert in lighting and exposure as well. Because I enjoy photography and filming, I can also share my knowledge with others who share the same passion. I am a long-time resident of San Francisco since 1980 so I know quite a bit about The City by the bay. So join the group and we can shoot images and videos together at interesting spots in San Francisco, learn a thing or two from each other, and hopefully get in some sunshine and exercise too. IMPORTANT: This group is geared towards users with cameras that have (as a minimum) the "M" mode setting for full MANUAL exposure. You must have a camera whereby you can independently change the exposure values for the aperture (f-stop), shutter speeds, and ISO. This means if you only have and use a smartphone for a camera (ie: iPhone or Android phone), this is not acceptable and you will not be approved to be accepted into this Meetup group. Those members who were previously accepted initially into this group early on and only have and use a smartphone for a camera have a limited grace period to get an acceptable camera to remain in this group.

256 members · Private

Novel Lovers of Sonoma County, CA

Sebastopol, CA

Novel Lovers of Sonoma County, CA

Novel Lovers of Sonoma County, CA (originally Novel Lovers of Sebastopol) is a book discussion group where we talk in depth about contemporary literary fiction. Yes, we really discuss the book for two hours! We assume that you’ve read the book and are eager to talk about it. We’re friendly and welcoming – not stodgy at all -- but we do take our book discussions seriously!

We read contemporary novels, almost exclusively those that have received critical acclaim and/or won literary awards. We try to schedule a few books ahead so you can get the book and plan your time.  To participate in this process, comment on our
message board, especially the  current Book Recommendations thread. 

Please RSVP “yes” when you know for sure that you’ll be there, and please change your RSVP if your plans change. Don’t RSVP “yes” if you mean “maybe,” and please don’t be a no-show. As a courtesy to the wait list, our host, and me, please change your RSVP if you can't attend, even at the last minute.

Each time I announce a book, the RSVP list fills quickly, and we often have large wait lists. Almost everyone does get in (people's plans change, emergencies and illnesses happen, etc.), so if you're on the wait list, read the book. If you get in, even as late as the day of the meeting, you'll be ready. 

Bring a snack to share if it's convenient, and a couple of dollars  towards the organizer dues. 

We look forward to talking books with you!

Questions? Email Joan Price, organizer.

8/16/20: I realize I haven't updated our group description since we moved our meetings online in March 2020. Here's what we're doing now:

* Novels: During the pandemic, we're still reading one novel a month, meeting online for 1.5 hours. 

* Short Story Group: Our book club has been reading contemporary novels, and we also created a short story spin-off group that met monthly before the pandemic. After we started taking our meetings online, we switched the short story group from monthly to weekly, one story, one hour. We have a core group that meets each week. We're open to new members who want to discuss short stories in depth. 

250 members · Public

Berkeley Moto

Oakland, CA

Berkeley Moto

⚠️⚠️⚠️ Get your t-shirts! ⚠️⚠️⚠️

🔶 Who this meetup is for

This group is for intermediate and experienced riders who enjoy socializing with other riders <br>

❤️ All motorcycle brands are welcome

🔶 What you can expect on a typical ride <br>

We meet 30 minutes prior to the start of the ride for coffee, tea and socialization. We then discuss the day’s ride, go over safety details and take off.

Stops are typically between 50 - 75 minutes apart, depending on the types of roads we’re riding, but we’ll stop at the request of any rider if the need arises.

We usually have lunch at a predetermined location or pick an impromptu spot.

The trips back often involve taking the highway as people like to just get home faster. You can always leave any ride early.

⚠️ Official Ride Rules

We have a set of official rules that we follow as a group. These are read out before every ride.

⚠️ What is expected of you

🔸 Interpersonal Interactions

We expect our fellow riders to be treat each other with kindness and respect. This meetup only works if people feel comfortable around other members

🔸 Safety

You are responsible for not only your safety but also of the riders around you, so reckless driving will not be tolerated. Full safety gear is recommended to be worn at all times, but that decision is ultimately left to the individual rider. <br>

🔸 RSVP cancellations

We request that of you cannot make a ride, you change your RSVP to No to let the organizer know not to wait for you.

⚠️ Rider Requirements

✅ At least 21 years of age.

✅ M1 class license or an out of state equivalent.

✅ Completion of a motorcycle safety class is not required, but is highly recommended.

⚠️ Equipment Requirements and Recommendations

✅ Your motorcycle should be in good working order including having properly inflated tires as well as working brakes and lights.

