Photo of the Day: “Hi Dive” by Noel (IG @imoments)

We’re in a long-weekend kinda mood here at Keepsy HQ. So when we stumbled across @imoments‘ spectacular catch, we knew we had a winner. Makes us want to fire up the BBQ a bit early and spend all day poolside… Happy Independence Day everyone!

Congratulations, Noel on winning a free photo album from Keepsy of your IG best. :-)

"Hi Dive" by Instagram user @imoments

 


How to setup an Instawalk

How to set up an Instawalk - KeepsyWe’ve had a lot of fun going on Instagram photo walks recently — AKA #instawalks —  and decided to setup our own walk last weekend. Here are some of the things we learned and some tips on how to set up your own:

1. Scouting a location and time

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to pick your location. How do you pick a good route? From experience, the best length seems to be just under a mile. More than this and the group begins to dissolve and you may lose people. Less than this and everyone ends up taking a lot of the same shots. One mile and 2 to 3 hours seems just about right.

Another way to set up your route is to pick an enclosed space. College campuses, cemeteries, historic areas of town, etc., may be less linear, but give your walk a flavor and theme.

If you can, try to pick a place with lots of people — because even when the surroundings won’t cooperate, an eccentric old-timer or a kid with an ice cream cone can make a great subject.

Bonus: If you can, scout your path at the same time of day that you plan the walk. That way you’ll know what the light is like, the crowds, etc.

2. Scheduling

Boy in fountain from #instawalksj - Keepsy

One of the great things about a photo walk is meeting new people. Make sure you get a good turn out and lots of new folk by scheduling your walk well in advance — at least a couple weeks or more if possible. Also, be mindful of public holidays, local festivals, etc., that might conflict with people’s schedules. (Although if you plan it right, a parade or some other kind of party would be a great opportunity for a walk!)

Also, try to make the time of day reasonable. Yes, everyone would probably rather shoot during the Golden Hours of twilight, but it’s probably not realistic that people will show up unless you’ve already got a determined group of folks with this in mind. A bit after lunch at 1pm or 2pm seems to be the easiest time to convene.  People are fed, awake, and happy — even if the light isn’t perfect.

If you don’t get a big turnout the first time, don’t worry. Just be sure to post your picks with a consistent tag (e.g. #instawalksf) so that you can point to the fun and great shots you had for the next one you have.

3. Spread the word

There are many ways to promote your walk. The most obvious is through Instagram. If you can, create a banner using one of your photos from the location that others can copy and use to help you cross-promote the walk.  Don’t be afraid to ask others – It’s helpful to have a partner-in-planning.

You can also start a group on Meetup.com. There is a growing community of IG folks and may already be some in your area or nearby.

Also consider starting a google group. For example, the instawalk-sf group is very popular board for all things Instagram in San Francisco.

Tip: If you do a Tag search on Instagram of your location (e.g. #vancouver or #peoria) you’re likely to find a bunch of Instagram users that have never heard of instawalks but are very keen to join.

4. Pick a fun place to finish. 

Red Truck from #instawalksj - Keepsy

Red Truck from #instawalksj - Keepsy

After a few hours of walking around in the middle of the day, there’s nothing like wrapping up the walk with some cold drinks, snacks and conversation. It’s fun to sit around, chat about photography… and continue posting your pics — even if it drives the restaurant staff nuts to see a group of 15 with their heads buried in their iphones.  So pick a place that is easy to find, and post it in your promo so that even people that show up late or get lost can find you later.  Also, try to pick a place that is friendly to splitting a check.

Planning an #instawalk is pretty easy, and a heck of a lot of fun — so try one in your area and send us your tips!


How to make an instant Instagram photo book

Did you know you can make a photo book in just a few minutes using your Instagram feed? Check out this 3-minute video tutorial that shows you how it’s done. BONUS: You get to hear Blake’s voice in the wild… spooky!


Instawalk: San Jose

UDPATE:

Can’t wait to meet you all in San Jose this Sunday 6/26 for our #instawalksj !

We have 2-walks-in-1 planned: “Uptown” and “Downtown”. AKA Short and Long(er).

- Uptown: Everyone starts together at 4th and Santa Clara at 1:00 PM, and we’ll meander over towards the SJMoma and Cesar Chavez Park. Should be lots of kids playing in the fountain and nice urban skyline shots in and around this area. Also SJSU is next door and has some great spots inside the Library and around campus.  (Distance is a few city blocks)

- Downtown: For those that want a longer walk, we will head down 1st street  and cross under HWY 280 to Willow (short pit-stop at “el Rico Pan” – awesome Mexican bakery) and the loop back up Almaden to Cesar Chavez park to rendezvous with others. This section is grittier, with lots of cool cars, people, storefronts and grunge down this way.  (Total loop is about 3 miles.)

