****NOTE: Sign-ups for the walks will be open today at 3:00 PM (New York Time).****

I’m very excited to announce the official date for: Scott Kelby’s 7th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk™ (the world’s largest Photo Walk, with walks in over 1,200 cities last year) and  we want you to be a part of this fun, 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 11th, 2014

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

Q. Is there a fee to participate ?
A. It’s totally free, but this year we’re “Walking with a Purpose” and by that I  mean we’re hoping you will find it in your heart to donate just $1 to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya when you sign up for your walk.  We’re trying to raise $50,000 to help them feed, clothe and house some wonderful children. 100% of your $1 goes directly to the orphanage (it’s a very small orphanage, housing 33 kids, but feeding many more each day). So, if you could donate $1 when you’re on the site (just one buck) you have no idea what a difference it will make (and it would mean a lot to me that you’re helping. This year, we walk with a purpose. :)

Q. If I have led a walk or participated in previous years, can I use the same login info to sign up for a walk this year?
A. No. To save everyone the hassle of trying to remember or retrieve their login info, we’re asking you to create a new account this year. That way we know we have your current email address so you don’t miss out on important messages.

Q. Is there a photo contest again this year?
A. Absolutely! The best photo in each city (as chosen by your local Walk Leader) will get a full-year of KelbyOne Online (normally $249) but their image is also entered into the main 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 Canon EOS 70D with EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens. 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 subscriptions to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Bundle, to Wacom tablets, B&H Photo Gift Cards,  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!)

Q. Do you have any cities signed up with Photo Walks yet?
A. Yup—we already have nearly 250 walks set-up 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’m planning on leading a walk in Swingin’ London baby, Yeah! (but I’m running into a logistical problem so I haven’t posted my walk up there yet. Hope to in a day or so once I get it worked out).

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 cranked 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 a full year of KelbyOne Online Training (normally $249) and you get to pick the best shot from your local Photo Walk group and award them with a year 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!).

We’re going to make a special announcement when the shirts are ready for sale – so make sure you keep checking the Worldwide Photo Walk website!

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

We’re hoping to raise $15,000 from the t-shirt sales for the Springs of Hope Orphanage (we can do it!!!!, which means we’d only need to raise $35,000 ($1 at a time) from our walkers to hit our $50,000 goal.

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. Each Photo Walk is limited to a maximum of 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 are going to keep making regular posts on the Worldwide Photo Walk website.  You’ll hear from people like RC Concepcion, Brad Moore, JBon- and I’ll be popping in there as well. From tips, new prize alerts, and general information – it’ll be a great source for you to check regularly through this signup period.

Of course you can follow the action for the World Wide Photo Walk on our Twitter Account (http://twitter.com/kelbyone )   and  Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/KelbyOneOnline .  If you want to talk about the walk socially – use the hashtag #wwpw2014 

Q. So when can I sign up to be either a walker or a Walk Leader?
A. Starting at 3:00 pm today (New York Time) Here’s the link, and I hope you join us this year as we “Walk with a Purpose, to help the Springs of Hope Orphanage” and as we make worldwide photographic history once again!