When you hear the word "community" what's the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the street of different colored row houses you live on? The cross-fit team you train and sweat with every day after work? Or that hidden coffee shop you go to every Thursday night to watch a local musician play? When we hear “community”, one person in particular comes to mind, Carl Maynard.
Collectively we have known Carl for a little more than a year and it’s safe to say he is community driven. Every time we meet up with this guy he is talking about new ways to bring people together like the Maketto Running Squad, @thefitdistrict, etc – his motto is wrapped around the idea that #EveryoneShouldKnowEveryone. Carl is never shy with meeting people through social media, or simply being friendly and sparking conversations with random people throughout the day. His energy and passion to learn is contagious and admirable.
Over the past month Carl has taken a deeper dive into his passion for photography, which has led to a good bit of coffee shop meet-ups to share technical knowledge and tips of the trade. During our last caffeine powered meeting we all thought it would be nice to wake up early and capture a sunrise near the Marin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. So we set our alarms for 5:00AM to make it before the sun rose over the Tidal Basin. Once we got to the location and saw just how breath taking the view was, we all knew the view had to be shared. Aside from sharing it on social media, how could we share this experience with others? A photo walk!
It just so happened that the same week we planned the photo walk, Carl had been approached by Brianna Wilson (@campwilson) – founder of the Instagram account known as @withthelocals – to do a weekly take over. Each week, @withthelocals, hosts someone from a new city sharing nothing but the hidden gems that only the locals would know about. This was the best case scenario for us to showcase two things: how beautiful Washington, DC is and that within the people who live there, dwells a community of creatives.
*BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! After a few days of promoting the walk on Instagram here it is, 5:00AM [February 13th] Saturday morning, the day of the photo walk and alarms are going off. If you have ever tried to host any type of event you know a lot of things can go wrong. Bad weather, nobody shows up, people show up and want to leave. All sorts of unknowns can happen. Looking at the weather app, it reads 15° with high winds. Oh boy, let’s see how this plays out.
All bundled up we jumped out of the car and walked toward the MLK Memorial not knowing what to expect. After about 10 minutes of standing in the cold by ourselves we were joined by Diana Hernadez @D1ANAHERNANDEZ, Aaron Green @AARONGST, Carl Seeno @THEQAHWA, and Sloan Tucker @SLODAK. As the group grew larger it was obvious that a few people knew each other already, while others came just because of the Instagram invite. From this point on this group became a community.
From iPhones, to DSLRs, to a large format camera [that’s right, large format! -@SLODAK] you could hear shutters clicking away. Just as the sun finished creeping over the Jefferson Memorial we decided it was time to make moves. We had three stops planned for the walk: The District of Columbia War Memorial, The Korean War Memorial, and The Lincoln Memorial. As soon as we started trekking over to the District of Columbia War Memorial, out of nowhere a snow storm blew in. YES! What is better than historic DC memorials with a light coating of snow?
After a few snowballs were thrown, pictures were captured, and a group photo was taken we decided it was time to warm up with some coffee. We headed over to Baked and Wired where we thawed out over some tasty lattes, good conversations, and photo editing tips. It truly was a pleasure sharing the morning with everyone and we are putting this photo walk in the books as a success. Make sure to check out the gallery below to view more photos from the photo walk. Also be sure to follow us on Instagram or subscribe to our journal so that you can meet up with us next time!
Words & Images: Tim & Sebastian