Photowalking is a really fun way to socialize and get some awesome photos in the process. Here are some quick tips to help you out, especially if if it’s your first photowalk.
Know what to expect. Take a look at the info before you arrive so you know what you will be doing. Take note of the meeting location, route, time, etc. … some even have meet-ups afterward the walk and it’s good to know all of this info in case you get separated from the main group during the walk.
Get the group photo right away! If you’re leading a walk make sure you get the group photo before you start walking! People spread out and leave early, so if you get it right away then you won’t have to chase people down or miss out on the group shot altogether.
Keep yourself safe & comfortable. A photowalk typically involves walking and moving around (yes, it’s true). ;) Be sure to wear comfy shoes so your feet stay happy. It’s also a good idea to bring or wear sunscreen if it’s a sunny day, wear appropriate clothing and bring a good water bottle if you think you’ll get thirsty. Most photowalks don’t provide these things for you so you’re on your own … just know your needs and be prepared.
Any camera is fine! Photowalks are not just for “photographers” … these events are for anyone with a camera! You don’t need to be a “professional” with a huge SLR to attend a photowalk. Bring any camera you have, even if it’s the camera on your phone. :)
Minimize your gear. Now, this is just a personal preference, but I like to usually bring only one camera and one lens. Sometimes I’ll carry around a few small lenses, but I don’t tend to bring my entire camera bag. I do see some people toting around lots and lots of gear, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but if the walking distance is pretty far then all that gear can really weigh a person down. Plus it’s fun to be challenged creatively to only shoot with one lens.
Don’t be shy! A photowalk is not just about the photos, it’s about meeting up with friends and meeting new ones. I sometimes get wrapped up in the people aspect that I forget I’m there to take photos. :)
Stay with the group. Photowalks, especially big ones, will mean that there are a lot of people heading in the same direction and should end up at the same place in the end. The groups usually spread out, but it’s a good idea to stay near the main group or at least be sure you are with a few other people and not out on your own. Safety is always the top priority in any photowalk, and there’s always much more safety in numbers.
Take lots of photos. Photography is, of course, the main reason for the get-together. It’s up to you to snap away … the majority of photowalks are not training events, you will mostly just walk around and take photos of whatever you like. A fun way to find things to photograph is to give yourself a theme, and then try and find things that fit the theme.
Share your photos. After the walk it’s always fun to see what everyone took photos of. A photo site like Flickr is a great place to share the photos from the walk … just create (or join) a Flickr Group where all the walkers can post their photos. Groups like these are also great places to share upcoming photowalk events.
Have fun! This is pretty self-explanatory, but the whole point of a photowalk is to have fun doing what many of us love … photography! Try not to take it too seriously and just go with the flow.