It’s here, and you’re invited to join us at my 9th Annual Worldwide Photo Walk™ sponsored by Canon (it’s a worldwide phenomenon with nearly 1,100 cities around the globe hosting walks last year). Best of all, it’s all to benefit the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya.
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 1, 2016 (link to the official site)
Q. Hey, is that a spiffy new logo?
A. Why yes it is. Thank you for noticing.
Q. What do you do on a Photo Walk?
A. You start by meeting with up to 50 other photographers at a central meeting point. Then a Photo Walk Leader leads the group on a leisurely paced stroll through an area that is photographically interesting; you take lots pictures; you can chat with other folks (photo walkers are very friendly by nature); you laugh, you enjoying being outside with a group of like-minded folks. Then, after around 2-hours, you wind up at a local restaurant, pub, cafe, etc. (chosen in advance by the walk leader), where you can have a meal, some drinks, and make some new friends.
It’s a social event, and it’s really a blast (and you get to make some cool pictures, which is always good).
Above: That’s the group shot of the local photo walk I led in Sydney, Australia last year — we’re posed on the steps of the iconic Sydney Opera House. Aussies are the best people — what a friendly, fun group!
Q. Is there a fee to participate?
A. It’s totally free. However, each year we “Walk with a Purpose” to benefit the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya, to help them feed, clothe and care for some very wonderful children who need our help.
When you sign up for a walk, you’ll have the option (it’s totally optional), to donate just $1 to the orphanage via Paypal. 100% of your donation goes directly to the orphanage, and last year we were able to raise more than $12,000, and this year we’re trying to double that. You cannot imagine what a difference this makes to the orphanage (and it would mean a lot to me that you’re helping. :)
So, if you could donate just $1 when you’re on the site (just one buck) that would be awesome (and you’ll be helping more than you know), but again, it’s totally optional. By the way, you can give more than a buck if you’d like — some folks give a $hundred — we’ve had folks donate a $thousand, which of course, just makes our head explode with joy!
Above: Here’s the group shot from the walk I led in 2011 in Tampa, Florida. It was fairly warm, but the people were hot (and I mean that in the nicest non-naughty way possible). Kathy and Barb were there. What could go wrong? ;-)
Q. So Scott, are you leading a Local Walk again this year?
A. Absolutely! I’m leading a local photo walk in Venice, Italy (I just posted my walk details last night — I hope if you live in the Venice area, or you’ve always dreamed of going to Venice, you can join me). :)
Q. Where do I sign up to join a walk in my city?
A. Visit the official Worldwide Photo Walk Website, and click the “Find a Walk” button to see if there’s a walk set-up in a city near you. If there is, and there are spots still available, you can sign up right there for free and join that walk. If there isn’t a walk in your city, maybe you can start one and lead it yourself (more on that in a moment). And if you don’t see any in your area, keep checking back because, new walks in new cities are being added every day.
Q. What happens when a local walk 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.
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. Click here for the explanation.
Above: That’s a group shot from the walk I led in 2013 in Rome. It was kinda chilly, kinda rainy, but we had so much fun (and some amazing food) and the weather sure didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.
Q. If I led a walk last year, can I lead a walk this year?
A. We would love that! Check your email inbox — we sent out invitations already to last year’s leaders (the email comes from us at “KelbyOne: World Wide Photo Walk” and it was sent last week). The subject line reads “Worldwide Photo Walk needs you to lead a walk again this year!”
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 membership to KelbyOne online training (normally $199), and their winning image is also then entered into the main photo competition vying for even bigger prizes. From those local walk winners I will choose 10-finalists, who all get great prizes, and then I choose a single Grand Prize winner, who just gets an insane amount of stuff.
Q. I see on the site that Canon is the Sponsor. Does that mean the Grand Prize might include a DSLR and a lens?
A. Why, yes it does! Our friends (and official sponsors) at Canon are giving the Grand Prize Winner a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a cool Lens. How sweet is that! There’s other prizes, too — but that’s a pretty amazing one by itself.
Q. Are there more prizes for the photo competition part?
A. You bet! Our official sponsors are awesome and have kicked in everything from subscriptions to the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Bundle (high-five Adobe!), to B&H Photo Gift Cards (best camera store on earth), and more for the finalists and grand prize winners. I’ll have a blog post about ALL the prizes soon, but the list is getting cra-zay!
Q. I see there is a new category for video taken during the walk. Is there a cool prize?
A. With Canon as the sponsor, you know it! They are giving away a Canon Video Creator Kit (seen above), to the best video submitted from the walk. The kit includes the new Canon EOS 80D Body; their new 18-135mm lens; a Canon Power Zoom Adapter; RODE VideoMic Go; a 32G SD Card, and all the other goodies (battery, charger, strap, etc.).
