We’ve Reached Peak 2015: ‘Instameets’ Are A Thing That Exist

We’ve teamed up with Qantas to help them showcase the nation-wide Instameet they’ve gone and did (read more below/check out the site here). BUT, before continuing, we just want to wish them a very, very, happy birthday. November marks 95 years of Qantas flying Australian’s home (you guys don’t look a day over 20 – share your secret pls). Because they’re an amazing, iconic brand, they’re inviting ‘Stayans to share what #FeelsLikeHome means to them – hence the Instameet. HB, guiz. Y’all the best.

Yep, it happened. We’ve reached peak 2015.
A gathering of Instagrammers, where photos are taken and experiences are shared.
We can’t take credit for that definition, though: we actually plucked it straight from Qantas’ Instameet site.
They’ve organised 9 consecutive Instameets in capital cities nation-wide this November, with the aim of bringing together peeps with a shared passion for photography and our fair nation.
Brisbane-based architectural photographer and designer Andrew Bartholomew, co-director of creative agency You Can’t Be Serious and curator of one of Australia‘s best minimalist-chic Instagram feeds – has a solid handle on what an Instameet is which, BTW, is great news because he’ll be hosting one of them for Qantas.
“It’s just a group of excited photographers – or regular joes with iPhones – who want to get together and take pictures. Whether you’re interested in f-stops or affogatos it’s a great excuse to get out, see some sights, meet new friends and maybe even learn how to take better pictures. This is a really great community building exercise on a huge scale with instameets in all capital cities plus Uluru.”
Andrew and his partner Hailey launched You Can’t Be Serious in 2010 and haven’t looked back since, publishing a children’s book (which went onto become a short movie – #hollywood), a photography tome and working with everyone from Nestlé to Schick.
“A few years ago I wouldn’t have dreamed that this hobby I had would one day be paying me money or flying me around the world, but that’s exactly what’s happened,” he says.
Instagram has opened plenty of commercial doors for people who, at the end of the day, are in the business of making shit look good – Andrew included.
“We had been doing photography and some film-making together part time while I was working as an art-director in an advertising agency in Brisbane. Eventually the work builds to a point where you have to ask yourself that question – am I ready to throw away this perfectly good well-paying job in order to focus on what I love to do?

“The answer to that question came pretty quickly as we landed a big job from an international client which really propelled us to take the leap. And we haven’t looked back since.”

Spin the black circle

A photo posted by andrew (@surfistatomato) on

Andrew has some solid advice to those looking to make a lil’ dollar-dollar bill, y’all from Instagram. 
“First of all, you have to have a very carefully curated style of images that suit the type of work you want to get into. When I started, as I mentioned, I just photographed things that interested me and presented them in the style I liked. Eventually this turned into an overall style that became unique to me – quite by accident. But if you’re wanting to create a business, this can be done much more intentionally – and maybe quickly – through carefully thought out quality content that’s posted regularly.”

What else, what else?

“It’s also of supreme importance to develop a community. Engage with other photographers doing a similar thing and make sure you respond to questions and thank people for taking the time to leave a comment. This engagement not only builds a loyal following but helps you improve your photography too. Once you build up some marketable numbers and have good engagement on your posts (i.e. likes and comments) you can start approaching potential businesses you want to work with to get their attention.”
Seeing as Instagram is essentially Andrew’s noise, we also asked him for his thoughts on what it’ll evolve into over the next few years. 
“It’s really hard to predict, but I’m pretty sure there will be more and more live features. Also maybe the opportunity to separate your own business and personal feeds – I’m thinking something like how you have different pages in Facebook. Also more generally I think we’ll see more and more ways that advertisers can infiltrate the app and spread their message about in an ever more focussed and cost-effective way. This will be good news for social media ‘influencers’ and brands but hopefully it doesn’t compromise the positive community feel that attracted me to Instagram in the first place.”
Are you not entertained? Qantas’ Instameets are going down from November 5 to 15, and you can track the one in YOUR city right HERE.
Oh, and if you get snap-happy, don’t forget to use #FeelsLikeHome.