Please note, this portion of the FAQ is in-draft as we receive feedback on it’s content.

HoustonPhotowalks provides online classes, both in groups, and one-on-one via Zoom.

How do I attend Zoom Events?

The easiest way to get started is to visit the Zoom Test webpage and click “Join”.  This will let you know if your computer already has the Zoom plugin installed.

IMPORTANT: It is your responsibility to make sure you have all software installed and your zoom link prior to the class begins.  If you are having any issues, contact the organizer NO LESS THAN ONE HOUR PRIOR to the class start.  See the section “I sent the organizer an email/text/message, but not getting a reply.” for more details.

How do I get my meeting password/id?

We will provide you a simple one-click link directly to your meeting/class via meetup email a few hours prior to the event.

You will never receive a meeting “ID” or “Password” from us. If you are being asked for a password or meeting ID, you are not using the correct link for the event. Review the email carefully to make sure you copy/paste the entire zoom link.

Zoom event links will only be provided via a meetup-generated email only.

For security, zoom links will not be posted in events comments, in the event description, or provided other than through meetup’s email system.

I didn’t receive a Zoom / webinar link, how do I get it?

  • Check your spam and quarantine email buckets/folders.
  • If you are using the mobile app: Check the notification section to see if the notification is waiting for you there.*

* Note that Meetup may not send you some emails if you have opted in for “Mobile Notifications”.  Read more about this issue at meetup’s help page:  Why am I not receiving Meetup emails? This is a setting in Meetup and HoustonPhotowalks cannot edit/change it on your behalf.

If still can’t find it, and the class has not already started (or 1 hour prior to start), contact the organizer hosting the meeting. They can attempt to send the email again. If you are still not receiving the emails from meetup, we may not be able to fix this.

Resolve any missing link issues at least 1 hour prior to class. Emails/messages/comments received 1 hour prior to, and during, the event, will not receive a reply until after the event is over.

How do I make sure I receive the zoom link emails?

There are several things that can prevent a email from reaching you. Unfortunately, we are not able to fix these issues on your behalf, but can offer the following suggestions:

  • Meetup will not send you email under some conditions. Read more on Meetup’s help page: Why am I not receiving Meetup emails?
  • If you are using an email spam blocking software, please whitelist
  • Check your spam folder for any email and make sure you mark it as “Not Spam”.
  • Meetup emails come from an automated system. If you require that anyone that send you email must “register” with your email system, will not do that. You will have to whitelist them manually.
  • HoustonPhotowalks and organizers cannot bypass your spam and unwanted email filters, you must whitelist.
  • If you provided a fake or incorrect email address to meetup, you will *not* receive zoom links.
  • Before signing up for a zoom event, make sure you have not disabled email notifications from HoustonPhotowalks. See the link below.

How to update your Email Settings

I sent the organizer an email/text/message, but not getting a reply.

If you attempted to contact an organizer less than 1 hour prior to an event, or during an event, you will receive an answer after the event is over. If the organizer is preparing for their class, or the class has already started, we will no longer stop it to answer messages/emails.

Make sure you have zoom set up and the zoom link 1 or 2 hours prior to the class. For example, if your class is at 7pm, and you wait until 6:30pm to contact the organizer, you will likely not receive an answer until after class.

If you are not able to join a zoom meeting (for technical or any other reason), and did not ask for assistance prior to 1 hour before class starts, you will not receive a refund.

(Sorry, I know this sounds harsh, but we wanna get the class disruptions and “I lost that email” issues under control, it’s not fair to other students or the instructor to stop everything several times in the first 20 minutes of each class).

Isn’t Zoom “unsafe”?

No software is completely “safe”.  Zoom has updated their software several times to address many issues that have been identified, but the news media has not reported on these improvements. HoustonPhotowalks takes several additional steps to make sure our events are as safe as possible:

  • Prior to each event, we update to the latest and most secure version of Zoom. You should too.
  • The URL to zoom events are only provided privately. This prevents unwanted visitors.
  • We reserve the right to mute, block the video, or entirely remove any participant at any time, for any reason. This includes being disruptive, rude, or displaying unwanted visuals.
  • HoustonPhotowalks events will be protected by a randomized entry code stored in the link we provide you via email. Make sure you have received this email before 1 hour prior to the event.

Some people may be concerned about zoom security for highly classified military information, medical information, and sexting. But those subjects are not part of HoustonPhotowalks. So we will continue using Zoom for as long as it is needed.

Is my computer/phone/ipad ready for Zoom?

Some features of Zoom are not available for all platforms. However, our zoom events use the least complicated parts of the Zoom platform to make sure everyone can participate. To make sure you are ready to join HoustonPhotowalks online events, please test your setup with this link at least 1 hour prior to your meeting:

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Joe is a Houston-area photographer and Project Manager for the IT / Software development company 24Moves Consulting.   Joe provides software, web development, SEO and marketing consulting in the day, and photography events on the weekends.
Joe Lippeatt
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Please note, required FTC Legal Disclaimer: HoustonPhotowalks uses affiliate marketing and advertising to generate revenue for our budget and the organizers who run the group. This money is used to pay fees, website hosting fees, classroom fees, teaching fees, donations to museums and venues, provide bottles of water when possible, compensate organizers for their time, etc. When you click links, the HoustonPhotowalks organization may receive a fee when you purchase a product or service.