We’re just four days away, and right now we have over 28,000 photographers signed-up for 1,100 local walks around the world this Saturday. We are totally excited and amazed at the worldwide participation and sense of community this has created, and I can’t wait for Saturday to get here.
Last year, at four days out, I gave seven tips for walkers to help you make the most of your walk, and I’ve got those here for you again. If you’re going to be walking with us Saturday, take a moment to give these a quick read: I promise it’ll make a difference in your experience.
(1) Drink Plenty of Water: In many places, this walk is taking place in the dead of summer, so make sure you take plenty of water with you, and stay fully hydrated during the entire walk. Two hours is a long time to be out in the hot sun so make sure you drink lots of water before and during the walk. (TIP: Want to be a hero? Bring an extra bottle of water or two to share with other walkers).
(2) Use Sunscreen: If your walk is during daylight hours (and most are), make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen, and don’t forget to wear a hat for protection as well.
(3) Leave a Small Footprint: Make sure that you have as little physical impact on the area you’re walking in as possible. If you’re walk is in nature, make sure the area looks exactly the same when you leave as when you got there. Same thing in a downtown area—-we want store owners and pedestrians to welcome events like this, so be kind to everyone you meet, and create as small a footprint on your walk route as possible. Take only pictures. Leave only footprints.
(4) Make New Friends: This is a social event, and everybody is there to have fun and make new friends, so make sure you talk with other walkers in your group. Ask them ‘what kind of stuff like they to shoot,’ or ‘how they like their camera or a particular accessory,’ or ask ‘if they’ve ever been on this street or area before,’ and you’ll have a conversation up and running in no time.
(5) Let Your Leader Lead: Your walk leader has put a lot of time and effort into planning the walk, organizing and publicizing the walk, and making the whole thing happen (after all; without your local Leader there might not be a walk in your city, right?), so don’t try and hijack the walk; let your Leader do the talking, and the leading, and that way you can just relax and focus on getting some great shots.
(6) Get To Your Walk Early: It happens every year; some people miss the walk altogether because they couldn’t find a parking space, or they missed the train or subway, or they ran into something that delayed them from getting to the start of the walk on time. It’s really heartbreaking to get there and find that the walk is already underway and there’s nobody standing there but you, so make sure you plan extra time to get to your walk’s Starting Location, especially if you’re not familiar with the area. You’ll save yourself a lot of stress (and possible heartbreak) by getting there early. Plus, if you get there early, there’s extra time to make friends before the walk even starts—maybe you’ll make a “walking buddy” who’ll share the experience with you.
(7) Play it Safe: The single most important thing is your safety during the Photo Walk. Don’t get distracted by what you’re shooting or seeing, and back right into the street, or into another photographer (or just a person walking down the street). Keep your wits about you, and remember than many of you will be shooting in a downtown area, on crowded sidewalks or busy streets, so just stay alert the entire walk, and look out for other walkers as well. Also, don’t wander into any areas or alleys that may look the least bit unsafe—stay with your group—there’s safety in numbers, and of course always keep a close eye on your camera gear and personal items.
Also, make sure you check out the Official World Wide Photo Walk Blog (here’s the link) for more walking tips from Brad Moore, and also visit PhotoWalkPro.com (one of our official sponsors) to get Jeff Revell’s invaluable Photo Walk suggestions and insights.
See you guys on Saturday as we make photographic history!