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First off, let me explain the concept of Photowalking. Photowalking is simply the act of walking with a camera for the main purpose of taking pictures of things you may find interesting. Photographers have been doing that for years. So why coin a new term? Well, why not?
Since photowalking can really be an event at any level of attendance and participation, I’d like to focus on a slightly more organized photowalk. One that brings in at least a few people who’ve never met before. Now, I’ve already done an article about getting a photowalking group together in your area. So, I won’t focus on those important steps here.
What I will focus on, is 10 great tips to help you get started. Then, when you’ve really been bit by the bug, come on over to Photowalking.org for more direction. Now let’s get started.
1. Pick a great location.
First off, if you don’t have a great location, not too many photographers are going to show up. The only real chance you have of fighting this one is Tip #6.
2. Plan the photowalk far enough in advance.
If you don’t let people plan ahead, they simply won’t show up. Not too many people live by the seat of their pants, so being able to get it on the calendar in advance is a real benefit. You could plan it too far in advance, loosing any hype and excitement you’ve built, so be careful how far in advance you plan.
3. Blog it.
Use multiple methods to get the word out. If you’re already blogging or photoblogging, that’s a no brainer. If you’re not already blogging, why aren’t you? Get on it!
4. Get others to blog it.
You also should approach any other photography bloggers and podcasters to beg for a mention. Of course heading over to the appropriate groups at Zooomr and Flickr is necessary.
5. Pound the pavement.
Also don’t forget those who aren’t online. Consider your local community colleges. I’m sure most have at least one photography course. Approach the professor(s) there for a mention as well. And last, those local community based groups. See if there are any existing photography groups in your area. If so, get a contact and try to attend one of their meetings.
6. Get a ringer.
Get at least one local big name in photography to show up. Preferably one who is active in the photoblog arena. This will make it easy to get easy exposure for the event, since the photographer will most likely blog about it.
7. Lead a discussion.
Consider having a planned discussion lead by one of the ringers. Don’t go overboard here. Just see if one of your ringers would be willing to share a little wisdom for less than 30 minutes. No doubt, this will spark a conversation that will span the majority of the event.
8. Plan for the end.
Make sure you have a plan for compiling all the work when you’re all done. Blogging your images is one thing, you should still be doing that. However, planning on a tag that everyone can use when they upload their images to Zooomr or Flickr will help you find thh3 all later. I usually just use, “photowalk-122507″, with the last numbers being the date of the photowalk. But you can use anything. Both Flickr and Zooomr will allow you to make a photoset with all images that are tagged the same.
9. No, it’s not spam.
Use the first photowalk as an opportunity to connect with everyone who attends. This is the perfect time to get everyone’s presence on website. Now, start your list of those whom you’ll invite to the next photowalk. What, you hadn’t started thinking about the next one yet? Get on it!