The Experience of a Photo Walk

Today’s post is a guest post by Mark Pouley. Check out more of his work at his website at www.twinlakesimages.com. For those of you thinking about joining a photo walk read Mark’s thoughts about his experiences here.

The majority of my portfolio includes landscapes nature scenes. Few things are better then getting out early to enjoy a peaceful quiet morning. My passion for photography is relatively new and was born from the Internet. I know I’m not alone on this as the photographic arts have exploded in recent years with so many avenues found on-line to share and view images. Given these facts it would be easy for me to shoot alone, share my images on-line and interact with other photographers 100% virtually. I think this is a bad idea and if you subscribe to it, you’re doing yourself a disservice. You need to get out and join a photo walk.
A photo walk is a gathering of photographers in an agreed location to take a walk and shoot together. Walks can be formally arranged formally arranged with registration, themes, and the like, or the they can be an informal gathering with little or no structure. The one thing all walks have in common is the meeting of photographers in real space to spend time together shooting and sharing.

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“Sunday’s Best” was captured at the Seattle Center during a G+ photo walk in 2013.

The other thing most walks have in common is that they include photographers of all skill levels and experience. I’ve been on walks that included full-time professionals with pro gear shooting next to brand new photographers carrying point and shoot cameras. Not once have I witnessed anyone being judgmental because of these differences. The great diversity of experience and being with other photographers in real space is the true benefit of joining a photo walk.
Another benefit to joining a walk is getting the opportunity to shoot new subjects. While I primarily shoot landscapes, the walks I’ve attended were in urban settings. I’ll continue to focus most of my work in nature, but I’m proud to share images I’ve captured during these walks and some are among my personal favorites. Even so, the purpose of the walk is not to diversify my portfolio, but to shoot outside my comfort zone; interact with other photographers; see the world from a new perspectives and share stories and experiences.

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“The Hands of Time” was captured at Seattle’s Pike Place Market during the 2011 Kelby Worldwide Photo walk.

Like the growth of photography, the opportunities to join a photo walk have grown too. You can go “old school” and find a local photo club that meets and goes on walks. While this may seem old fashioned, it’s one of the best ways to meet and network with other photographers. A modern twist on joining local photo clubs is to find photographers on Google Plus and Flickr, networking and finding walks in your area. There are also opportunities to join international photo walks; two such opportunities are right around the corner.

On Saturday, October 5, 2013 thousands of photographers around the globe will get together to shoot during the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk. This was the first photo walk I participated in back in 2010 and it was amazing. Not only do you reap the benefits of a photo walk, but you will share the experience with people around the world. The knowledge that there is someone in Paris out shooting the City of Light the same time I’m in Seattle shooting the Pike Place market is a bit surreal. You can get more information and sign up for the Kelby walk at the Kelby Photo Walk page.

Another opportunity to join an international walk is on September 21, 2013. The photo hosting site 500px is sponsoring a worldwide photo walk through the great “meet up” site meetup.com. (this is also a great place to find local photo clubs) You can find a walk in your area and register through the 500px meet up page.

Whether you join one of these large international walks or a local photo club, or just find a friend to go out with the goal is the same. GET OUT AND SHOOT.


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Author: Mark Pouley

Mark Pouley is a photographer from the Pacific Northwest of Washington. Mark’s passion for photography began recently and he’s now concentrating on developing his art and expanding the opportunities to share his work. His portfolio can be seen at www.twinlakesimages.com

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