Event: Photowalking Allentown, New Jersey
Last Saturday, Scott Kelby held his 10th annual Worldwide Photowalk.
It’s been seven years since I did one of these photowalks. Things often conspire against me: I’m traveling for business, I have family obligations, or don’t feel like traveling to go to one.
This year, though, I decided to not only do one, but to be a Photowalk Leader. For this auspicious title, I had to send in an application. Not really sure what the process is on on Kelby’s end, but I figured if I dropped Joe McNally’s name enough times in it, I’d get to lead a walk in Allentown. Scott and Joe are old friends.
It worked, I guess. I got an email saying I was granted Leadership.
So, now I was all in. When people go to the Photowalk website, they can put in their zip code to find a walk taking place near them. That was one way to find out about it. I also posted to the Allentown, NJ Facebook page.
I was hoping that maybe 10 people would sign up.
37 signed up.
Now, not all that signed up showed. But above pic shows who did who up and who did do the walk with us.
Cameras of every kind. Skill levels of every kind. A couple of people I knew just online, but got the chance to meet in real life (IRL, as the kids says). My 10 year old daughter, Olivia (gray Nike shirt) signed up too. Plus, she did the cool signage for us (wood board, blackboard paint, chalk)
We had people come from near (Allentown proper) to far – one gal, Penelope Taylor, came down from Hamburg, NJ, a good two hours north of New Jersey. She’s one of my on-line pals, does some really sweet infrared work. More on her in a bit.
Anyway, my guidelines for the walk were pretty loose. The night before our walk, I sent out some “Allentown Points of Interest” – The old mill area, the bamboo forest we have, a nature trail, the town cemetery, etc.. We were to meet up at The Moth coffeehouse at 11 a.m. and shoot till 1, or whenever people felt like leaving.
That’s pretty much how it played out. Saturday was warm and humid, not very Fall like, frankly. The gang met up outside The Moth, I had everyone sign in, and just gave them some basic instructions. First and foremost, I wanted to get the group shot done since I didn’t know if people would come back to the start stop. Many didn’t, so I was glad I shot the shot in!
From there, they were off. I hung back, talked to some folks and then started to do portraits. It started with Penelope, actually. A few weeks ago, she emailed me and asked if I could shoot her portrait. She liked the #garagestudio shots I post to my Instagram. I don’t think she realized, at first, I shoot them in my garage – literally.
Since I couldn’t take Penelope to my garage (well, we were just a few miles away, I guess I could have, technically), I brought my studio to the photowalk. One black backdrop and some nice natural light, coming up!
Here’s a finished image.
Pretty simple, easy to do. No fuss, no muss.
In addition to Penelope, I shot a few more portraits, too.
Frankly, I didn’t do any walking myself. Which was fine with me. I was happy to show off our town a little, and chat with these fine folks. I was especially happy to see the four or five kids that came a long to shoot. They have some talented eyes, I must say!
The two hours went by pretty quickly. After I packed up my gear and was headed home, I saw a couple of folks grabbing a coffee at The Moth, and a few others down the streets getting some ice cream at Heavenly Hands.
That was an underlying goal of mine – by doing the walk in Allentown, perhaps the local economy could get some action. Seemed like that worked.
But, I have to say, I really liked showing my little hometown, too. Many were familiar with Allentown, and many said they want to come back again and explore more. That’s pretty cool.
And, I had to introduce the group to Flo, too. Tried to do a group photo with her but, alas, blew the focus, and the shot.
All in all, a good time was had by all, I think. And, the walkers have been sending me their photos and I’ve compiled them here. Check ’em out!
If you participated in one of Scott’s Photowalks this year, drop a link to your pics in the comments below.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2017