Say what you will about the Internet and social media, but what I will always love is the positivity, empowerment, and inspiration that can be cultivated from it. My best friend I met on Twitter, while other close friends I’ve met from blogging together, and yet others I’ve met at Instagram meet-ups. Now that’s not something you could’ve said a few years ago. Yet in 2017, there’s perhaps no medium that cultivates the things I love about social media better than Instagram. And this past weekend saw one of my favorite social media events roll around again, Worldwide Instameet put on by Instagram.
While Instagram is one of the largest online communities in the world, Worldwide InstaMeet takes that online community offline, bringing together photographers and communities around the world for local meet-ups and photo walks. This past weekend was its 15th rendition. So I was glad that one of my favorite photographers, and friend (who I met through Instagram, naturally), Pete Halvorsen, organized a Los Angeles Instameet at Manhattan Beach Pier. This Worldwide InstaMeet’s theme was kindness, and at the Manhattan Beach Instameet, that theme ranged from highlighting kind organizations, like my friends at Kind Traveler, to baked cookies, which Beth Meyer of Recipes of Adventures gifted everyone with, to impromptu dances on the Manhattan Beach Pier from Jacob Jonas.
All in all, 70 people braved the wind and cloudy weather on Sunday Funday afternoon, only to be treated to a break in the clouds for amazing light and one of those beautiful Southern California sunsets to the backdrop of music on the pier by Katherine Terrien. See a few of my photos below (and one of me at the end from my friend Jade), and perhaps I’ll see you at the next Worldwide InstaMeet.