International InstaMeet – 06 to 10 September, 2019

International InstaMeet – 06 to 10 September, 2019

Istanbul International Instameet 2019

International InstaMeet – 06 to 10 September, 2019

4-days of Urban/Street, documentary/Reportage, Fine Art/Minimalisim Photography in Istanbul, Turkey on 06 – 10 September 2019. The various walks will be led by 3 Team Leaders, plus Giannis Giatilis and Richard Kopacz, the event organiser. To find out more about the event, here is a word from Richard himself explaining what the 1st International InstaMeet is all about.

A word from the organiser:

“Istanbul is without a doubt one of the great and favorite cities in the world for urban street photography. Not only is it one of my favorite cities, I’ve lived in Istanbul for almost 6 years and know the city well. We’ll be teaming up with talented photographers based in Istanbul (Cem Kivircik, Levent Olbasacik, Murat Harmanlikli and Ziya Sefik Atun. Each Team Leader has a wealth of knowledge of Istanbul and its history. They will happily answer questions you may have concerning the location, directions, places to rest and eat.

Istanbul is at the very top of the list when it comes to multi cultural, history, religion, politics,  people, life, diversity, conflict, architecture, water, sunlight, colours, old world, new world, and the list goes on and on. All of this in a city that spans across two continents. For even more info on this amazing city, you can look at the many street photography clips on YouTube to get an idea of how Istanbul really is. We will be visiting all the best spots for Street Photography in Istanbul -Taksim Square, Istiklal Street, Galata Bridge, Eminonu, Balat, Bebek, Kucuk Pazar, Kumkapi, Tarabasi, Suleymaniye, and of course Kadikoy for the Sunsets over Europe…

The InstaMeet will offer something for every style; daily photo walks, daily reviews and interactive chats. The walks will be quite intensive, we can all push each other and make the most of our time together. Team Leaders are fully involved each step of the way to make sure you get the most out of your time, at the same time helping you fully immerse yourself in the city through your photography, so you can progress, learn from each other, while also having a great time while experiencing Istanbul. You are of course free to do any sight seeing too. You do not have to shoot all day, everyday. Your time is yours. I advise each person to ensure he / she has WhatsApp on their phone in the event of a problem, or if you get lost, you can find the nearest WiFi point and we can easily locate your whereabouts…

So…What’s Included …?

A variety of guided street photography walks giving a wide view of photo opportunities and exploration in the beautiful city of Istanbul. The program will be brief, to the point, but we do have to take into account; bad weather, unforeseen circumstances, the program could change, but we will try our best to keep to our daily program. Social activities such as dining together, walking, swimming on the Islands will give us all an opportunity to bond with our fellow photographers, creating new life long friendships, whilst having a great and unforgettable time in Istanbul with long lasting cherished memories. This instaMeet is all about having fun, improving our photography, making new friends in one of Europe’s most amazing cities that you will want to keep returning to.

Additional Important Information:

The walks will be split into 3 groups with around 6-7 people in each group. Each photographer can keep within their chosen group or switch between groups if he / she wishes. You can decide on the day of the walk which group you wish to join. We will try to keep the groups close to each other, allowing more interaction. We will also have various meet up points when the shoot takes a break. It’s important to stop for 10 min. intervals to rest and drink water. Please also bring a high factor protection from the sun. Temperatures in early September can still be +27c to +30c during the day. Make sure you also bring lots of spare batteries / charger, SD memory cards and comfortable footwear. We won’t be doing any evening editing, but if you wish to bring a laptop to empty your SD cards, then you can of course.

Day – 01

Morning Coffee, group selections, ferry from Kadikoy across to Karakoy, we will split into our groups… as below:

  • Group (A) Fine Art / Minimalism,
  • Group (B) Urban / Street, Inner City Life,
  • Group (C) Documentary, Photojournalism, Reportage.

Group (A) Fine Art / Minimalism Photography group: Will be taken to start their shoots at Galata Bridge, Halic Bridge areas (2.5Hrs), the Team Leader will later direct you to the meeting point (Tea House in Kucuk Pazar) Group (A) will then continue to shoot in this area covering spiral staircases, and several concrete 70’s buildings…

Group (B) Urban / Street group: Starting off in Karakoy, proceeding to Istiklal (Taksim) 2.5hrs: walking back down, crossing the Halic Bridge t meet the other groups at the tea house in Kucuk Pazar…

Group (C) Documentary, Reportage group: a 10 Min walk from Karakoy into Kucuk Pazar, heading up to Suleymaniye Mosque area, (this area is heavily populated with children, gypsies, mothers, old crumbling buildings, duration of the shoot 2.5Hrs. Then finally a short walk back to meet the other groups.

