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Today’s the official launch, and the date announcement for Scott Kelby’s 3rd Annual Worldwide Photo Walk™ to celebrate the upcoming release of my “Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers” and my “Photoshop CS5 Book for Digital Photographers” and you’re invited to be a part of this amazing global, social photography event.

Here’s a quick Q&A with all the details.

Q. When is the official Photo Walk day?
A. It’s Saturday, July 24th, 2010.

Q. What exactly is a Photo Walk?
A. Watch the short video clip on the home page over at the official Worldwide Photo Walk Website (here’s the link) to get an idea, and see video of an actual photo walk.

Q. Is there a fee to participate this year?
A. Once again it’s free—there is no fee to join this year’s walk—just come and have a ball!

Q. Do you have any cities signed up with Photo Walks yet?
A. We already have hundreds of cities around the world which have scheduled Photo Walks.

Q. How did those cities gets walks already?
A. We always give the previous year’s Photo Walk leaders the first opportunity to lead a walk again this year (after all—they’re seasoned leaders).

Q. How many cities participated last year, and how many photographers did the Photo Walk that day?
A. We had:

  1. More than 32,000+ photographers around the globe
  2. We had a total of 917 walks worldwide
  3. More than 6,400,000 photos were taken on walks during that one day

Q. How can I find out if there’s a walk in my area?
A. Go to the official Worldwide Photo Walk website and click on the “Find Walks” link at the top right (or click the Find a Walk button in the center, under the video—its icon looks like a camera), then type in the city, state, and/or country where you want to walk, and if there are any walks already organized, they’ll be listed on the right side (and you’ll see pins on the map in your area).

Q. How can I lead a Photo Walk?
A. You apply over at the official Worldwide Photo Walk website and click on the “Lead a Walk” button (or just click here). While you’re there, make sure you watch the brief video I made for you to explain what’s entailed in being a Photo Walk Leader.

Q. What does it take to become a Photo Walk Leader?
A. We’re looking for people who have experience leading groups, so if you’re the president of your local camera club, or a college teacher, or photography instructor, or you run a local camera store, or you’ve lead Photo Walks in your area before, etc., you’re likely to get accepted to be a leader. We ask for your qualifications on the leader application, and that’s the type of experience we’re looking for. Last year, we had some people put, “Well, nobody else signed up from our city, so I guess I’ll do it.” That’s doesn’t instill a lot of confidence in you as a leader. So, in short, we carefully read every Leader application and if you convinced us you’d make a good leader (and there are no other walks already planned in your city), then we approve you to lead a walk.

Q. What if my city already has a Photo Walk, but I want to lead a walk, too?
A. Some big cities can accommodate more than one walk, and so as soon as one starts to fill up, we add a 2nd walk if we have a leader apply and even a third or fourth depending on the response and city size. Also, if the walks are held geographically far from each other but technically in the same major city, we usually add those, too. (For example, New York City could have walks in Central Park, SoHo, Chinatown, and Times Square, and probably a half dozen other locations)

Q. What do I get for being a Photo Walk leader?
A. You get one of my brand new books. This year you actually get your choice of either: (a) a free copy of my upcoming book, “The Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers” or (b) my “Photoshop Cs5 Book for Digital Photographers.” Plus, you get to pick the best shot from your local Photo Walk group and award them with a free copy (of their choice) as well. Plus, that person is entered into the grand prize competition for a bunch of insane prizes.

Q. Isn’t it crazy-expensive to print and ship all those books to leaders and winner walkers all around the world?
A. It’s insanely expensive (you have no idea), which is why we couldn’t do this without the help, support, sponsorship, and hard work of my book Publisher, Peachpit Press, and my publisher Nancy Reunzel (and the whole Peachpit team). They are making this all possible, so please show them some big love by checking out their book site, following them on Twitter, and checking out other Peachpit titles (they publish Joe McNally’s books for example, plus all the cool new Photoshop and Lightroom books, and all the best books on everything we care about as photographers). In short; they rock!

Q. Do I have to enter the prize competition?
A. Absolutely not. This is a totally separate part of the experience, and if you don’t want to enter your images, you absolutely don’t have to (it’s just to make the experience more fun). Some people freaked out last year thinking they were required to enter, but just know—you absolutely don’t have to enter your image—you can go and shoot for the day, and never let anyone see your photos. Ever. They can be your private “secret” photos.

Q. Did you get any complaints last year about how the winners were chosen?
A.
Absolutely. People get pretty cranked if they think their image deserved to be the winner and wasn’t chosen, but after being one of the Guru Awards judges for 10 years, along with judging other competitions over the years, I’m kind of used to that response. Surprisingly, I didn’t get one single complaint about my picks from any of the winners.

Q. Are you going to have cool t-shirts for walkers and leaders this year?
A. Oh yeah. In fact, this year’s are even cooler. We have very cool t-shirts, and special shirts just for leaders (to help you recognize them in an instant on your walk), and this is being managed by our friend Rob from Towner Jones Photography, who came up with idea last year of selling t-shirts to raise money for (you guessed it), the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya. 100% of the profits from the sale of these t-shirts will go to feeding and care for these great kids. I’m so grateful that Rob wanted to help us again this year. Here’s the link to buy your shirts (Leaders; the link to the leader shirts is on your Leader Dashboard page).

Q. So are you leading a PhotoWalk again this year?
A.
Absolutely! My walk this year takes place at the Tarpon Springs, Florida Sponge Docks. It’s a great area, with a marina, and lots of character, and man do we have a great restaurant for our ending spot. Hellas Greek Restaurant. It is mega-yummy!

Q. What about Jeff Revell of PhotoWalkPro.com?
A. You know Jeff’s in, and this time he’s leading a walk in Washington’s Georgetown area (I’m totally jealous). Of course, Matt, Dave, and RC will be leading walks too (though Matt is leading his in the San Francisco area this time because he’ll be out there for a seminar).

Q. What happens when a city fills up?
A. It’s full. But this year, we do have waiting lists, so if someone cancels, it automatically adds (and notifies) the next person on the waiting list.

Q. How many is full?
A. Photo Walks are limited to 50 photographers. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, you haven’t seen 50 photographers coming down the sidewalk at the same time, and later all converging at once on a restaurant or pub. It’s more like a scary bike gang (except without the bikes, or gang, or scariness).

Q. I want to know more about this PhotoWalk thing; what’s involved, how do I sign up, and all that stuff. Where do I go?
A.
Go watch the video on the Worldwide Photo Walk site. Plus, there’s a detailed FAQ on the Website (here’s the link), and once you’re signed up for a walk, we’ve made it much easier for your Walk Leader to keep you up-to-date with message on your Walk page.

Q. So when can I sign up to be either a walker or a Walk Leader?
A. Right now! Here’s the link, and my invitation to join us as we make worldwide photographic history!