So whatever hesitations you may have had for not ever wanting to be among people who are interested in photographing, exchanging stories and chattering about gear they aspire to one day own, let me tell you that photowalks are exciting. Photographers everywhere. The type of large crowd that would give the instant illusion that we’re paparazzo’s in training.
Despite the rainy weather, over the weekend I was among the many who had the pleasure to attend the MostlyPhoto Photowalk in New York where to begin with, we all convened at the 5th Ave Apple Store. Since it’s debut, I’ve been a devoted viewer of MostlyPhoto, an online show who’s purpose is to help everyone take better pictures by teaching them how get the most out of their camera. It’s hosted by over enthusiastic amateur Leo Laporte, professional photographer Lisa Bettany and special guest Trey Ratcliff.
Among the many highlights of the show for me are these photowalks they put together and for a few reasons. There’s the obvious significance in getting to meet Lisa and Leo and perhaps even more than the actual photographing is the exchanging of advice and building of relationships with people who genuinely ponder over the same things you do with respect to photography regardless of their skill level.
For this type of event, business cards are as important as having the right lens and fully charged batteries. I was lucky in still having a handful of Moo cards which eventually became the norm to hand out to people who I spoke more in depth to about the type of work I do and where they could see more of it. I received a few myself.
As we walked, essentially what you decided to photograph was up to you. Very much like Trey Ratcliff said during his huge photowalk turnout at SXSW 2011, “we all see the same thing but we all have our own view on it.” Once we arrived at a certain location, Lisa would point out what specifically stood for her as a photographer and would then provide insight on what settings she would adjust her camera to so as to capture as much as what her eyes considered fascinating.
The walk itself was very casual. The only guidelines if any were to make sure we stayed as close together and even if we happen to stray behind because we were so captivated but something that we wouldn’t forgive ourselves if we didn’t photograph it, it was only a matter of looking up and locating the Twit sign so that you can find your way back to the group.
Lisa was engaged in photographing as much as we all were but she also had the responsibility of playing host in front of the camera that followed her every step to a point where one tourist asked me who the celebrity was and if I was a paparazzi.
Lisa was sincerely humble, nice and was as available to anyone who was willing to approach her for any photographic advice. In fact, she continually encouraged it. The entire walk was about 2hrs which eventually concluded at Rockefeller Center. I truthfully had second thoughts about attending because of the rainy weather but I realized what a testament it was for those of us that came out because it demonstrated how much “we’re into something” that brings people together.