There possibly aren’t that many times in life when it would be considered normal for a grown, married woman to meet up with other grown-ups they have met online. Welcome to Instameets, a concept which seems odd to those not involved in the world of Instagram (yes there are still a few), but one which is completely run of the mill, an every day occurrence for many Instagrammers.
I LOVE instameets! I have been lucky to meet with many talented, inspiring, and down right lovely people in the last few months. @irinahp, @misterflopatrick and @seashells_shesells in Vienna (read more on those here), and closer to home in London @juliabesidethesea, @tilly2milly, @siobhaise and @snowflakesfairy, and that’s just already this year. In a couple of weeks I’m planning to meet @thisisjules in Leeds, and there are others who will be travelling to the UK during 2016, I’ll be the first to jump on a train and grab a coffee with them. It was in fact one of my resolutions this year to take as many opportunities as came my way to meet with other photographers.
So why do I love instameets so much? Quite simply I’ve met some fascinating people who I’ve got on with amazingly well. We interact on an almost daily basis on Instagram, it’s heartwarming to meet the person behind the pictures and usually find them to be just as you expected.
Generally unless you pay to go to a workshop or conference, talking shop with like minded individuals rarely happens. I am actually very lucky and have a couple of photographer friends in the “real world” however let’s face it, the world of Instagram is a rather unique one. Getting to meet up with people who understand this little world we enter into on our phones, who are open to discuss the quirks and peculiarities of an app which means so much to us all, and who often share advise and tips freely, is a breath of fresh air! It’s also very inspiring to shoot alongside other people, to see them in action. I am always hoping to grow and to learn as a photographer, and I always try to absorb a tiny bit of knowledge and skill from each person I meet.
If you get the chance to travel to new turf and shoot with an insta-friend for the day, or give an Instagrammer a little tour of your favourite haunts, then I’d highly recommend it, but please be safe. Meet in groups, in public places, or at one of the many organised Instameets that happen around the world. It’s great fun and very inspiring to put faces to the feeds you love, but it goes without saying that meeting with people for the first time must always be done with caution.
Most recently I met with Siobhan (@siohaise) and Jessica (@snowflakesfairy) for the second time, and they most generously gave me a wonderful tour of a part of London I had never been to before, Notting Hill and Holland Park. It was the pastel perfection of these quiet city streets that inspired Siobhan to found #prettycitylondon and it’s associated page @prettycitylondon.
I usually end up shooting mostly with my iPhone when out and about around a city. It’s so convenient, and it’s wide angle lens is ideal for street scenes. However as I had this blog post in mind I shot with my camera and my 35mm lens. It was a beautiful day, and London was filled with magnolia and blossom. The bright sun made shooting a little tricky and we had to stick with what was in the shade. Next time, I’m coming on an overcast day!
I hope you enjoyed my little tour of Notting Hill and Holland Park as much as I enjoyed being there! Thanks for reading x
These areas of London are so pretty – so lovely to meet up & photograph them together! My favourite pic is the pink door with the pink blossom tree outside – just gorgeous! 💗
Thanks Kim, it really does keep all this fun and inspiring to be able to do it with other people! I love that door too, the sunshine was so strong on it but I just about got away with it! xx
Moving to London would have been so much more difficult if I hadn’t met so many wonderful people through Instagram. Its the oddest thing when you stop to really think about it, but I wouldn’t change it for the world! Lovely photos!
Thanks a lot Jess, that’s wonderful that Instagram helped you to meet people over here. I do find it pretty amazing that I could turn up in so many cities around the world and meet a “friend” there! x
Hannah, your pictures from London are so amazing and beautiful. And it’ s nice what you write about the meetings from Insta’s in the real world. Many greetings, Daniela💕
Thank you so much Daniela, you’re so sweet to stop by. Have a lovely day 🙂 xx
Beautiful pics Hannah! Notting Hill here I come!
Thanks Kath! You’d absolutely love it there, such a happy place to stroll! One day hopefully I’ll see Cambridge with you! Maybe this Summer?
Absolutely – will hold you to a summer date! 😄
Love this post Hannah and soooo looking forward to meeting you so soon!! All your Notting Hill photos are gorgeous but that pink door and pink blossom shot is particularly perfect!! xx
Ah thanks Jules, I absolutely can’t wait to meet you! You’re the second person to mention that picture, I think I’d better post it on Instagram!
I’d love to explore the streets of London with you! Someday 💗
Wouldn’t that be lovely Shelly! One day hopefully… x
Lovely post Hannah, Notting Hill stole my heart, we need to meet there next time! xx
It’s beautiful isn’t it! Loved it too xx
instameets are great! especially when you´re tourist! and love Notting Hill! 😉
Absolutely! yes Notting is stunning, next time you are here!! x
Well hurrah for Instameets (and I will meet you one day!) and pretty pastel houses – I haven’t been to Notting Hill for ages, must fix that xx
Definitely Zoe I’d love to meet you! Either in London or on the south coast, we must do it soon! xx
I’ve had a trip to Notting Hill on my bucket list for ages but your beautiful photos have made me want to visit soon. I sometimes wish I lived a little closer to London so I could explore it on a more regular basis.
I’d love to be nosy and see inside all these gorgeous homes!
Have a lovely weekend Hannah! xx
Ah thanks Rachel, yes it’s such a beautiful place, I was quite blown away by the sheer volume of lovely spots! You don’t have to look hard for them! Have a lovely weekend too, and I must contact you about our meet up! Maybe the Easter hols? xx
Beautifully captured. I love every single shot you’ve taken xx
Thanks lovely, such a gorgeous place to go 🙂 xx
Great photos, Hannah! Looks like a wonderful day. Love your enthusiasm for Instameets. I have never met any of my Insta friends in real life. I feel too shy to suggest it – but I should! We’ve just come back to Sydney after a few weeks back in the UK over Xmas and it was so nice to be in the same time zone as all my British/European Insta friends. I’m going to miss them!
Thanks so much Bex! Ah you definitely should if you get a chance, it’s a great way to keep photography (and Instagram) fun. How lovely you were back here for Christmas, I hope you had a lovely time! It does make a difference being in the same time zone as people doesn’t it? xx
Hannah, how do you go about finding instameets?
I love your instagram account by the way. So cheerful.
Thank you so much Katherina! I have always done it through connecting with people on Instagram who live in cities I am going to. You may be able to find organised ones by searching for hashtags or online. Good luck! x