✅ Full tank of gas before any meetup

✅ FasTrak is not required but highly recommended

66 members · Public

Tri-Valley Ladies Book Club

Dublin, CA

Tri-Valley Ladies Book Club

If you are looking for a warm, friendly, informal and low-key book club for ladies, you've found the right place! 

How the book club works:

1. The book club meeting locations are central to the Tri-Valley, including Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore, San Ramon and Danville.

2. Members take turns hosting at their home on a voluntary basis.

3. The book club meets every month on the second Sunday from 2:00 - 5:00 PM. If the date conflicts with a major holiday, meeting is moved to the second Saturday of the month.

4. It’s a potluck with each attendee bringing a dish and/or beverage (we drink wine!).

5. For the book selection, each attendee comes with a book in mind to be entered into a drawing and at the end of the meet, four books are drawn, which is then posted on the meetup site for a general vote. The winning book is the book with the most votes!

6. A guideline to use in choosing a book to be entered into the drawing is -- generally fiction, approx. 400 pages and under $16.

7. Reading the book is not a prerequisite for attendance - you are welcome to just join the fun!

8. Outside of the book club meetings, approximately every other month there are fun social outings such as dinners, movies, wine tasting & etc.

Ellie's Thoughts on Book Discussions:

#1 - We are here to enjoy our time in the company of ladies from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

#2 - Our book discussion is for the purposes of furthering and enriching our exploration and understanding of the book and the author from the lenses of our personal experiences and beliefs.

#3 - To that end, the objective is to share our thoughts and points of view and to thoughtfully listen and learn of others'. Note, it's not a debate.

#4 - Different points of view (POV) are welcomed and highly encouraged, but never through personal attacks or insults. Note, it's not a debate and discussion is not for the purposes of changing someone's mind or POV.

#5 - We are engaged in a dialogue -- please participate in facilitating and furthering a rich discussion.

#6 - If you need to leave early, please say that you need to be somewhere and leave, but please do not rush the book discussion to an ending because you need to leave.

#7 - If by chance a faux pas is committed (which I have a tendency of because I am still growing & maturing) -- please do your best to clean it up if not there immediately, then by sending messages to members/group.

#8 - Definition of a successful meet -- is if everyone in the group laughs really loud with abandon at least 3 times!!! Let's have fun ladies!

110 members · Private

Oddizens - Queer & Gender Diverse Creative Gamer Geeks

San Jose, CA

Oddizens - Queer & Gender Diverse Creative Gamer Geeks

We are a queer-inclusive and gender diverse group of geeks, gamers, and crafters based in the South Bay Area, California. We play and teach tabletop games with a newbie-friendly mindset, hang out and craft at local, independent cafes and shops, enjoy leisurely outdoor activities, and collaborate with queer-positive organizations in our area to provide a comfortable, welcoming space for people of marginalized identities to socialize with like-minded peers.

Our Values: We hold these statements to be self-evident and strive to uphold them by word and by example. We reserve our right to remove people from our events and membership who willfully act or express beliefs contrary to our values.

1. Queer genders are valid. You can identify as a gender that is neither male nor female, as multiple genders, as a spectrum of genders that changes in composition and/or intensity over time, or not identify with gender at all.

2. Queer attraction is valid. You can be attracted to one gender, to multiple genders, or romantically attracted to different gender(s) than you are sexually attracted to. You can experience only romantic attraction, only sexual attraction, or not experience attraction at all. You can be romantically and/or sexually intimate with one person or multiple people who knowingly consent, and are of legal age to consent, to that interaction.

3. Your gender identity is valid whether or not it matches the gender you were assigned at birth, the gender marker on your official documents, or the gender people think you are based on your physical traits, mannerisms, or sense of style. You are not required to take hormones or have surgery to affirm your gender unless you deem it necessary to do so.

4. We show our respect for the identities of others by using the names, pronouns and terms they tell us to use. Adjusting our language to accommodate them takes a negligible amount of effort and reassures them that we accept them as they are.

5. We believe that dominant social groups (such as able, cisgender, heterosexual, male, neurotypical, and white people) benefit from greater accessibility, opportunity, safety, social influence, wealth, and other privileges than marginalized groups (such as disabled, transgender, gay, non-male, neurodiverse, and Black people) do not.

6. We oppose the stigmatization of mental illness and neurodiversity. We welcome people to speak openly about these topics when they can do so safely, so that the challenges of living with atypical brain chemistry are recognized, acknowledged and addressed.

