Insta-lovers unite — from the app to ground map

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By Riddhima Khanna
  • Published 3.11.15
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This is about Instagram but it isn’t about pouts, fish gapes and duck-face selfies. A motley crew of Calcuttans have made the photo and video-sharing service a perfect platform to fall in love with the people and the places that make Calcutta. They’re on Instagram as @ig_calcutta with around 743 followers... and counting. 

No InstaMeet is complete without a group picture! Members of Calcutta’s Instagram community @ig_calcutta pose for one 

It all began... 

With the First Kolkata Insta Meet on March 28. Around 30 Calcuttans met for a walk around north Calcutta, covering Girish Park and Sovabazar. “The theme was ‘Locks and Doors’ of Calcutta,” said 26-year-old Sammya Brata Mallick, or @deckle_edge, who organised the meet. “I used to follow the Instagram clicks of other cities like Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai who organised InstaMeets frequently. I wanted to do something similar in Calcutta though I knew that Instagram was not as popular here,” said the consultant at KPMG India. Today, there are over 1,015 members on Facebook. 

What happens in an InstaMeet? 

The group assembles at a pre-decided location, a quick headcount is taken, a brief is shared and the Instagrammers are divided into groups of about 10 so they can explore different corners. There’s always a theme in place, open to interpretation. 
Some come to pick up photography tricks while others meet and make new friends. “No classroom or workshop can match the hands-on fine-tuning of photography skills. There’s a lot of sharing of ideas and techniques as well,” said Preeti Roychoudhury, a member of @ig_calcutta since August. When she’s not clicking, she teaches English at Loreto House. Netaji Nagar College student Swagnik Bhattacharjee is another member. “What better icebreaker than a shared interest?” he asks. 

Record upload...

... Was when @IndiaPictures, a page that curates Instagram pictures celebrating India, declared a World #IP_MEET on August 16. Enthusiastic Instagrammers from 24 cities across the globe clicked and uploaded pictures themed ‘India Uncovered’. “With over 150 registrations from Calcutta and 85 attendees, there was a record 477 uploads on Instagram hashtagged #ip_kolmeet,” said Sammya. 

  • Reach them at @ig_calcutta on Instagram and ‘Calcutta Instagrammers’ on Facebook.
  • It is a free meet, anybody and everybody can participate.
  • You can participate even if you do not have an Instagram account. The detailed procedure of opening an Instagram account is explained during the meet.
  • Tips on uploading pictures using the right set of hashtags/ time gap between uploads are shared.
  • You can use a DSLR, digicam, GoPro or even a simple cell-phone — anything that you can go click-click with.

 

Titled ‘Happy Face, Sad Face’ this picture was clicked during the latest IP Meet, where a sad face on the wall juxtaposes the happy face of the man in front