Tuesday
Oct
2012
16

Group Photos From Our Photo Walks Around The World

by Scott Kelby  |  10 Comments

Here’s a compilation of Group Photos from around the world, sent to me by group leaders and photographers who participated in my World Wide Photo Walk this past Saturday.

I have to tell you, I get such a big smile when I see each and every one of these. I try to imagine what their walk was like, and how much fun it would have been to be at that walk I’m looking at. Everybody looks so happy in these group shots and it just really tickles me each time I see one.

You can see them larger over at my Google+ page. Here’s the link:

https://plus.google.com/photos/105256156026694816333/albums/5799663987839737585

If you have a group photo, and haven’t sent it to me (or I somehow missed it), I keep updating this Google+ album as they come in. I hope you’ll send in yours because I already know it’ll make me smile. :)

Tuesday
Oct
2012
16

Why We Limit Photo Walk Groups to just 50 Photographers

by Scott Kelby  |  15 Comments

During the walk on Saturday, I saw a comment made on our G+ Events page that kind of stood out to me. It read along the lines of this:

“Limiting the walks to just 50 people seems a bit elitist to me.” 

After I shook my head and thought, “Geesh, there’s one in every crowd,” I did think that there might be some people who are just curious why we have a limit at all, so I thought it might be worth giving you an insight into how that limit came about.

When I first had the idea for this worldwide event, I did a lot of research, including talking extensively with Jeff Revell of PhotoWalkPro.com (he’s done a lot work on finding “the right” number of people for a walk), and Jeff recommended that between 35 to 40 would be ideal, but whatever I do make sure I do not to go over 50 people. After the very first walk I ever led years ago, I can tell you without reservation — Jeff was right on the money (and 50 is on the high-end for sure). Here’s a few of the reasons we think 50 is the right maximum number:

(1) I want each walk to be a quality experience for both the walker and the leader

When I lead a walk, I want to meet everyone participating in my local walk, and believe it or not, in just two hours with 50 people, that’s not as easy as it sounds. For example, you’re only walking for 120 minutes total, which leaves you less than two minutes to talk to each person, but that’s only if you spent the entire time talking, and never took a single photo during the walk. The people who volunteer to lead walks do it to promote and grow their local photographic community and to make new friends along the way. Having a group size that’s manageable, and getting a chance to meet the walkers is as important to them as it is to me. The quality of the experience for everybody is that important.

(2) Believe it or not, finding a restaurant or bar to willingly accommodate 50 people is harder than I ever imagined

You’d think restaurants or pubs would be falling over-themselves to have you deliver a large group of people to their business, but that’s often not the case. I’ve been turned down by restaurant after restaurant (including ones in Paris) that either didn’t have enough staff, or enough seats, or just didn’t want to be bothered with that size of a crowd coming in all at once. I can’t imagine how many doors would close if it were 75 or 100 people.

(3) The more people you have walking in a large group, the more potential you have for someone to get lost in the shuffle

Ask anyone who has led a walk —- keeping an eye on your walkers, making sure they follow the route, and making sure everybody stays together (and stays out of trouble) and winds up where they’re supposed to be  isn’t as easy as it seems for the leader (which is why we’re so careful about who we allow to lead a walk). Think of how tricky it is to manage 50 people in a meeting room, then take those same 50 people and let them loose on a busy street. Now, give them all cameras. See what I mean? It’s kind of like putting kittens back in a box (and the less kittens you have, the easier it is on everybody). :)

(4) It’s supposed to be intimate

It’s supposed to be a small group getting together to share their passion of making images. Big crowds are intimidating to a lot of people (imagine 100 people coming down a city street — it looks more like a mob, right?) so keeping things small keeps the intimacy, and the feel of being a part of something very big, while still being very small and friendly. I got to sit at lot of people’s lunch table after my walk, chatting and sharing photos. That’s very important to me, but with a larger group, I would have probably had a chance to talk to less than half of the folks, if that. We want a small, fun group. Not just a big crowd.

(5) When a walk reaches 50 photographers, someone can apply to lead another walk in the same town

We only limited the number of photographers in a walk — but not the number of walks in a particular area. If a walk fills up (or even gets close to filling up), and we get a request from someone who wants to lead another walk in that city, we add that walk, which expands the number of open spots by another 50 (and there are numerous cities that have numerous walks, at different times, like the two walks I participated in, in Paris).

I hope that gives you some insight into why we limit our walks to 50 people per walk. We do it to make your photo walk experience a fun and memorable one, and to make it manageable enough so your leader will actually want to lead another walk next year in a town near you.

