It is that time of the year where we look back and take in all that has happened in the past 12 months. For us at IGers Birmingham it has been a busy year with plenty of instameets and building upon the successes of 2016. We now move in to 2018 with plenty of new ideas and exciting opportunities ahead, but first lets look back over the instameets of 2017…
RECLAIM PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL INSTAMEET
Image: Iain Swingler Photography
The first IGersBirmingham instameet of 2017 took place on Saturday 14th January! This instameet was ran in conjunction with Reclaim Photography Festival and was on the theme of cultural landscapes. The event took attendees around the Deritend area of the city, ending up around the Bullring. This area had not been touched by our previous instameets but its wealth of new developments and derelict structures, set against a backdrop of the city skyline, made for some excellent images!
STREET PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP WITH KRIS ASKEY
Image: Jay Sidhu
IGers Birmingham teamed up with well known local street photographer Kris Askey to put on two workshops on his area of photographic expertise! Kris gave a 30 minute talk on his life as a Freelance Photographer, how he gets the shots we all know and love, and the challenges that he faces, followed by a 10 minute question and answer session. The attendees were then sent out on their own for 60 minutes to go and shoot some street photography before being brought back to discuss their experience and show off their 3 favourite unedited shots from the event.
I LOVE JQ INSTAMEET
Image: Chris Fletcher
Having kindly sponsored our exhibition in December 2016, we were pleased to be teaming up with @JQ_BID again for an instameet on Saturday 25th March. This meet took in some of the architectural gems of this historic area as well as a visiting some of the award-winning local businesses that make this area unique, so there was plenty to see for new and veteran IGers.
BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME INSTAMEET
Image: Joseph (@Joeandtonic)
IGers Birmingham and Visit Birmingham joined forces with the Birmingham Hippodrome for the theatre’s FIRST ever Instameet! This event was the first time that an Instameet had backstage access to this historic building, giving attendees the chance to explore behind the scenes in the UK’s busiest theatre!
WARWICK CASTLE INSTAMEET
Image: Christine Wright
This event involved the IGers community venturing out of Birmingham to invade Warwick Castle! As we’re sure you can imagine, there was plenty to photograph: inside and outside the castle, 64 acres of grounds, birds of prey and peacocks, and much more.
BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS INSTAMEET
Image: Roy Yardley
Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a 15 acre botanical gardens and educational charity situated in the heart of Edgbaston, Birmingham and we gave a limited number of IGers out-of-hours access. The venue had plenty to photograph: four glasshouses, aviaries, wildlife trails, a children’s play area and a seasonal butterfly house, as well as hosting family-friendly, music and fundraising events, As a special treat, the first outdoor dinosaur festival of its kind in the UK, Jurassic Kingdom, was also at the Gardens, giving IGers the opportunity to photograph giant animatronic dinosaurs before the event opened to the public.
STEELHOUSE LANE LOCK UP INSTAMEET
Image: Ben McPhee
It wouldn’t be June without Birmingham’s Hidden Spaces! Thanks to a collaboration with West Midlands Police, @hiddenbrum gave 40 lucky photographers the chance to explore the Steelhouse Lane Lock Up as part of a special instameet! This grade-II listed former Victorian cell house is infamous in Birmingham’s Heritage and was still in use until recent years.
IGERSBIRMINGHAM SUMMER SOCIAL – EDWARDIAN TEA ROOMS LATER AT BMAG
IGersBirmingham hosted their Summer social of 2017 in the Edwardian Tearooms at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery on the evening of Saturday 24th June. It was a great opportunity for all members of the community to get together – from regular posters and attendees of our instameets to fans of the account and who wanted to learn more and get involved. IGers also had rare access to the Round Room and Industrial Gallery after hours!
ASTON FIRE STATION
Image: Helen Williams
The Grade II listed Aston Fire Station is one of 15 fire stations within Birmingham and one of 38 across the West Midlands Fire Service. It currently has 1 fire engine and 1 brigade response vehicle (BRV). Aston has 40 full time Fire personnel that work on 4 watches (red, blue, green and white). As an inner city fire station within Birmingham Aston covers a wide and diverse area including industrial, commercial and residential properties. Aston is due for a rebuild within the next 18 months and this was an unique opportunity to visit one of the oldest working fire stations within the Birmingham area to see and photograph the work and activity that goes on daily.
At this instameet we’ll saw the fantastic details that are in this wonderful old building. A glimpse behind the scenes at the station: the engine bay, kit rooms, a ladder drill, a wrecked car demo, and of course firefighters.
