Yes, we grew up in an era of social media. And, yes, we are attached to our phones.
But Instagram has pushed the boundaries of connection. Fresno’s first Worldwide InstaMeet has proven that.
FRESNO’S FIRST INSTAMEET
Mach 21st-22nd was Instagram’s eleventh Worldwide InstaMeet. For the past four years, Instagram has encouraged its users to get together and take photos of their community. It was the first time an InstaMeet had been held in Fresno. It was organized by local photographers, Ellie Koleen (@elliserochelle) and Mike Gregory (@mike_pgregory). You might remember Ellie from her recent article on Design Sponge titled, “24 Hours in Fresno, CA” in which she writes about her favorite spots in Fresno.
After participating in an InstaMeet in San Francisco, Mike got the idea of having one in Fresno. He knew a Fresno InstaMeet wouldn’t be as big but he liked the idea of it being more personal. “The goal was to not just take photos but to form relationships and be part of a community,” said Mike. Mike and Ellie wanted to bring together people who, although from different backgrounds, are creative and have a passion for Fresno. “We can connect and build that community without having to run to other places.”
That is exactly what happened. Over 15 people from Fresno, Clovis, and even as far as Visalia participated in Fresno’s first InstaMeet. Most of us had never met each other but we all became friends by the end of the day.
We met at downtown Fresno’s Courthouse Park and walked down the Fulton Mall and Fulton Street using only our smart phones as cameras. It was fascinating seeing this group of young, creative people view Downtown in a different perspective. We did not grow up during the vibrant years of the Mall but, to us, our Downtown is still beautiful and could use some help. We don’t settle for the tired mentality of ignoring our city’s urban core because it’s the easiest thing to do.
Of course! Fresno’s first InstaMeet was a huge success and captured the attention of local Instagram users. The date has not been set for the next InstaMeet, however you can follow Mike and Ellie for updates.
I have included photos from all of the participants. These photos tell a story about community, creativity, revitalization, and learning to love our city.
For more photos from the Fresno Instameet, search the Instagram hashtag, #wwimfresno or click here.
What does community mean to you? For me there are two sides of community: people that you know, and people that invest. Yesterday's instameet was more than a meet-up to take photos and walk away emotionally empty handed. It was a day dedicated to establishing friendships with people who all share the same passion for creativity. Every moment of it was fantastic and I can't wait for our next reunion. // #wwimfresno #WWIM
this is a snapshot from my hometown's very own instameet held a few weekends ago! what a wonderfully enjoyable time of conversation & exploration. bummed I couldn't stay the entire afternoon, but I'm so thankful for the short while I got to be there with everyone & meet some truly wonderful people! beyond stoked for this newfound community & for a future of adventures to come! // this is the completely lovely @kamschend, just being her adorable self. so glad I got to meet her & so excited about this new friendship! #portraitsofpals #wwimfresno #wwim11
"Pretend you're Harry Potter!" // today I went to Fresno's first official insta-meet hosted by @mike_pgregory and had the best time. I love making new friends, especially when we have something I am passionate about in common. Today was a day full of photography, laughing, and community building, and I loved every moment. // #wwimfresno I can't remember who to give photo credit to, so I'll just tag everyone who was there! Go check out their pages ✌️
in Him is life, and that life is the light for all the earth. the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not understand. john 1:4&5 // it was wonderful having the opportunity to be a part of the #wwimfresno instameet this past saturday. it's such a joyous blessing to get to greet new faces & connect with new hearts; and share in some cool moments together whilst exploring our city & all it's offerings. this is @rcbrisco, and he is one rad dude.
I had the pleasure of meeting this group of amazing Instagrammers today for Fresno's first instameet! Thank you @mike_pgregory @elliserochelle for setting this up. This group is definitely going to make a difference in our city. There were other Instagrammers that also participated today but are not featured in this photo. Check out #WWIMFRESNO to see who they are. #Fresno #downtownfresno #wwim11 #abc30insider
Had to repost this awesome post that @mike_pgregory just shared about me and Vintage Fresno!! Thanks so much Mike! So pumped to have met Chris (@vintagefresno) at the #WWIMFresno this past weekend. He is a BEAST | This guy has a big passion for Downtown Fresno and how it's being revitalized. He is passionate about preserving Fresno's history and historic buildings in Downtown. He also is passionate about the changes that are going on downtown that contribute to making a positive difference in our city. This guy is awesome and uses these passions by sharing all of this history and information through his blog, Vintage Fresno (www.vintagefresno.com) where he spreads the news of what buildings are being renovated and also shares really cool and unique history on some of Fresno's heritage! If you're a history junkie with a love of architecture on the side – then you'll certainly want to check out this guy. Chris, you're awesome! I can't wait to hang out again and to see your passions spread throughout this city like wildfire! Repost from @mike_pgregory
During the #WWIMFresno on Saturday, @elliserochelle showed me this great little shop, @misctradingco, right in the middle of Downtown Fresno. She visited it recently while working on a 24-hour City Guide of Fresno with @designsponge. (Which you all should look at the guide by following the link on @elliserochelle's profile!) I had no idea that rad places like this even existed in Downtown Fresno. It just goes to show that there are hidden gems in every single city and town. Even when everyone in town feels that your city is boring and lacking "cool" places, if you take the time to find these gems and appreciate your city – you'll find them. I love Fresno. So excited to find more hidden gems like this place. #loveyourcity
Have a lovely day in Fresno!
Veronica Stumpf, Broker
BRE Lic. #01906952
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