Meetings for amateur photographers and users of visual-based social media app Instagram, which aim to highlight the beauty of Nelson Mandela Bay, are gaining popularity throughout the city.
Now the events – known as “instameets” – are moving indoors, showing off the inner beauty the region has to showcase.
One of the largest indoor instameets to date is planned for Baywest Mall on April 30 and is headed by the region’s top Instagram user, Dean Cothill, who founded the popular account @CityofPE.
@CityofPE has more than 7 500 followers on Instagram and nearly 5 000 Facebook followers, making it a leading online influencer in the Eastern Cape.
The instameet forms part of the #OhSnapBaywest competition, which runs from April 25 to May 8 and to which Baywest Mall is inviting the region’s aspiring photographers and keen instagrammers. Baywest marketing manager Christopher Hutchings explained how to take part in the competition.
“All you have to do is take a creative photograph of any aspect of Baywest – from the architecture to the great high-end fashion stores on the upper level, to the entertainment venues and the landscaping outside.
“Upload that image to Instagram or Twitter, or post it to the Baywest Mall Facebook page, and hashtag it #OhSnapBaywest. Then you’re automatically entered into the draw to win a top camera from our tenant, Dion Wired.”
The winner will be announced on the Baywest Mall social media platforms on May 9 and will earn a Canon EOS 100D camera valued at R7 000 for their efforts.
The #OhSnapBaywest instameet takes place at the mall’s food court at 4pm on Saturday, April 30, where keen instagrammers can get advice from Cothill and fellow pros on how best to take the perfect Instagram shot.
As photography is usually not permitted for security reasons, the #OhSnapBaywest instameet provides a rare opportunity for photographers to have free rein inside and outside Baywest Mall. All participants will receive identifying lanyards, granting them clearance for the shoot.
Hutchings added that using social media was another way the mall was driving its focus on technology, which includes a customised shopper app for smartphone users.
According to Cothill, who is one of South Africa’s top professional Instagram campaign strategists, social media and photography worked in synergy to create a powerful marketing tool.
“Great images are often shared, which creates good exposure for both the photographer and the subject.”
Cothill described @CityofPE as “a community of creativity”, which hosted instameets at various venues across Nelson Mandela Bay.
“We are just people enjoying the best that the Friendly City has to offer and using various mediums to capture it, ranging from art and photography to digital online platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.
“Baywest Mall is one of the exciting landmarks on our urban landscape.”
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