Above: This is one of my favorite group shots — it’s from Cairo, Egypt. I wasn’t on this walk, but I would have loved to have been on it. I love the smiles – it just looks like a fun group. They’re doing it again this year.
Q. Are any cities with Photo Walks organized yet?
A. Yes! We already have walks set-up all over the world, with more being added every day! From Cairo, Egypt, to Raleigh, North Carolina — from Newcastle upon Tyne, England to Woodland, Florida — from ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands to Gig Harbor, Washington — from Acre, Israel; to Inveraray, Scotland, from Tabriz, Iran and Sioux City, South Dakota — there are walks all over the world who would love to have you join them!
Above: That’s my group shot from my Tarpon Springs Photo Walk a few years back. My wife and I made a very dear friend on that photo walk.
Above: That’s a group shot from my London Photo Walk two years ago. Hybrid Dave and Hybrid Peter are in there somewhere. Two top men. My friend Bryan is in there. So is Brad. Mike is there, too! Lots of cool folks.
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, so your familiar with keep a group of up to 50 people happy, safe and healthy, etc., you’re likely to get accepted fast 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)
Above: This is the group that I led in Ybor City, Florida back in 2009. I hated these people. Of course, I’m just kidding – they were awesome – I just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Worked, didn’t it? ;-)
Q. Do I have to enter the prize competition?
A. Absolutely not — it’s totally optional — you don’t have to upload even a single photo for the contest).
Q. Do I get anything for being a Photo Walk LEADER?
A. Love. You gets lots of love. And admiration from your walkers (and me). You also get a full year membership to KelbyOne Online Training (normally $199), as our way of saying “thank you.” You also get to pick the best shot from your local Photo Walk group and award them with a full KelbyOne membership as well (and judging a photo competition is a lot of fun. While it’s tough to narrow things down to just one winner, it’s also fun because you get to see lots of beautiful images in the process).
Above: That’s my group shot from my Paris, France photo walk. Yes, that’s is our friend (and Photoshop World instructor) Serge Ramelli standing next to my wife Kalebra. You get extra points if you recognized Serge from my Rome walk group shot as well.
Q. Is there a separate Contest For Photo Walk LEADERS?
A We have that, too! It’s our way of honoring the photographic work of our dedicated and talented leaders.
Q. Do we have cool t-shirts for Walkers & Leaders?
A.You betcha! Here’s the link. (order yours right now so you can wear it during for the walk and look all cool and everything).
100% of the profits from the sale of these t-shirts go directly to the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya for the feeding, medical needs, clothing, education and care for these great kids. This t-shirt idea was the brainchild ofour friend Rob Jones from Towner Jones Photography, who came up with idea of selling t-shirts to raise money for the orphanage.
Last year, with Rob’s help, we raised nearly $6,000 just from these t-shirt sales alone (imagine how much $6,000 alone means to a small orphanage). Well, Rob was awesome enough to help out once again this year, and here’s the link to the t-shirt store (they come in multiple styles, and on white, beige, and we’re posting a version for a black shirt as well later today). High-five to Rob for being Rob! :)
NOTE: We have special LEADER shirts as well (Leaders — we’ll be posting a link on your leader’s dashboard shortly).
Above: OK, not exactly a posed group shot, but it is my group, seen here in a behind-the-scenes shot from the very FIRST Photo walk ever — back in 2008 – this one is in Dunedin, Florida. .
Q. I want to know more about this Photo Walk thing. Where do I go?
A. There’s a FAQ on the Website (here’s the link) but it’s a lot of the same stuff I have here, but there is some contact info if you need to get in touch with us directly.
Q. Where do I go for the latest Photo Walk information?
A. Stay up-to-date by following us on our Twitter page and Facebook Page (If you talk about the walk on social – we would love it if you would include the hashtag #wwpw2016).
Plus, I’ll shoot you an email once a week leading up to the walk with some photography tips, camera tips, post processing tips, and fun stuff to get you ready for the big walk on Saturday, October 1st.
I hope you join us this year as we “Walk with a Purpose” to help the Springs of Hope Orphanage in Kenya and as we make worldwide photographic history once again!
All my best,
P.S. We want as many people to participate as possible, so anything you can do to help us spread the word about the walk would be greatly appreciated. Could you share it on forums, on social, with your camera clubs, and anywhere cool photographers hang out? Many thanks. :)