7. Regardless of how we identify, we are still capable of excluding, discriminating against, perpetuating harmful stereotypes about, or using outdated, offensive terms to refer to marginalized groups we do not belong to. We remain receptive to corrections and continued learning about the diverse identities our community represents.

8. Each person is affected by a different set of triggers and has different levels of tolerance for being exposed to those triggers. We use content/trigger warnings as a courtesy to allow people to opt out of subject matter they find disturbing or traumatic.

9. We respond swiftly to allegations of hate speech, harassment, and abuse. We take these matters seriously when brought to our attention, and always prioritize the safety and well-being of the victim(s) when formulating our response.

Code of Conduct: All Oddizens members (and their guests) are expected to abide by our Code of Conduct when participating in our events and communications.

Read the full text of the Code here:

71 members · Private


San Francisco, CA


MODELS and PHOTOGRAPHERS: Add to your portfolio. Experiment with new ideas. Talk with an expert. Free. Open to all experience levels

PracticeShoots is a group of models and photographers who collaborate to improve their knowledge and skills based on the teachings of several well-respected contemporary portrait photographers. The events are free to all participants—beginners, experts, amateurs, and professionals. Attendees may participate in multiple roles taking turns as models, grips, and photographers. Models receive images from multiple photographers within days of each event.

WHEN. We meet at locations around the San Francisco Bay Area on the FIRST SUNDAY OF EACH MONTH from NOON to 4:00 PM. Note: At 12:00 PM we leave the meeting point to walk the area. We may be hard to find, so don’t be late.

EVENTS. We walk neighborhoods, find settings, and practice shoots. We learn to work with varied lighting conditions to create great portraits. Handouts range from topical cheat sheets to extensive notes, referencing specific sections in the study materials.

When we find an interesting location, we discuss the light in detail, form teams, and coach each other through a shoot. Each team has a photographer, model, and up to three grips; one to add light, one to subtract light, and one to add highlights. Depending on the circumstances we may focus on composition, lighting, or posing.

Then, we scout for a new location and repeat the process. We stop at 4:00 PM. At any time, a team may leave the group and work independently.


ROBERTO VALENZUELA. Portrait and wedding photographer in Hollywood. Published several books that teach lighting and posing techniques. We use his books "Picture Perfect Lighting" and "Picture Perfect Posing", which are available through online sellers. Many of his books are used as texts in schools.

FELIX KUNZE. Adds special lighting techniques to enhance skin tone and texture.

SUE BRYCE. Teaches a more glamor oriented portrait style, with some special flow-posing techniques.

VINCENT VERSACE. Portrait photographer for the stars, as well as San Francisco Presidio photographer who teaches subject emphasis using blur and color to guide the viewer’s focus.


PHOTOGRAPHERS: Please bring a 40" reflector, a 30" reflector, and an incident light meter. Optionally, bring a 40" diffuser, a ColorChecker Passport Photo 2, and a smartphone with PhotoPills installed. None of these are required. There will be plenty to share. Please do not bring flashes, soft boxes, umbrellas, other lighting modifiers, light stands, or tripods, unless requested for a specific event. Bring at least a "normal" lens (Full Frame: 50mm, APS-C: 35mm, Micro 4/3: 25mm). If you only have a kit lens, it covers the normal focal length for your camera. For head shots, or if there is sufficient space, you may choose a short telephoto (Full Frame: 85mm, APS-C: 58mm, Micro 4/3: 42.5mm) or a little longer.

MODELS: Please bring

1. dark, form-fitting pants, jeans, tights, or a skirt so the curves in your legs show well

2. a dark, form-fitting top that shows light between your arms and body and exposes your collarbone

3. flats.

Avoid white, small patterns, glamour makeup, and large jewelry. If you have long hair, wear it down. Within these guidelines, anything will work -- a little black dress, tights and a tank top, business slacks and a blouse, or anything in between. You may want to download and read JandJFAQ.pdf at > Photography.

ZOOM REVIEWS. About the middle of each month, on a Wednesday evening, we hold a review Event. Recordings of the Event can be downloaded at > Photography > Zoom Reviews.

INFORMATION. You may find all the study materials at > Photography : handouts, notes, PDFs of books, and lots of videos. To see specifics on gear, see the Amazon Wishlist at .

