With the next instawalk coming up in a couple days we wanted to take the opportunity to talk to the photogs behind the idea and spread the word. What is an instawalk you ask? Read on to meet the people behind the idea and find out how you can join in.

Tell us a little about the background of VIW

Well Virtualinstawalk was first created by Jenny @lowf about a year ago. Her ideas was, since a lot of us can’t meet up for instameets and instawalks in real life, why not still have a day where we could do a photowalk and share it with others on Instagram!?

From the very begining there has been no real rules to Virtualistawalk but Jenny made up the initial basic steps:

• Walk • Shoot • Grid • Edit • Post •

Then she drummed up interest and hosted the first walk. The grid idea started with people taking screenshots of their camera roll to give an overview of their walk and has now evolved into beautiful collages. The tag was just #virtualinstawalk for the first walk then they started adding numbers to separate the walks from each other. At the tenth Virtual Instawalk it was decided that the tag should be shortened to just #viw then the number.

 Over time the walks have grown and evolved. Each walk is hosted by a different person and every host has added their own special touches and ideas to the process. This is how the grid hash tag developed. We also now have multiple optional tags that people can choose to use, like personal tags (eg. #viw15_username) and a tag just for grids (eg. #viw15_grids)

 I would love to introduce the admins to our audience. Tell me a little about yourselves please.

The @Virtualinstawalk profile was created by @amudays and is managed by @leftcoastadventures, @gromitmagick, @chik_pea and @fooferann

 My name is Rhea (@gromitmagick) and I live in Airlie Beach, a small town on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia. I mostly shoot my daily life so my feed is full of pics of my son, Felix, and my town. I also love capturing sunsets and macro’s. I have grown up around photography and owned cameras for years, but mobile photography has changed it from something for special occasions into something that is a part my everyday life. Mobile photography has also introduced me to editing, which facilitates a whole extra side of creativity.

Hi I’m Kris (@leftcoastadventures) I was born and raised in Southeast Alaska and moved to Southern Oregon 2 ½ years ago! Photography has always been a huge part of me. I love exploring and taking pictures just goes hand in hand with me adventures. I shoot a lot of outdoor pictures and close up nature shots. I feel like Instagram has changed the way I explore and see things in a different perspective. I never imaged that I would be laying on the ground getting the perfect shot of a dandelion or getting the real close to a rain drops on the grass.

Hey I’m Vicki (@chik_pea) and  I live in the beautiful decay that is Birmingham, Alabama. I love to shoot photos of my adopted city. It’s all here – natural beauty, fab architecture, sweet industrial sites and living museums like Sloss Furnaces. Nature – color – light – structure – symmetry – geometry are constants in my photographs. I like to photowalk and “live edit” post to IG. I My IG feed is my visual diary. Mobile photography has changed my life, for the better. I see the beauty of everything around me through fresh new eyes. Editing is my creative therapy. I use my iPad3 as both camera and as a mobile digital editing studio. My current focus is on creating a portfolio of bold graphic patterns for textile design. I do use my DSLR for capturing Hi-Res strong color images for this purpose.

My Name is Amy (@fooferann), I am a 39 y/o Wife to my best friend Kevin, and Mother to 3 wild, beautiful children ranging in ages from 6-10.  I live in upstate new York in a beautiful Log Cabin that my husband and I built together nearly 13 years ago now.  I live over 30 miles away from any town, store or otherwise and I wouldn’t change a thing!  We are still close enough to NYC that if we want the hustle and bustle we can go to it.  Most of my pictures come from my own life’s happenings, my children, and my surroundings mostly nature.  My father, who lost his battle to breast cancer at the age of 45, was a conservationist.  He worked with the New York State Department of Conservation for 20 years before he passed away.  While growing up he instilled so much of his passion for the outdoors in me, and as an adult I am so very grateful for that.  It makes looking at trees, lakes, grass, and even clouds much more interesting when you’ve been taught for as long as you can remember everything wonderful about them.  I absolutely love to shoot the sunset especially at White Lake, and Swan Lake NY which are only a few minutes from my home.

