October 9, 2019

A social photography walk

It’s always good to remember that most photographers do it for fun.

I came to professional photography after having a different career for quite a number of years. It’s easy to forget that not everyone wants photography to be a job. Every year the American photographer, Scott Kelby, organises the Worldwide Photo Walk. This year there were 868 walks being held on the same day, 5 October. I was the leader of the Edinburgh Walk. It was a really great example of social photography.

What it means to be a walk leader

There are a couple of vital tasks needed to organise a photo walk. The first is to try and plan an interesting route. Edinburgh is a pretty easy city to take in quite a few interesting photography locations. This year, we started on Calton Hill before heading down to the New Town area of the city, taking in George Street and Charlotte Square. The route then continued through Princes Street Garden West and into the Old Town where we ended on the Grassmarket.

This is where the second task of a leader comes in to play. Organising the final stopping place. This year we ended in the start point for my Switch to Manual photography workshops, Cold Town House. We had a small area of the bar set aside so that everyone in the group could finish the walk with a chat and a drink or two.

The social aspect of photography

The Scott Kelby walks are designed to have a maximum size of 50 people. In many ways, it was fortunate that the Edinburgh walk only had 16 attendees. This allowed everyone to get to know each other whilst walking and taking photos. We had attendees from Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow and even the Caribbean! What was really great was the way everyone started to help each other to find and set up pictures.


It doesn’t have to be annual

Whilst we were chatting in the pub after the walk quite a few folks thought it would be a good idea to have more walks throughout the year. There was quite a strong consensus to this. There are already plans to meet up in Edinburgh on 26 October to photograph the Diwali celebrations. If you’d like to join in this walk, you’ll need to join a Facebook group by clicking here for more information.

Walkers view

I thought it would be good to let some of the walkers share their photographs from the walk. You can see how there were so many different perspectives from a 3-hour walk.

"Walking around Edinburgh with a pro photographer makes things that you see everyday a photo opportunity so you see it in a whole new light. A great experience and a chance to make new friends"

Gareth Scott

"Mostly I take photographs on my own.. It was nice, for a change, to be out with a camera in like-minded company."

Alastair Macrae

"It was great to take part, as a complete beginner, and be surrounded by a group of like-minded and inspiring individuals with the same love for taking photographs. Loved the fact people all over the world were doing the same thing, raising money for a worthy cause!"

Pauline Chung

"I enjoyed Saturday immensely, I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning than with like-minded people and exploring our beautiful city. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly and willing to share their knowledge, which, as a complete beginner was hugely appreciated."

Donna-Marie Foster

If you’ve got any questions or comments, leave them below. You can also sign up for the Edinburgh Photography Workshop monthly newsletter where you’ll get regular updates on interesting things happening in photography including future photo walks and some great tips. Sign up by clicking here.

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