I love meeting new people, taking photographs and chatting over tea and cake. I’m also a huge fan of creative photowalks because they combine all three. They’re a great way to connect with like-minded folk, make new friends, see cool places, indulge in a little creativity and get some exercise. Pretty good, eh?
I organise seasonal Oxford Instameets with Independent Oxford and this year I led photowalks at Blogtacular and Gathered Cheer. In fact looking back I recall attending the first Worldwide Instameet in 2011 (I attended the Oxford meet and I think there were just seven of us!), numerous Flickr walks and wandering around the streets of Oxford, Brighton and Worthing with friends when I studied art. So today I’m sharing my tips to organise and run a creative photowalk. A day of fun, friendship and creativity.
THINGS YOU MIGHT NEED:
Sunglasses and sun cream
A drink and a snack
A pen and paper for people to list their names and social media handles
An event hashtag
Once you’ve decided on a date you can start advertising. Consider the places you’re most likely to find your target audience. I tend to use social media, encouraging people to sign up on Facebook or Eventbrite. It’s wise to have an idea of how many people are coming in advance of the walk.
PLAN THE ROUTE
I plan my route in advance and establish safe places to cross the road! I also check we’re not going to encounter any disruption on the day.
Consider interesting places to photograph including beautiful architecture, attractive shop fronts, pretty streets, seasonal colours, street art and possibly even a place for a group shot. It’s lovely to take people to places they may not have been before.
It’s good to meet somewhere undercover should it be raining. I tend to book a large table or area in a cafe which enables people to relax and chat before we head off. I budget for an hour of socialising and plan a second meeting spot for later in the day.
THE CREATIVE PHOTOWALK
Head off, have fun, take group shots, inspire, learn and share stories. Get the most out of the walk and try to chat to everyone who’s there. It’s kind to ensure no one is getting left out or left behind!
Always alert the venues in advance of your visit. If you’re running a photowalk for a business or organisation they may brief you on safety. Ask questions if you have any concerns. For large groups you should ideally have a number of organisers present and alert people to any potential hazards. If you’re running regular photowalks as part of your business you may wish to consider getting insurance.
AFTER THE EVENT
Sharing photographs is a lovely way to engage after the event and it’s fascinating to see how everyone captured the day. Don’t forget to use the event hashtag. There’s often a buzz when the event is over so it’s great to send a save the date for the next photowalk.
If you’re planning a walk, I hope you have a fantastic time!