On Saturday we all got to share in something very special with a record-breaking 1,300+ walks with more than 32,000 walkers from all over the world: from Nigeria to Egypt, from Iran to Romania, from India to the Philippines, from Dubai to Mexico, from New York to LA — all coming together as one big community to share our passion for photography and people. Millions of photos were made that never would have been made otherwise, and lots of new friends were made along the way, which is what it’s really all about.

We just got back home from France literally a few hours ago (This trip was a birthday present from my mega-awesome wife Kalebra who of course came with me and we had a ball all week), and I’m enjoying one of the most amazing aspects of doing a worldwide event like this, which for me is seeing the group photos from all over the world come in (you can post them over on my Facebook page — here’s the link — I’ll copy them to a master post shortly, just remember to include your city’s name in the file name).

Three Cheers for RC Concepcion!
This was my fifth annual Photo Walk, and I really think it was the best one yet, and a lot of the credit goes to my buddy RC Concepcion. We were having our first meeting about the walk months ago and I was grousing about problems we had last year (mostly my fault) and how we could improve the experience for walkers and leaders this year and RC just stepped up and said, “I’ll lead the project!” and lead it he did.

I saw a comment on Google+ yesterday from Craig McCormick who wrote, “And a big shout out should go to both +Scott Kelby and +RC Concepcion for running the show and making this the most interactive and social global photography event ever. You should be extremely proud of this years event!” (though it’s RC that should get the most credit for sure: He really worked hard to make this the smoothest Worldwide Photo Walk yet and I’m so grateful he took the reins and rocked it the way he did). Thanks RC!!!

Also, a big thanks to Brad Moore, Jennifer Bontempi (J-Bonn), Karey Johnson, and our Web Team, Kevin Agren and Mary Laurinitis and her team for all their hard work (and it definitely does take a team to pull off something of this scale. Also, thanks to our sponsors — without them offsetting some of the costs, we couldn’t do the walk in the first place).

My Group Photo Above
At the top of this post is my group shot from my Paris, France walk (which was awesome!!!!!), but the ironic thing is: We’re posed on the steps of the Church of the Sacre Coeur, which is the only church in Paris that I’ve found that forbids ANY photography inside the church. Not just “no flash” or “no tripods” — we’re talking “No Photos!” with a guard right there to enforce it. Ugh!

Above: Here’s me giving my “Welcome to the walk” short speech to my group of walkers, and the bad news that we can’t shoot inside the church, and just some tips for the walk. I had some of the nicest people on my walk you’d ever want to meet, and I was tickled to learn that many came from far away to be on my Paris walk. I met folks who traveled from Hungary, Germany, The UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, and The Netherlands, and of course, from different parts of France. [Trusty iPhone photo by Kalebra].

The Weather. Well…it wasn’t the greatest.
But it wasn’t awful, either. We did have gray skies, sometimes dramatic (which is good), sometimes just solid gray (which isn’t), but we only had five minutes of light rain (better than the weatherman had predicted) so we had lots of fun and laughs. I didn’t shoot much at all — I spent most of my walk just visiting with the walkers and making new friends and that by itself makes the walk for me. [Trusty iPhone photo by Kalebra].

Serge to the Rescue!
I have a secret weapon in Paris, my buddy (ace photographer and the #1 Photoshop trainer in France) Serge Ramelli (that’s him in the center of the street above) who lives in Paris and knows the city (and just about everyone in it), like the back of his hand, and he helped me organize the walk, find a great restaurant for us all to meet in after the walk, and generally helped out the entire time (he even led his own walk later that same day, and I joined him as a walker in his walk, where I did shoot quite a bit more). Serge has a beautiful shot of about every amazing scenic location in Paris (we saw his posters for sale in shops all over Paris) and if you’ve got a moment, take a look at his work. Here’s that link.

Kalebra and I spent the week with Serge and his adorable wife Karen, and they were the most fun, most gracious, and most helpful ever. It was four days of non-stop laughter and lots of photo taking (All four of us are photographers so nobody ever said, “OK, that’s enough!” LOL!).

Above: We gathered in a small restaurant in Montmarte after my walk where we shared photos and stories. As soon as we got in and got seated, it started pouring, so our timing couldn’t have been better. I tried to sit at everyone’s table for a while and visit with them (and steal a few of their pomme frites) and I loved hearing everyone’s stories (and seeing their portfolios on their cell phones — LOTS of great photographers there with us that day).

Above: I had a really fun group of photographers from the Philippines who were on my walk, (OK, the guy in the bottom right isn’t from their group, but a great guy nevertheless), and part of a larger group of Philipine photographers back home. I always see lots of great images from the Photographers in Philippines each year (in fact, I believe we’ve had a grand prize winner from there at least once), and while they are a lot of fun, they are very serious about their photography, and I can’t wait to see their shots from our walk.

Above: This really nice guy made up his own custom t-shirt just for my Montmarte walk.

Above: Here’s a close-up of his shirt.

Above: That’s how we roll — taking over the back streets of Montmartre (because the tourists and a wine festival had taken over the main streets — I’ve never seen Montmartre that crowded), so we basically had to take to the streets Gagnam Style! ;-) [Trusty iPhone photo by Kalebra].

Above: This is my buddy Serge Ramelli’s afternoon walk group shot. He planned his walk along Paris’ Seine River [photo by Kalebra Kelby]. That’s Serge giving a “thumbs up” in the bottom right corner, and that’s me far right center with my hoodie up.

Serge’s walk had rain on/off and at one point we all wound up huddled beneath a bridge (as seen above). Later, it got so rainy that we all ducked into a small French cafe (which was warm and dry), and after about 20 minutes indoors sipping wonderful french coffee (and perhaps eating a crepe with Nutella), the weather broke and it was absolutely beautiful outside —- blue skies, beautiful clouds — you would never guessed 20 minutes before it was storming, so we ended Serge’s walk on a high note. [Trusty iPhone photo by Kalebra].

Send Me Your Group Shots and Video Links
Tomorrow I’ll be posting lots of group shots and videos from all around the world, so if you haven’t already sent me your group shot (or video link), just post it here on the blog, and I’ll download the image and post it tomorrow. Again: don’t forget to include your city name and country in the file name.

Link to the Google+ Event Page
We had a special Google+ event page just for the Worldwide Photo Walk, and we had lots of leaders who set up their own individual Event Pages just for their walks, or created G+ Circles for their walkers, which I thought was really cool. Having one main event page was great! It was just slick to sit there and see images streaming in live from all over the world during the walks. Here’s the page if you want to check it out.

On Twitter search for the Hashtag #WWPW
A lot of folks were Tweeting and uploading images live during their walks, and it is so exciting and just plain fascinating to see all the comments and images posted during these live photo walks from every corner of the globe. To see all these comments, just go to Twitter, and up top in the search field type in #WWPW

  • My thanks to everyone who attended my walk in Paris, and who participated in other walks around the world. I always have a lot of fun during these walks, and I hope you did, too!
  • A huge thanks to all the volunteers who organized and led walks around the world (We couldn’t have done it without you).
  • Also, a thanks to my book Publisher Peachpit Press, for their major support of this event, and to the great folks at Adobe who played a major role in all of this. A big thanks once again to all the sponsors who pitched in to make this a very special day for photographers around the globe.

Check back here tomorrow for group photos, videos, and more photo walk updates!
See you here tomorrow — I’ve got to hit the sack, I’m “le beat!” LOL! :)