russian river pr blog

Nancy Birnbaum-Marketing Maven


June 2016

The Best Beginner’s Guide to Digital Photography

Anyone who understands marketing know that photography plays an integral part in selling your product, service, knowledge, etc.

I grew up in a family of photographers. My father, who worked in a big ad agency (right out of Mad Men), took lots of photos of events, whereas my brother started as a teen and built a darkroom in our basement, then went off to Vietnam as an Army photographer.

So it was inevitable that I would come to love being behind the lens instead of in front of it. I started early too. I was using my brother’s old Nikon in high school, taking photos of everything: new adventures, tall ships, people, buildings, travels… you name it.

I remember my first Polaroid SX-70 Camera. I had tons of fun with that one! On of my favorite creative feats was to “alter” a polaroid as it was fixing.

foot bridge

When I finally got my first DSLR, I thought I was in heaven. Except for the fact that I hadn’t a clue as to how to use it! Fortunately, most DSLRs have one or two auto modes. And I use that 90% of the time.

That was until I came across this incredibly simple “How To” article on one of my favorite Photography newsletters – PetaPixel ( This article answers all those nagging basic questions from “What is Exposure?” to “What is Aperture?” and offers great examples. For example, I learned that the higher the Depth of Field “F-Stop” setting, the more that will be in focus. So if you want to have only the thing closest to you in focus, you should use a lower F-Stop like F1.4. Then everything in the background will be blurred.

Sure, I experimented with my Sony A33. I tried to get that cool shot of a waterfall with the water in motion, but I didn’t know what the best settings were until now. (It’s a slow shutter speed, 1/2 second!).

So if you dabble in photography, or you’re a DIY Marketer like me, or you just want to learn how to use your DSLR to it’s greatest effect, then check out this guide:

A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO


More recent photo: Old Seven-Mile Bridge, Florida Keys

Women Grow, Sonoma County Celebrates 1-Year Anniversary


PR Contact
Nancy Birnbaum – 
Russian River PR | 707-978-0610 |

Join The Anniversary Celebration of the Fastest-Growing
Organization In The Cannabis Industry

June 13, 2016 (Santa Rosa, CA) – It has been 20 years since California pioneered the nation in legalizing medical cannabis with Prop 215. Now California makes up 49 percent of the nation’s robust cannabis economy. California’s cannabis scene has exploded like the Wild West and there’s one more reason to celebrate. Sonoma County’s Canna-enthusiasts are invited to join Women Grow to mark its 1-year Anniversary with a celebration and award ceremony to honor ‘The Godmother of Cannabis’, Lynnette Shaw.

Women Grow is a national organization that seeks to connect and empower women in the legal cannabis industry and the group’s Sonoma County Chapter is excited to share their achievements. In the past year, the Chapter brought in 23 industry leader speakers and panelists, of whom 21 were women and 2 were men. Speakers have included: Amanda Reiman, Manager of Marijuana Law and Policy at Drug Policy Alliance, Samantha Miller, President and Chief Scientist at Pure Analytics, Ellen Komp, Deputy Director at California NORML and Jazmin Hupp Co-Founder/CEO of Women Grow.

“The cannabis industry’s future is held in our hands,” says Chapter Founder and Chairwoman, Ilana ‘Sugar’ Laytart. “We are currently writing the history and HER-story books and this event’s celebration is to acknowledge our commitment and perseverance in this movement.”

The celebration takes place on Thursday, July 7, from 6pm to 10pm at Annie O’s Music Hall in downtown Santa Rosa. “Celebration Attire” is suggested. Early-bird tickets cost $25 and can be purchased through

When: Thursday, July 7th, 6pm-10pm
Where: Annie O’s, 120 5th Street, Santa Rosa
Cost:          EARLY BIRD $25
Event Highlights:

  • Terpenes 101 + Aroma Bar Presentation with Monica Fine of Absorb CBD and The Seasonal Apothecary.
  • Award Ceremony Honoring Lynnette Shaw, presented by Ilana ‘Sugar’ Laytart and Elaine Holtz.
  • Dessert Bar, DJs & Dancing, Giveaways, Snacks & Beverages and Cash Bar

Interested in being a sponsor? Email

Purchase Advance Tickets here:

Financial assistance may be available. Email to inquire.

This is a 21+ event and a non-consumption event.


Women Grow connects, educates, inspires and empowers the next generation of cannabis industry leaders by creating programs, community and events for aspiring and current business executives in the cannabis industry. Women Grow is the fastest “growing” network of female-forward cannabis businesses and the largest networking organization in the cannabis industry. You don’t have to be a current professional in the cannabis industry to join. The Sonoma County Chapter is run by Founder and Chairwoman Ilana ‘Sugar’ Laytart and Co-Chair: Joyce Williams.

While events are women focused, their networking series welcome and attracts both men and women to connect. Women Grow Networking Events occur the first Thursday of every month in Sonoma County. Website:

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