Paseo Instagram Meetup: Saturday at 2pm

What is an Instagram Meet-Up?

This week, the photo-sharing social app Instagram announced they have reached 400 million users, with 100 million users joining in just the past nine months. What makes Instagram so appealing? As a personal user, I started using Instagram four years ago after finishing architecture school. I was immediately drawn to the app as my feed started to develop and deliver the fine arts library to my fingertips.

I loved scrolling through the #architecture hashtag and seeing international buildings from users’ perspectives. I followed users who were exploring places that I was curious about, and began to cultivate personal relationships as they became interested in my own shared explorations. In addition, there is a dynamic component that comes  from seeing images of places you know and details that you have overlooked. There is something about seeing familiar scenes in a fresh perspective and in a different ways that is very exciting. I found common interests with users around the world and created global connections via this app. I quickly became an #InstaGeek.

Jessica Roybal 24-hour street photography

Street Photography mobile photo by STEMArts LAB Instagram meetup Facilitator, Jessica Roybal, @jesree, on Instagram

As my fascination for the app grew, I was invited to my first InstaMeet, where users gather at a specific location to capture specific imagery together and identify their common experience with a special hashtag. I had no idea what to expect, other than that I was nuts for agreeing to meet a group of Instagramers at an isolated capitol building on a Saturday evening. I showed up with a charged cell phone, kids in tow, and greeted the event organizer who informed me of the hashtag to use and suggested I go around and shoot. As I wandered around, I met other users, some new to me and others who I followed. To this day, the images I got at that @InstagramAZ meet up are some of my most cherished, and the Instagramers who I met there have become guides in the establishment of an Instagram community in Albuquerque. As I host and attend meet-ups, I become further engaged and intrigued by the positivity of Instagram.

Instagram is simple to use: many have described the app as a digital Polaroid or scrapbook. There are three simple practices when using the app:

1. Post a photo,

2. Follow other users, and

3. Share some love.

Generate content you want to see by following users that use hashtags you have an interest in, or post a style of photos that you like. Be sure to engage with these users by liking and commenting on their photos. These users will in turn reciprocate your engagement by following and engaging on your feed. You are the curator of your feed and your profile and the possibilities are endless!

If you’re curious about Instagram or if you’re already a ‘gramer, meet us this Saturday, September 26 at 2pm on the Taos Plaza for the STEMarts LAB Instagram Meet-up and photo challenge during the PASEO. Participants include students from the Roots and Wings School, Instagram users @IGersABQ, @TravelNewMexico, and @SimplySantaFe, various Taos Instagramers, and anyone else interested in generating #PASEOSTEAM for Instagram’s 400 million world-wide users to see.

Roots Wings Instagram participants

Roots & Wings students participating in the STEMarts LAB Instagram Meet-up. Top row left to right: Elijah Cohn, Jack Sloan-Stiler, Quinn Harris, Carolyn Cantrell Bottom row left to right: Syd Slater, Jesse Casias, Isaac Plaster, Rafael Cantrell