I’m here to announce the official date for Scott Kelby’s 6th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk™ (the world’s largest Photo Walk, with walks in over 1,300 cities last year) and you’re invited to be a part of this amazing, free, global, photography social event.

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

Q. When is the official Photo Walk day?
A. The official date is Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Q. What exactly is a Photo Walk?
A. Watch the short video clip above and you’ll get the idea, or go right here.

Q. Is there a fee to participate ?
A. Nope — it’s totally free.

Q. Is there a photo contest again this year?
A. Absolutely! The best photo in each city (as chosen by your local Walk Leader), not only gets the ebook edition of my “Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers,” but their image is entered into the photo competition vying for thousands of dollars in prizes.  From those winners (chosen by the local walk leaders) I choose 10-finalists, who all get tons of great prizes, and then I choose a Grand Prize winner. Plus, there’s a People’s Choice award winner as well, as voted on by the walkers themselves. 

Q. I watched the video and I see that Canon is the Sponsor. Does that mean there’s a really cool Grand Prize?
A. You know it. Canon is giving the Grand Prize Winner the just-announced (and not even shipping yet but already getting tons of buzz) Canon EOS 70D. How sweet is that!

Q. Can I still come if I don’t shoot a Canon camera?
A. Of course — the photo walk is open to everybody, no matter what type of camera you use (but of course you might just win that new 70D in the photo competition  — hey, ya never know!)

Q. Are there more prizes for the photo competition part?
A. You bet! Everything from full copies of Adobe’s new Lightroom 5, to Wacom tablets, to the OnOne Software plug-in suite, B&H Photo Gift Cards, Westcott Lighting Gear, Think Tank Photo camera bags, and more. I’ll have a blog post about ALL the prizes next week, but the list is getting cra-zay! (we have some awesome sponsors!)

Plus, we’re adding a new prize category — for folks who create videos during their photo walk and Canon will be giving away a VERY cool prize to the winner there as well! I think this year we’ll have our biggest collection of prizes yet! Whoo Hoo!!!!

Q. Do you have any cities signed up with Photo Walks yet?
A. Yup—almost 300 cities already have walks all over the world, with more being added every day!

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

Q. So are you leading a Local Walk again this year?
A.
 Absolutely! I’ll be leading a local walk in Rome, Italy. (Oh yeah — Rome baby!!!!) However, I’ve never been to Rome (but I needed a semi-legitimate reason to visit Rome and well…this was my chance), so although I’m not quite certain exactly where in Rome we’ll be walking (somewhere downtown I imagine —- I’ll need the help of some kindly photographer in Rome who speaks really fluent English to help me plan and host the walk, like my buddy Serge did for me in Paris last year).

Of course we’ll end my walk at a super-yummy Italian cafe where we can all hang out, grab some lunch, maybe share a few photos and make new friends (and we can all speak with Italian accents, even if some of us [ahem] are not actually Italian]. Also, you don’t have to live in Rome to join me on this walk  — so look at this is yet another reason to vacation in Rome (hey, it worked for me)!

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, 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). And if you don’t see any in your area, keep checking back because, like I said before, new walks are being added every day.

Q. How can I lead a Photo Walk?
A. You apply over at the official Worldwide Photo Walk website just click on the “Lead a Walk” button (or just click here).

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.

Q. What if my city already has a Photo Walk, but I want to lead a walk, too?
A. Most big cities can accommodate more than one walk, and so as soon as one starts to fill up, we add a 2nd or 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. 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, and if you don’t think joining the contest is fun, you surely don’t have to upload even a single photo for the contest). 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 about how the winners were chosen?
A.
 Are you kidding? Absolutely! People get pretty outraged if they think one of their images deserved to be the winner but wasn’t chosen by their leader or by me as a finalist. I have people send me angry emails because their leader picked what they (and their friends) think is the “wrong photo,” but hey—that’s the thing about art—it’s subjective. At the end, I pick one grand prize winner, and 10 finalists, and I catch some heat for that, too, but I’m OK with it. Surprisingly, I’ve never heard one single complaint about my picks from any of the winners. ;-)

Q. What do I get for being a Photo Walk LEADER?
A. Love. You gets lots of love. You also get the ebook edition of my Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers, and you get to pick the best shot from your local Photo Walk group and award them with a free copy of the ebook as well. Plus, that person you chose is entered into the grand prize competition for a bunch of insane prizes (or they could wind up as one of my top-10 finalists, and still win lots of cool prizes). We also have a “People’s Choice Award” where you vote for the best shot, and a special competition just for Photo Walk leaders.

Q. Is there a separate Contest For Photo Walk LEADERS?
A. We have that, too! We started it two years as a way to honor the work of our leaders (we’ll contact the leaders after the walk with info on how to enter an image in the Leader’s competition), and we’re doing it again this year.

Q. Do we have cool t-shirts for walkers & leaders?
A. You betcha! Each year, our friend Rob Jones from Towner Jones Photography, who came up with idea 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. Last year (with Rob’s gracious help and contributionswe raised over $10,000 just last year (imagine how much $10,000 means to an orphanage in Africa). I’m so grateful that Rob wanted to help us once again this year (Rob rocks!).

Here’s the link. 

We have special LEADER shirts as well (Leaders — you’ll find the link on your leader’s dashboard).

This year, let’s buy enough t-shirts to donate $15,000 to the Springs of Hope Orphanage (we can do it!!!!). By the way, this year’s t-shirt design is from our own Felix Nelson, and it is WAY cool and a one-of-a kind memento from the walk.

Q. What happens when a city fills up?
A. We have a waiting list for each sold out city, so if someone cancels, it automatically adds (and notifies) the next person on the list, so definitely get on the list.

Q. How many is full?
A. Local 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. Why do we limit each Photo Walk to just 50 photographers?
A. Here’s the full explanation.

Q. I want to know more about this Photo Walk thing; what’s involved, how do I sign up, and all that stuff. Where do I go?
A. 
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 messages on your local Walk page.

Q. Where do I go for the latest Photo Walk information?
A. We have an official Google+ Page everyone can follow (manned by our own RC Concepcion, but I’ll be popping in there as well). To stay on top of all of the latest news: follow this link: [kelbywalk.com] then click the “Add” button and now breaking Worldwide Photo Walk news will show up in your stream.

Of course you can follow the World Wide Photo Walk on Twitter (@KelbyWWPW) or on Facebook (Facebook.com/ScottKelbyPhotowalk), but that’s where all the latest office updates from official Photo Walk Project Manager RC Concepcion will be posted.

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