#communityfirst by Andrew Stripp

The importance of Instameets!

First off an Instameet isn't some sort of speed dating service offering instant hook-ups a la Tinder. It's when a group of Instagrammers, of any account size, fame, ego and subject meet at a time and place to, each other.

We live in a social media age which has made us more and more unsocial with our fellow homo sapiens. So rather than just double tapping on a photo to show your 'engagement' with an account, we want to encourage people to actually meet in person; to be social, drink a coffee (sometimes a beer) and actually engage, like properly engage with the person stood in front of you. 

Yesterday morning 15 of us met up to take a walk, shoot photos and drink some coffees. Without any real plan we wandered down from Centraal Station, through the red light district to the iconic Love Me street art piece. Then across to some Rokin to grab a coffee and onwards.

I really hope we can arrange more and more of these meets as it's always a great experience to meet the people behind accounts, regardless if you have 100,000 followers or 100. After all we know we have at least one thing in common - Instagram.

The beautiful faces behind the accounts...

The beautiful faces behind the accounts...

If you want to come along to the next Instameet then sign-up on the homepage and i'll email you when we are meeting next. Hopefully more regularly as the weather gets a little less er....Dutch.


My favourite kind of spooning... by Andrew Stripp

There's only one thing that will get me out of bed at 6.30am on Saturday and that's either a climbing trip or a free breakfast. 

On Saturday, at the crack of dawn, I headed to the Andaz Hotel, Prisengracht with a few other Instagrammers (thanks for the invite @dutchie). The Bluespoon bar at Andaz has just relaunched their brunch menu, so they invited us along to try it out and also see some of the hotel - how very nice of them.

First off we all headed up to their best suite for a look around, waking up all the other guests in the process. I find it hard to get excited about taking photos in a hotel suite for the sake of it but there were lots of grammers doing interesting things (taking a shower with an umbrella) so I tried my hardest and to make it look like I knew exactly why I had been invited and started snapping away. BUT i'm a sucker for views and the suite looks right out over the canal and Amsterdam... perfect with a sugar coating of snow!

This view!

This view!

Then the long awaited foooooood.

Cue lots of pouty lip, smokey eyed, blogger girl shots / Food grabbing from above type photos. If you don't know what i'm talking about then come to one of my workshops where we look at the latest Instagram trends ;) 

Yes, I'm a food blogger now...

Yes, I'm a food blogger now...

The food was pretty decent with my highlight being the hashbrown and beef thingy - sorry Bluespoon, can't remember the name. But if you head there you should ask for it. The eggs benny were also pretty sweet but for some reason decorated with a carrot and cucumber stick, which seemed a little out of place to me - I don't want to be reminded to be healthy while i've got eggs benny sauce dripping down my face but anyways what do I know about food.

Then it started snowing, so like a kid with a 3 second attention span I headed outside to take pictures of the pretty snow and chase down some donuts (sixhooks i'm coming for ya).