- After walk meet-up: At around 4:00 pm we’ll circle back together at Gordon Biersch (33 East San Fernando Street, San Jose, 95113) for some well-deserved pints and food, and share photo fun.

We had such a great time last weekend at both the San Francisco and Oakland #instawalks that we decided it’s time to do one in the South Bay.

Join us on Sunday 6/26 at San Jose City Hall at 1pm (corner of 4th and Santa Clara) for some photo fun and some after-shooting fun at a local TBD drinking establishment.

We’ll post updates as the date nears on this blog, as well as in our @keepsy Instagram feed.

Looking forward to meeting you all!


Photo of the Day: “Writing on the Wall” by @Cirkelene

Amazing shot by IG fan @cirkelene, winner of today’s Photo of the Day.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a brick wall this massive. Love the texture and composition, floating the bikes at the horizon.

If you’d like to win Keepsy’s Photo of the Day and an Instagram album, just tag your best in IG with #keepsypic so that we can find your best shots more easily. And hey, while you’re at it, follow us, too: @keepsy


Keepsy now with Facebook, Flickr and Picplz

Keepsy photo book cover

The Keepsy gnomes have been hard at work making you a better book-builder, and late last night they emerged from the enchanted forest with some special changes that they know you’re going to love. Take a look:

1. ALL of your photos

You probably have your photos stored all over the place, right?  Now you can grab photos from Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, PicPlz (Android users rejoice!) and of course your own computer. And you can mix and match them in the same album. Picasa coming next week!

photo sources for keepsy

 2. Awesome Facebook integration

Access your friends’ photos on Facebook to make your albums.  This means you can build photo books using your photos *and* your friends’ and share them with everyone.  (Awesome surprise gift, anyone?) Keepsy is also one of the first applications to use Facebook’s brand new Send Dialog feature — so you can automatically message and share with any of your friends in the album with just a few clicks.

3. An editor like butter

Major league improvements here, friends. We can’t even describe how smooth this editor is. You’ll just have to create an album and try it out.  We dare say it’s Gnometastic ™.

4. Invite friends to help.  

What if you could get your friends to help you build your album with a couple of clicks? Just use our “invite” button to allow people you choose to add pages to the book. (You always have complete and final control of your album, and nobody can mess with your pages.)

5.  Like it. Tweet it, Post it. 

It’s easier than ever to share your digital albums with friends, family, or the world.  We’ve also made improvements to our great full-size slideshow viewer, which is completely free to use and share.

6. Instant albums  = better

Lots of improvements to our Instant Albums, including updated themes with more attractive backgrounds, layouts and designs.

So have at it! Drop the gnomes a line at support (at) keepsy.com and let us,er… them know what you think.

The gnomes abide. Peace out.


Photo of the Day: “The Tireless Gardener” by @lydiadavison

Deeply moody and intense, we have been fans of Instagram photographer @lydiadavison ‘s snapshots since we first laid eyes on them. Be sure to add her to your feed and also check out her tumblr blog Instagramnyc for easy browsing of her portfolio.

“The Tireless Gardener”

[T]his man lives close to me, and has a small patch of earth he is relentlessly tending to; he presumably is retired and just wants his little patch of NYC to be green. I’m not sure why; he doesn’t look like he wants to talk, but nothing ever grows. He is often like this. I hurt when I see him. If we can grow, as people, as the beholders of seeds, of bearers of time, what is there?

Congratulations Lydia on winning a free book of your Instagram pics from Keepsy.


Photo of the Day: “Last Day” by @itisjoy

Graduation is in the air –  so we decided to scour the instawebs for some school shots for our Photo of the Day. This pic by @itisjoy of her daughter’s last day in middle school is beautifully composed and very heartfelt. And quite honestly, we’re a little bit choked up in the office…

Last day I’ll watch her get in the car from middle school…. #sadmomma

Congratulations @itisjoy to you and your family for reaching another of life’s milestones!  And congratulations on winning a free photo book of your Instagram pics from Keepsy.


Photo of the Day: Hidden Gherkin by @dutchie68

We really like Yvonne’s shots of London’s architecture, but this one struck a chord. Is it the clever composition and contrast? Or was it the ad-hoc, “post-post” title, “Hidden Gherkin” in the comments? We’re not sure. But it doesn’t matter – we love this photo.

And it’s a good thing we’re shipping the UK – because Yvonne just won a free copy of one of our Instagram books!

If you’d like to win Keepsy’s Photo of the Day, just tag your best in Instagram with #keepsypic  

What? You were expecting something else?


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