If you have questions about your equipment or want to discuss anything about photography, message Jeff through Meetup. We can talk about camera basics, equipment, lighting, posing, white balance and ColorCheckerPassport, model releases, wardrobe, jewelry, makeup, critiques, portfolios... If you have questions about your gear, have your manual handy.


Jeff: &





ColorChecker Passport Photo 2:


Thanks, Jeff

403 members · Public

Bay Area Book Geeks

Mountain View, CA

Bay Area Book Geeks

Do you love books!? Well you have come to the right place. We totally geek out on all types of books. There is a discussion group for many genres of books. Just pick one to attend or pick them all. This is a group effort and we are open to people doing their own organizing if they wish. Either way there is plenty to read and do.

Basic Rules

1. This group is a fun, safe space for people to discuss their opinions, make friendships, read amazing books, and have great discussions. Harassing and threatening members will not be tolerated.

2. This is a group to meet people, even people you might potentially want to ask on a date. This is natural and acceptable, however many members attend for the reading and socializing alone. It is highly encouraged that any member not treat this group like a dating site.

3. If a well loved book is suggested as reading for the group, please be advised that not everyone will share the same opinion. This group encourages debate because it is what makes a good discussion. Respecting other opinions is highly recommended.

4. Group organizers are responsible for keeping an eye out for internal problems. If a member feels uncomfortable or disrespected please bring it to our attention.

5. We are happy to have so many members with the Bay Area Book Geeks and with the popularity of all our book clubs growing. Since the meetings are starting to have a consistent wait list that is sometimes nine people long, we are implementing a new policy to make it fair to all our members. To encourage members to keep their RSVP’s current we will start taking note of any no shows at all meetings. If three no shows turn up on your record then the next time you RSVP for a meeting and the meeting has a wait list you will be automatically moved to the wait list for that event. If you keep your RSVP current, then this will not happen. It is standard to update your RSVP at least 24 hours before the event if you will not be able to attend. We cannot track this and so I will trust everyone to try their best to abide by the 24 hour limit. We understand that emergencies happen, and if one comes up at the last minute, let us know as soon as you can, and we will adjust your record accordingly.



901 members · Private

Geek Girls Silicon Valley

San Jose, CA

Geek Girls Silicon Valley

We are a group of adult women (18+) focused on providing a non-judgmental social environment to bring geek girls together for friendship and fun. We welcome all types of geekdom, whether you are a gamer, bookworm, arts and crafts enthusiast, movie buff, anime nut, tech geek or a huge fan of something niche!

We do our very best to provide a wide variety of geeky activities, while bringing business to our local comic stores, conventions, costume shops, game stores, libraries and restaurants.

Some of our regular events include*: 

Monthly sci-fi and fantasy book club!

Monthly non-fiction book club!

Monthly Harry Potter trivia!

Monthly crafting get-together--bring your own project!

Monthly group heart-to-heart talks!

Monthly puzzle meets!

Alternating Monthly Member Dinners!

Quarterly Geek Girls party with creative themes & prizes!

We also schedule plenty of other activities as we go, such as:

Art studio projects 
Board games
Brunches & dinners  
Conventions & fairs  
Co-working sessions  
Escape Rooms   
Exploring local attractions 
Fun runs, hikes, and other fitness activities 
Movie openings 
Museum visits 
Theater shows  
Viewing parties

*Currently all of our events are online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope to cautiously resume in-person meets after Santa Clara County deems it safe to do so.

Join us and (after your membership is approved) you will be able to join in on these fun events, and many more! We have suspended our $5 membership fee for the foreseeable future, and will reevaluate reinstating dues if/when the pandemic ends. We welcome both cis and trans women in our group.

A note about the application process:

Generally what we're looking for through the application is some idea of your personality and how you self-identify as a geek. For best results, please answer all application questions (a short sentence per answer is fine) and make sure your application and Meetup profile include at least three of the following criteria:

A user name that looks like a real, human name
A photo of yourself
Creative application answers (questions 1-3)
Specific geeky activities you want to do with us (question 4)
Refer to yourself as female in some way
Belong to other meetups that are female-centric
Have geeky activities in your Meetup interests

If you do decide to reapply, also consider revealing a bit more about yourself on Having your real-life photo, list of Meetups joined, or list of Meetup interests visible gives us more to work with when judging whether you are a fit for our group. (Essentially we're trying to avoid bots.) Thank you for your interest!

The Leadership Team reserves final judgment on whether to approve or decline an application.

More group info here:

1301 members · Private