I joined in an Instameet that happened in different parts around the world. I drove an hour before sunrise to make to the #GoldenRiseMeet at Golden Valley Ranch in Santa Clarita, California. It was part of Instagram‘s World Wide Instameet which happens about twice a year. This year’s #WWIM12 theme focused on meeting people and asked Instagram users to post a portrait of the person he/she met at the instameet. When I got to the parking lot, there were about 30 people already chatting in the dark. Once sunlight started to glow over the horizon, we trekked about a half-mile up the hills to take photos. These are the some of the folks who I met and their thoughts on this remarkable experience known as the instameet.
I met Attila. @popscure
This charismatic man did a phenomenal job of organizing and hosting the event. “When I joined Instagram I discovered that it wasn’t just about posting my pictures. I was part of this “safe” community. I realized that I could share my experiences with them. The instameet allowed me to actually share my shooting locations with others and gather them to photograph together at sunrise.” ~Atilla
I met Cheryl.
She was last in line on the hike up giggling about her age and pace up the hill. My foot issues kept me at the same pace. Cheryl didn’t hesitate to engage and share her life’s experiences through the lens as we walked up the hill. “I don’t have an Instagram. I was invited by a co-worker to come. I got my first 35mm camera in 1978. Many times, I will do road trips alone and will drive as far as Montana. I also know of a not-so-well-known location in this part of California.” ~Cheryl
I met Rafael @2071photo and Nicolette @nicomichelle.
They were fun to watch. Nicolette has a lifestyle blog and Rafael is the photographer. He brought a ton of gear and she was ready to model. The 20-somethings made up most of the group, and brought a ton of creativity with them. “When I started using Instagram that I feel I was more directly influenced to shoot more and share more images with an audience I couldn’t imagine was possible before. When I’m not working as a photographer I feel that Instagram is a fun way for me to still stay motivated to shoot in my free time. The #goldenrisemeet was actually my first instameet for Instagram world wide instameet day. Nicolette and I wanted to attend since we only ever go out and shoot together, we thought we should meet more people who share the same interest of photography.” ~Rafael
I met Jose. @josecardoza
Jose is another creative force wrapped in California chill and a beard. Great to see someone good at what they are passionate about. Turns out Jose went to another instameet later in the day. “This is my second time. I’ve been shooting for 11 years. I grew up in and around L.A. and now work in the music industry.” ~Jose
I met a number of wonderful and interesting people this day that I didn’t get to interview. It was great to chat with John @jawntorres, Jonathan @mywitsend, and Doris @dodovo, who is frequently featured on Instagram. Funny thing is, I stood next to Doris not knowing she was the actual person behind the Instagram name. As an observer, I was amazed to experience what happens when creative people who are enthusiastic about the same thing come together.
You can also view my pictorial essay below via Steller.