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From translator to photographer

About photowalks with Social Media Club Frankfurt/Main

· socialmediaclub,photography,networking,events

It started a couple of years ago when I first got an old film camera – a Japanese one, found by a friend of mine somewhere in her attic. She didn't need it and so she gifted it to me. Well, I thought, it still works. And so began my life as a hobby photographer.

The camera led me to a couple of good friends who also like photography, to my first Instagram account (at a time when I was not even sure what Instagram was) and, finally, to my first photowalk. I still remember that sunny day in Berlin with 30 people I didn't know and the most popular Berlin photographer Berlinstagram someone I had never even heard of. We went through the Hackesche Höfe and took pictures of everything we saw on our way.

A couple of years later I found a new event, a photowalk in Frankfurt. Don't ask me how I stumbled upon it somewhere on Facebook. It was organised by Social Media Club Frankfurt/Main and was a perfect opportunity to try the new camera kindly given to me by my husband. I must confess that Frankfurt is one of my favorite German cities, so I visit it as often as possible. Probably it's its atmosphere of a metropolis that attracts me the most. Anyway, the photowalk with the #smcffm (as they tag themselves) was one of the best events I has been fortunate enough to take part in.

It took place in the German National Library where we were allowed to take pictures in any room and at any corner. For me as translator it was such a lovely experience. I would find it pretty boring – just to go to a library, and for me "boring" is a four-letter word. In case you aren't aware, there are two categories of philosophical discourse in the modern world: interesting vs. boring. I belong to people who find the familiar exhausting, and who are constantly looking for new experiences and perspectives. This brings to mind "witzig und nicht witzig"(c) (funny or not funny), but that's a topic for some other time.

Anyway, yesterday I had the pleasure of taking part in my second photowalk with #smcffm, this time at the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt. The highlight of the two-part event was an excursion through the Jewish cemetery just nearby. The cemetery was illuminated just for this visit, some lamps were standing here and there. The tombstone inscriptions seemed to be a bit exotic because of the Hebrew lettering.

Have you ever been in a cemetery at night? I hadn't until yesterday.

There were two options for visiting the museum itself as part of the photowalk: you could go right at the beginning of the evening (when I was occupied with attempting to take non-blurry pictures and trying not to spoil them all) or you could go through the museum after visiting the cemetery. The second option was led by museum director Mirjam Wenzel.

Ooh how many interesting stories this museum holds! Look at all the pictures you can find on Instagram and Twitter under #mjsmcffm and #ke17! After the excursion there was enough time to chat with other participants. It turned out that the Social Media Walk was offered in combination with a conference called "Working Together", so the walk brought passionate bloggers, photographers and Instagrammers together with the conference participants. That was a surprise. The conference participants didn't have a clue who all those people with cameras were!

Sitting in the train on my way back home, I texted to my husband: "It was such a beautiful evening! Free entrance to the museum, 2 excursions, wine, beer, pretzels, new contacts, old acquaintances and I have only just left - at 22:30!" That pretty much sums up this amazing event.

The author is grateful to Paul Dylla and Katja Kupka for organizing the Social Media Walks.

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