Once everyone has had a 5 – 6Hrs shooting, we will all rendezvous back in Karakoy, perhaps stop for a coffee, shoot a few pictures around Karakoy, then head back to Kadikoy, by during which by that time the sun should be setting and it will be a good opportunity to take some pictures at this wonderful time of day. You can then head back to your Hotel, to rest, shower, and we can all meet to eat, and have drinks and enjoy some of our social time together…

Day – 02

Breakfast, quick meet up, the ferry to Karakoy, and the whole party walks up to Sultanahmet, Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia, stopping for coffee, this is a good opportunity for sightseeing, and for taking a few street pictures too. We proceed onto Kumkapi area, where we will then divide the group into 3 sub groups once again. There is a lot of photographic material. subjects around this area for all our 3 group styles. (Urban Street, Documentary, minimalistic)… once we have done shooting, we walk back to Eminonu via Sirkece, and finally onto the ferry back to Kadikoy. Same applies, take a rest, a shower, and let the evening begin… Dinner at Shine Bar overlooking Istanbul, drinks and our Pup game “The Blind Photographer”. This is a lot of fun.

Day – 03

Breakfast, quick meet up, this time heading across to the Princes Islands on the ferry at around 10.00am. Here you can shoot beach scenes, horses, in fact here there are a lot of interesting scenes.  Please Google the Princes Islands to get some idea of this location. We can do some swimming here too, there are also no cars, trucks here, so it’s a nice get away from the noisy, crowded Istanbul; but we can discuss this later, nearer that time. At around 2:30pm, we will take the ferry back, this time to Karakoy; where we will walk onto Tarlabasi. We will then split into our 3 groups once again. Team Leaders will take over. This area has enough content for everyone in all groups…

Day – 04

Breakfast, quick meet up, and the whole group travels again by ferry to Eminonu, stopping off at the old tea house in Kucuk Pazar, we will shoot around this area, and progress onto Balat. Again, our usual group split applies, you can move from group to group, as you so wish.

Day 04, is the last day, so the afternoon, from let’s say 3pm, can be set aside for your own free time, sightseeing, shopping, Turkish Bath sessions.”


Few Regional Areas / Information;

Taksim Square: It is full of action. Reandsally busy, crowded area in Istanbul, it meets the very large, famous Istiklal pedestrian street and has the Republic Monument where a lot of people hang out. Perfect spot for Street Photography.

Istiklal Street: It is a very busy and long pedestrian street full of shops, cafés and restaurants. if you go there during the day or at night, there is always a lot going on there. However, it can be difficult to take photos because the street is so packed with people. 

IMPORTANT: Beware of the “Bar Scam“. If someone  asks you to go for a drink, just reply, “No Thanks“. and walk on; some of these guys are very persistent, they’re not nice people, so avoid any conversation with them.

Galata Bridge and Eminonu: Other good spots for Street Photography are the areas around Eminonu and Galata Bridge. Here people get their ferries and come and go all day long. It’s a perfect area that one can enjoy the beautiful views of the city sky line and the surrounding Bosporus estuary and the sea.

Spice Bazaar and (Yeni Cami) The New Mosque: Theses areas are also great for taking photos because the light can be so beautiful. The Bazaars are normally very crowded, but it’s also an interesting location for those looking for great urban & street pictures, so it’s well worth a visit.

Balat: It is an area which is not packed with tourists and from there you can also walk along the Golden Horn in order to take great pictures. This area is great for those amazing colors, for shadow & light frames, all of our 3 groups will get something special in Balat.

Bebek: A very “chic” and trendy area, with expensive yachts and a huge variety of restaurants, bars and cafés. It’s a wealthy area, so you will probably meet a lot of very elegant, well dressed people there.

Kadikoy (Where our Hotel Marist is located); On the Asian side of Istanbul. You can either explore the busy streets or go along to Moda´s waterfront where you will find a nice park in which a lot of young people like to hang out.

Kucuk Pazar, Kumkapi, Tarlabasi:, I’m going to put these in the same similar category. These are the “Slum” areas of Istanbul, and amongst  the oldest, decaying parts of Istanbul. Living here you will find Kurdish, Syrian, Gypsy people, Afghans; you name it!! They’re are all in these areas. These locations are a photographers haven, especially for those wanting deep documentary, photojournalism, reportage, and even those wanting shadow & light and fine art. Lots of happy kids playing in the old, decaying streets. These areas of the city really have everything.


Cover picture by Hendrik Braet – Street Still Life finalist



  1. Hello, the article didn’t mention how to register to this event, is it open for everyone? if so, would you be kind to let us know to be able to join the groups, please?

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