This is the reaction of most of my friends when I tell them I spent an entire Sunday at an Instameet. “Does it have anything to do with the photography app?”.
I cycled fast that day. I was not late, but I was going there alone. That furious cycling was my way of wishing away the first awkward moments of attending a social event all by myself.
The bistro Adam & Siam was the starting point, with a photography workshop. From there we would head to the rooftop of Rokin 75 for coffee & cake (Jonas Brothers courtesy), and afterwards there was a free program which allowed us to visit special locations at the Rokin. Think of a bookstore (Scheltema), the archeological museum (Allard Pierson), or an artsclub (Arti et Amicie). There were photography challenges at each place we visited ( and a very remarkable glass of champagne at the Beems Brasserie). And before I had time to realize it, I had found a bunch of the most enthusiastic partners-in-crime ever. Not only you could see smiles, you could actually FEEL them. This sounds so cheesy, but it was incredibly comforting.
The afternoon culminated in drinks at Freddy’s Bar (from Hotel de l’Europe), named after Alfred “Freddy” Heineken. And the pianist – passionately playing these classic and jazzy tunes for us – really made my day. The man was brilliant. The cruise on Amsterdam’s canals afterwards felt like a bonus. No matter how many times you went on a canal cruise, the beauty of the city seen from the water NEVER ceases to impress you.
So yes, it does have everything do with the photography app. But for me it has a lot more to do with sharing and support. I mean, connecting with likeminded people, who understand what you do, and bring you stimulus and inspiration, is just the best that can happen to anyone working in a creative field. And that is, for me, the magic of any social media service. And who’s responsible for the magic? Yes, you guessed it. The people. Those who understand Instagram (or any other social media) is just a medium, not the goal. Those folks who make a bridge out of their screens, to truly connect with others, and manage to merge the online to the actual world.
Instagramers Amsterdam deserve all the credit for organizing such events, entirely free of charge, where numbers and status don’t count, and everybody is welcome. The last Worldwide Instameet at the Rokin was as inclusive and international as Amsterdam itself. Which is the first of reasons I chose this city to be my home.
Check the IgersAmsterdam page (#IgersAmsterdam) and all the photos of the Instameet (#iga_wwim14_rokin), if you wish. Last but not the least, here’s to our host! Rokinamsterdam (#rokinamsterdam)