Where are you all headed from here?

Rhea: I think one of the exciting things about VIW is that we never know where we are gonna head next. By having a different host for each walk there are constantly fresh ideas, styles and input. As moderators of the VIW account we provide a little stability across all the walks by doing features and answering questions. We have just announced a new logo to help people recognize us and are planning on doing worldwide maps to show the spread of walkers for each walk, the first one is being published for the first time in this feature! But mostly it is up to each host to mold their walk as they like it and help us evolve over time.

Vicki: I would love to see local IG communities do Instameets and Photowalks within the framework of Virtual Instawalk. That’s what I am working on here with our @instagrambham community.  Rhea’s world wide map is brilliant! Would love to see it filled with walkers on very continent.

How has the instawalks changed how you view photography?

Rhea– I have always been a spontaneous, candid style photographer, capturing everyday moments. The instawalks have force a little more structure into my photography by giving me a specific timeframe and location. It pushes me to find great shots instead of waiting for them to pop out at me. It also stretches my creativity when it comes to editing too. I often try to branch out from my usual style, use editing apps I don’t often use, and create a bit of variety across the pics in my grid.

Kris– Virtualinstawalk and Instagram have opened up my eyes to a whole new way of taking and editing pictures. I have always loved taking photos and documenting my life but it wasn’t until I discovered IG that I started really exploring more of an artistic way of taking pictures. Editing pictures is also very new step for me. I always get excited when a new walk comes up because I get to think about where I want to walk. Some place new, or maybe one of my favorite place. I also like to try and put a little spin on each walk by either taking along a subject item to incorporating in my walk and almost always I have my dog by my side and in a lot of the pictures. I usually have to work on the days that the walks are held so I tend to walk on the days that I’m off and post my grid shot on the weekend of the walk with everyone else. It’s a really fun exsperience and I love meeting new IG friends and seeing new sides of the world from other walks.

Vicki – I discovered Virtual Instawalk at the end of VIW12. It was my first experience with a community on Instagram. i believe that the VIW model combines and expands on the best facets of the original Instagram model; community building, and the sharing of individual world views and editing techniques.

Amy– VIW is so important to me as it has given me the opportunity to make the most wonderful friendships with people from all around the world, and these friendships are something that I will have and cherish for the rest of my life.  Never in a million years did I think I would have friends from Scotland, to Alaska, Australia, and different parts of the states!  It’s a phenomenal project and I am extremely proud to be a part of it!  Mostly everything I shoot and post on Instagram is done with my ever faithful iPhone 4s.  However I also shoot with my Sony a58 camera that is my most prized possession!  I consider VIW to be a part of my life now.  When I first became involved I fell instantly in love with the process.  People like myself who live in very far away places rarely have the opportunity to share their little part of the world with others, and VIW allows me to experience that.  Not only that, but the members do not just look at your picture and move on, they compliment and join in with you on your moments.  My moments that start off small end up big and moving because of the wonderful members of VIW.  I would more call VIW a movement, rather than a walk.  It’s a beautiful community of amazing and creative people coming together with the common love of photography, and kindness for others.

VIW 17  will be hosted by Stephanie @stepherzme  so I thought it wise to get her take on the idea of a virtual instawalk
Stephanie: What I love about @Virtualinstawalk is that it takes an instawalk to a whole new level. My first virtual walk was #viw16 and we had a blast. I went to explore the river banks of the Mississippi River and downtown Memphis with a friend. It’s a really neat concept that brings people from across the globe together and I am happy to be a part of it. I’ve met some really supportive and talented friends along the way.
I am both honored and excited to be hosting the upcoming walk #viw17 and I look forward to seeing this project grow in the future. Hope to see you there! 🙂
Thank you so much ladies! I so appreciate you taking the time to tell me about VIW.  If you would like to take part in this walk head to @virtualinstawalk for the details.

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Anna Cox

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