We’d like to thank the West Midlands Fire Service for making this instameet happen. We were honoured to have worked with such a great organisation that do so much for the community.
NATIONAL SEA LIFE CENTRE INSTAMEET
Image: Danny Holden
Forty lucky IGers joined us for a fantastically fishy instameet at the National Sea Life Centre in Brindleyplace in August. This event will gave the lucky Instagramers the chance to explore the Sea Life Centre after it closes to the public! The attendees got the whole place to themselves including the Baby Penguin enclosure and the 360 degree underwater tunnel!
PICNIC IN THE PARK INSTAMEET – World Photography Day Part I
Image: Trevor (@tv_trev)
Image: Sarath Chandran
Saturday the 19th of August 2017 was World Photography Day and the IGers community were as busy as ever with our Picnic in the Park instameet in collaboration with West Midlands Wildlife and Martin O’Callaghan (@OCUK Photography). This event gave attendees the chance to explore one of Europes largest public parks and experience the wildlife that lives in the park. In addition @ocuk provided IGers with a number of model photoshoot opportunities, with added smoke grenades, in the grand settings of the park, assisted with the wonderful Lauren Kate and Sophie Meakin
FORT DUNLOP ROOFTOP INSTAMEET – World Photography Day Part II
Image: James F (@James_never_jim)
The second of our World Photography Day Instameets was on the roof of Fort Dunlop to witness a classic Birmingham Sunset over the city! The roof of Fort Dunlop offered unparalleled views of the skyline and the M6 which IGers enjoyed as the sun set before shooting some great long exposures of the motorway and the city beyond. This year Fort Dunlop celebrated the centenary of the first Dunlop tyre rolling off of the production line at the facility back in 1917.
BONUS: Thank you to Ross Jukes for putting together the incredible video below which really shows what the IGers community is all about.
BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME INSTAMEET 2
Image: Matt Beach
April’s instameet at the Birmingham Hippodrome was so popular that we are organised another one. Run again in collaboration with Visit Birmingham, this instameet involved backstage access to this historic building, giving IGers the chance to explore behind the scenes in the UK’s busiest theatre! Lucky attendees were able to see the set of the then current show – Miss Saigon.
BIRMINGHAM WEEKENDER INSTAMEET
Image: Regan (@duskyblueskies)
In late September we teamed up with Birmingham Weekender to put on a fantastic instameet that captured the colour, flair, and excitement of this great event! Starting at 10.45am the instameet followed a route around the city centre that linked up with a selection of the days great dance and performance art events. Culminating in an evening of incredible live drumming and pyrotechnics at the Clash of Drums in Eastside Park, the event ran throughout the day from the morning meet up at 10:45am until around 10pm making it officially our longest Instameet. It was also the Martin’s first meet as an official IGersBirmingham Team member, we think he did alright!
Full details on Birmingham Weekender can be found at www.birminghamweekender.com
IGERS BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS CHRISTMAS LIGHTS INSTAMEET
Image: John Willis
IGers Birmingham teamed up again with the Birmingham Botanical Gardens for a special preview event for their new after-dark Christmas-lights experience. The trees and glasshouses were lit and all aglow as part of a special light-display, bought to you by entertainment promoter Raymond Gubbay Ltd who are well established for producing concerts and live events though out the UK. They have also co -produced the highly successful Christmas at Kew and Christmas at Blenheim illuminated light trails. Christmas at the Botanical Gardens had been developed in collaboration with Culture Creative, producers of trails that celebrate the heritage and landscapes of stunning locations across the UK. They have previously worked with English Heritage, the National Trust, Forestry Commission, and the National Trust for Scotland.
To the New Year…
Image: Tim Cornbill
So if you’ve made it this far well done. It has been an incredible year for IGers Birmingham. A full calendar of amazing events, instameet attendances numbering in the hundreds, loads of newbies, some great socials, and of course not forgetting the 2017 exhibition in partnership with BMAG and Brumpic!
As a community we have grown so much, with photographers at all levels coming together to capture the beautiful city of Birmingham. It has been a privilege the past year to organise and create opportunities for the community working with and alongside many different organisations that truly represent the best of what Birmingham has to offer.
We are grateful to be involved with IGers Birmingham and even more grateful to our community who really make IGers what it is today. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported and been involved with us this past year and here is to 2018 and exciting new ventures ahead!
Team IGers Birmingham