Saskatoon Photographer Organizes City’s First Instagram Meetup

Saskatoon joins worldwide InstaMeet community

On Saturday, June 8, Saskatoon will be hosting one of its first Instagram meetups, or “InstaMeets”.


For those not in the know, an InstaMeet takes the social idea of a Tweetup – an event where participants typically only know one another virtually – and plants them together in real life.

Organized by local photographer Gary Colwell, those interested in participating will meet at the Broadway Roastery and photowalk down to Winston’s.

But while the InstaMeet is new to Saskatoon, there are 1,605 active Instagram communities in 1,434 cities worldwide.

According to Instagram, the idea is to get together with other Instagrammers in your city and take photos. Some groups even go as far as to do scavenger hunts.

Ominocity caught up with Gary for a quick rundown on the InstaMeet, photo filters and removing social filters.

Ominocity: Where did you get the idea to do an Instagram meet-up? Is the idea similar to the Tweet-ups that are happening all the time?

Gary Colwell: People have been having InstaMeets in larger cities for probably a couple years now, but to the best of my knowledge this will be Saskatoon’s first InstaMeet. An InstaMeet is very similar to a Tweetup in the way that there will be people meeting other people for the first time, but with a bigger focus on taking pictures. We’re all gonna start at a specific place (The Broadway Roastery) and take off from there. It’ll be super casual, and my main goal for the event is to bring Saskatoon’s Instagram users closer together and maybe even form a community.

I discovered Instagram when I got my first iPhone back in October of 2011 and I’ve been a little obsessed ever since. I love it because it’s so simple: take photo, add filter, add caption & you’re done! But there can be a lot more to it if you choose. There’s always room to improve by learning more about composition & different editing apps and long exposures and double exposures. There’s the potential to create and share some really great art with nothing but the smartphone in your pocket. I think that’s really amazing.

OM: How do you participate? Any pro tips?

GW: Participating is easy! Just showing up with your phone is really all you need to do. But I do have a small list of tips that will make the meetup a little more fun:

  • Charge your phone before you come! (For obvious reasons.)
  • Tag all the photos you take with #instameetyxe. That way it’ll be easy to see everyone’s photos quickly and easily.
  • Bring props! Fun things like masks, funny hats, flags, etc. Or even your dog if you have one. There’s some really cool phone accessories like the Olloclip iPhone lens or the GorillaPod bendy tripod that can enable you to take some really cool pictures. Bring those if you have them!
  • Leave your nerves at home. There will be name tags so people will easily be able to tell who you are by your Instagram name.
  • Though we will be heading to a pub afterwards, the InstaMeet itself is an all ages event so if you’re under 19 definitely feel free to come!

For more details check out the Facebook event page HERE.