One of the most amazing and powerful things about photography is it’s ability to be easily shared.
Next to that, there’s this whole side of photography that’s about community and connection. It’s fascinating, this human energy that feeds the medium with a fire of actual life, ready to connect to each other from viewer to shooter.
My most recent exposure to that (after Photokina, a topic unto itself) was leading the Brugge side of Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photowalk Day (WWPW) for the third year. As leader it’s my job to get everyone who gathered under the banner of photography to have fun and get some photos, and I loved it!
Why? Scott did a wonderful thing getting WWPW off the ground in 2006: He gave photographers an excuse to hang out for the cameras, and reminded them that it was primarily a social affair. Now to be sure he wasn’t the inventor of the photo walk, but getting to a point where 8 years later where 20,000 people attend across the globe, all with no payment involved? Nice.
Why “Nice”? Because it’s a nice thing to do and that’s what I saw, folks hanging out with folks who have shared interests and enjoying time out doing that shared interest. It’s the sharing side of photography that goes beyond the actual photos, the side of it where it comes down to community and people sharing their passion.
“Sharing is caring”, a fine old expression with much truth. The side of photography that cares to share the medium itself is the next level of love that’ll improve your own photography, that next level of Being that connects you to it more profoundly. That can sound all hippy-dippy, but in fact it’s just part of the fundamental truth of connecting to something, critical to any growth and development you may be looking for.
We have to be careful with all these screens, an online tutorial doesn’t replace the experience of being there and learning through the live interaction with others. What I saw on the walk (and experience regularly as Photo Tour Brugge) was the good stuff: A love of photography fed by and feeding back the community. People getting together, a good thing for sure.
Share views on locations. Pool your ideas and tips. See what comes from challenging each other, from “who shot it best” to “who found the most interesting angle”. There are no limits.
So don’t just get out there and shoot, bring a friend every now and then! While I fully endorse cutting yourself off at certain points from creativity (that’s for another post), make sure you’re balancing out that ‘lone wolf’ time by taking in ideas and influences from others, sharing a love of the shot as you go.
My thanks again to the photowalkers for joining in this year, already looking forward to next year!
Some extra shots from the day by yours truly, when leader/guiding it’s tricky to focus on a shot but a few came out reasonably worthy:
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