On Sunday, March 22nd, there will be a World Wide Instameet in Wheeling, WV and it is shaping up to be a great event!
Roughly three weeks ago, Jason Foose reached out to a few local Instagrammers to gauge interest in hosing an Instameet in Wheeling. There was a bit of interest, so he and I started talking more about it offline. Ideas began flowing and it quickly became obvious that Wheeling would be an excellent host.
I met Jason about a year ago through Instagram. He is easily one of the most creative and talented photographers in the area. If you have not seen his work, take a look through his gallery. His IG handle is @foose03.
Instameets are nothing new, but there has certainly been a lot of questions from friends and acquaintances. What the heck is an Instameet? Do I have to be a professional? Do I have to be on Instagram? Can I just come hang out with my friends?
Simply put, an Instameet is a social gathering of Instagram users looking to be creative with one another by taking photos and videos. Given the way some people use Instagram, it sometimes gets a bad rap (I once asked a new friend if they were on Instagram and she replied, "no, because I'm not 13"), but I assure you if you filter well enough there is a massive, amazing, and supportive community of photographers who take their craft very seriously. You will generally find these folks at Instameets.
You do not need to be a professional to attend an Instameet. It is a great place to network and learn from each other. You will see people taking their first shot with a new (or old), entry level DSLR, or their 10,000th shot with a pro-level DSLR, or using phone-cameras only. The main purpose is to get together, be creative, and finally meet some of the people you have been following and supporting for the last few years.
Considering the name of the event is INSTAmeet, it is safe to say you should be on Instagram, but it is not mandatory. One detail, which makes being on Instagram important, is that a specific hashtag is used for each event so people can enjoy all the amazing work from that day. The hashtag for this event is #wwim11_WheelingWV.
If you have friends attending the event and you would like to come, but are not that interested in taking photos, join us as a model or just some inspiration! Photographers are always looking for different people to be subjects in their photos.
Wheeling is an extremely photogenic city and this will be a great event to showcase it!
Jason and I have been working to give people a little bit of guidance, if they wish to use it. We have put together a photo scavenger hunt, that includes items such as: photograph rust, a stranger, faded advertisements on building, churches, ect. We also asked Hal Gorby, PhD., a friend and local historian, to give us a list of his 10 favorite buildings of Wheeling. We will provide hashtags for each item and will judge the photos after the event. The grand winner will receive a gift card.
In anticipation for the event, Jason and I have started a new hub on Instagram called Wheeling_Shooters. Here, we showcase the Instagrammers of Wheeling. For a small community, it has been well received and we are pleased with its progress. In just under two weeks, there have been over 300 photos tagged and they are wonderful captures of the Friendly City. If you are on IG, follow us to support our community and tag #wheeling_shooters for feature consideration.
The World Wide Instameet in Wheeling, WV will take place on Sunday, March 22nd. The group will gather at Heritage Port at 10:00am.
Hopefully this will unite a group of unique people who will continue to meet and create together for many years following this event. Come help us flood IG with hundreds, or thousands, of photographs from Wheeling!
See you then and let me know if you have any questions.