Cheers,

-Scott

 

Monday
Oct
2012
15

Making New Friends and Taking Millions of Photos All Over The World!

by Scott Kelby  |  20 Comments

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! :)

Saturday
Oct
2012
13

Today’s the Day for my 5th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk. Whoo Hoo!!! :-)

by Scott Kelby  |  6 Comments

OK, I know this is a rare Saturday post for me, but it’s Worldwide Photo Walk day and I’m so excited!!!!

I leave for my walk here in Paris, France in 30-minutes where I’m leading a group through Montmartre (my friend, Parisian photographer Serge Ramelli and his wife Karen are joining us) and I’m most excited to have my wife Kalebra joining me on the walk again this year as well (she’ll be wielding her “Trusty iPhone”).

For the first-time ever, we have a special “Google+ Events Page” where we’ll be sharing photos from around the world and interacting live during our walks, so check it out (and if you’re part of a walk today, make sure you click the “Yes” (I’m attending) button so you can join right in. Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/wwpwgplus

Here’s wishing you all beautiful weather, a safe fun walk, and your best photos yet!

Cheers,

-Scott

Friday
Oct
2012
12

The Worldwide Photo Walk Is Tomorrow!!!! Whoo Hoo!!! (plus seven last-minute tips)

by Scott Kelby  |  18 Comments

It’s here!!! Tomorrow in more than 1,300 cities around the world my 5th Annual World Wide Photo Walk kicks off, and by tomorrow night more than 30,000 photographers around the world will collectively have taken literally millions of photos as part of their local Photo Walks. Just “Wow!

If you haven’t signed up for a walk yet: go here  right now and find a walk near you and sign up free! (you can bet walking with us tomorrow!).

If you’re already signed up to walk, here are SEVEN LAST MINUTE PHOTO WALK TIPS to make your day a success:

(1) Walk Leaders: Make Sure You Watch my Leader’s Video
If you’re leading a Photo Walk, go to your Leader’s Dashboard page on the Official Worldwide Photo Walk site and watch my video called my: Top 10 (or so) Tips for Leading A Successful Photo Walk.” There is some VERY important info in that video, so please make absolutely sure you watch it before your walk.

(2) Get a Group Shot Right at the Beginning
Somebody remember to take a group shot before you head out for your walk (it’ll be much harder to corral everybody after the shoot, so get one right before you head out). Send some to me, and I’ll post ‘em on my blog next week and over on our Google+ Event Page.

(3) This is The Gear I’m Taking on My Photo Walk
I’m walkin’ light again this year. I’m going with a Nikon D800 body with just one lens; the 28-300mm f/3.5 – f/5.6 VR lens. I’ll be using an Upstrap camera strap (a strap that doesn’t fall off your shoulder no matter what) and one Lexar 16GB 600X card (I won’t fill more than that).

(4) Don’t Forget to Wear Really Comfortable Shoes
You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so make sure you wear shoes that make your feet happy.

(5) Charge all your batteries tonight
Don’t forget to charge your camera batteries, clean your lenses (and sensor), and make sure you’ve got an empty memory card and a back-up.

(6) Go read Dave Cross’ “Photo Walk Ideas” article
If you’re looking for some great ideas, give Dave’s great article a quick read. Even though he wrote it back for my 2009 walk, it’s a great article and it’ll increase your chances for a killer shot! Here’s the link.

(7) The Most Important Thing Is…: That you all stay safe
Look out for each other on the walk.
Drink plenty of water beforehand and during the walk. Keep an eye on your gear at all times. Don’t go into scary-looking areas, traipsing down deserted alleys, or anyplace that looks unsavory. Don’t get distracted by shooting—you don’t want to bump into, or trip over, anything. Get some great shots, and I’ll see you back here on Monday for a recap of the event.

A special thanks to our wonderful sponsors who made all of this happen (especially Peachpit Press, who is giving all the walk leaders, and walk winners my “Lightroom 4 book for Digital Photographers,”), and to all the photographers around the world who volunteered to lead walks.

My humble thanks to you all for being a part of his historic photography event. Can’t wait to see your shots!!!!!! :-)

All my best,

-Scott

Thursday
Oct
2012
11

50% Off Kelby Training Apps!

by Brad Moore  |  7 Comments

To celebrate this weekend’s Worldwide Photo Walk, Kelby Training Apps are 50% off for a limited time!

If you’re looking for some help processing the images you capture this weekend, Kelby Training is the place to go! For under $5, you can get a class on taking your photos to the next level, from some of the best instructors out there!

Head on over to KelbyTraining.com to get your app now!

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