One of the great things that Instagram does is bring the social of social media to life. Known amongst the Instagram community as InstaMeets, these real life meetup groups promote a collaborative and inspiring atmosphere for attendees. InstaMeets are held worldwide and Instagram holds an annual World Wide InstaMeet every year, with this year's meet culminating in 124,141 photos as of this post. Users are encourage to hold their own InstaMeets, and Instagram has an entire page dedicated community page for them. So what's all the fuss about? Let's look at five reasons you should attend an InstaMeet.
Meeting New People
This is the most obvious of all the reasons to go. From my experience, people of all different backgrounds come to InstaMeets, from beginners to those who have been professionals for a number of years. InstaMeets really know no bounds when it comes to experience. I know plenty of people from my local community and myself have found life-long friends through the connections we have made through these gatherings.
Building a Photography Community
Again, this goes hand-in-hand with my first point. The best thing that can happen for photography is the constant development of a community. I'm not talking about oversaturating the community by bringing in droves of people, but rather nurturing the community around you and finding your niche within it. Or you can take up a leadership role within your community and help those around you develop and network to the best of their ability.
I don't know about you, but when I meet new photographers I always want to be to one who walks away with the best shot. That being said, InstaMeets aren't competitions but rather a way to push yourself out of your comfort zone. You have a host of people around you who shoot a variety of different styles and have different techniques. Take advantage of that, pick their brain, and step out of your comfort zone for the next shot.
Explore the World Around You
InstaMeets are a great way to explore nearby or faraway places. Most meets are organized by locals who know all of the great spots to shoot from, and where to grab the best pint afterwards. Get out to a place you have never gone before. A great example is I met a photographer based in New York City who traveled to Portsmouth, N.H. (a roughly 5 hour drive) simply because he wanted to explore a place he had never been. There is a whole world out there to explore.
Instant Photo Album
By using unique hashtags, InstaMeets are able to have all of the photos from their meets in one place. By searching for the unique hashtag people can find and connect with those they met on the meet virtually. It's a unique take on the old idea that you can put multiple people in one place and get multiple perspectives.
With such a vast community, there are tons of hungry photographers out there. Have you attended an InstaMeet, was it a positive experience?