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