What is a photo walk?
A photo walk is a gathering of like-minded people, who share a hobby for photography at a chosen destination. A leader, typically leads the group in a chosen direction towards photographic opportunities.
My favorite photo walks have been organized by a 3rd party, such as Scott Kelby’s Annual Worldwide Walk or 500px Worldwide Walk, because during these events thousands of cities and people are participating in the same event, on the same day. It’s a great feeling to know that other people are just as passionate about one hobby, as much as I am. Sure, these photo walks typically have sponsored gear and prizes, but we all need all the motivation we can get, right?! I think I would go out of my way to get a shot over a prize, as opposed to just photographing for fun.
I have been a leader for Kelby Photo walk twice and 500px – once. It gives me great pleasure to organize photographers in my city of Daejeon, fifth largest in South Korea. Most people flock to Seoul or Busan, but in Dajeon, we’ve also got some interesting parks, markets, alleys, mountains, a river, a lake and more! I believe that any city or town can be a great host to a photo walk, but to make it a success, keep in mind some of these points:
1.As a leader, you’re responsible for researching a known or an unknown location that would bring varieties of shots (street photography, landscape, portraits, pets, action, nature, just to name a few). A leader must know his town/city well in order to pick a captivating route, if no such routes are known – do your homework and find them. Explore your surroundings my friends!
2.A leader must pick a suitable date, which doesn’t interfere with any big events/holidays, unless, of course, you bring your photo walk to/through the event. (2 years ago, I lead a very successful photo walk, which involved us photographing a Zombie Run here in Daejeon).
3. Make sure you’re well connected and are able to spread the news of your photo walk in a variety of ways (social networking sites, meetup.com, posters, flyers, word of mouth, etc). The more people are aware, the more likely you’re to get a nice big group, which results in a lot more fun!
4. To make a photo walk a bit challenging, feel free to create a theme. This will give your walkers a chance to get creative and put their thinking heads on.
5. Keep posting about your event a month/a week/a day in advance. Most people are very busy and may need more than one reminder to pencil in your event in their planner.
6. Check the weather of the event and don’t forget to remind your walkers if they need an umbrella or some snow shoes.
7. The day of the event, come prepared to answer a lot of questions/comments on your devices, so charge up! Stay friendly and calm, if someone is late or can’t make it – ’tis life.
8. Don’t forget about introductions, this is your chance to meet and greet and make new photo buddies! No matter if you are a leader or a walker, socializing is one of the greatest benefits of photo walks.
9. Go with the flow of the group – if people want to separate, let them. If they want to stay together – don’t discourage it either. Your job is just to show the way, not act as their parent.
10. At some point, gather the group for an innovative group shot to keep the memories alive.
11.After the walk, share your best images with the group and encourage others to do so too. Thank everyone for coming and keep those connections alive after the event.
12. Just enjoy yourself and have a splash!
Are you ready to host a photo walk? I know you are!
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