There is something unique about the Instagram application, compared to other social media networks. Instagram shows ones personality and interests helping you align yourself with people of similar taste. The large issue with Instagram is how do you then meet these interesting Instagram users offline? Morgan Grether from Portland, Oregon had just the answer to that question, the ‘Instameet’, a way to network with like-minded people offline. We met up with Morgan Grether to learn more about his very popular Instagram account @Grether and the ‘Instameet'.
Morgan, can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
I’m a portrait and travel photographer. I’m based out of Portland, Oregon, but I love seeing the world. I’m also a musician, having fun on the local music scene. I’m also also a web developer. I’m also also also a lot of other things too.
We came across your highly influential Instagram, how did you acquire 663,223 followers?
I was one of the originators of the instagram meet-up, or Instameet, and Instagram loved the idea and made me a suggested user. They have been very sweet to me, and I have promoted the app to pretty much everyone I know. It has garnered me a great deal of attention, which has been a nearly 100% positive experience, and given me the opportunity to meet inspirational artists and photographers from around the globe.
Keeping all your followers engaged with fresh photos must consume your time. Do you find it easier to take photos in the winter or the summer?
I love gloomy winter shots, but it’s always easier to take good summer photos with the play of sunlight and shade.
With summer right around the corner do you have any summer plans?
Being in the Pacific Northwest, summer means endless hiking and photo adventures. There will be some camping too. Places like Smith Rock, Mount St. Helens, the Olympic Peninsula, all will be on my summer itinerary.
You are active in Instagram Meet ups, how was your first meet up experience? How many have you attended since and when is the next one?
As an originator of instameets, I have been to more than I can count, mostly in Portland, but around the world too. The very first meet-up we held here in Portland I wore my grandfather's tux and was the first person to arrive. I was standing there for a while by myself, leaning against the bar, laughing very heartily, wondering if anyone would ever show. But people did, and it was a wonderful experience. That was in Jan 2011 and our Portland group has met at least once a month, if not seven or eight times a month, ever since.
There is a great amount of news about influential Instagram users being hired by large brands and marketing agencies. Have any job opportunities come out of Instagram or your Instagram meet ups?
It has absolutely been a great place for networking, though I’m certainly not there for that reason. It is first and foremost a place of sweet, casual fun.
Living in Oregon, you have so much nature to play with. What are some of your summer hobbies?
Hiking, walking around town, photographing everything, making gazpacho, getting into all sorts of harmless trouble.
Portland is famous for its microbreweries and beer bike tours. Do you have any special summer drinks?
Gin fizzes! Or gin and tonics are unstoppable. Sangria.
With all the travelling you have done, where is your favourite place in the world?
I’ve traveled a lot in life and have a zillion favorites, but I could be happy if I blinked and I was at, say, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Or Piazza San Marco in Venezia. Or the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
Finally, do you have a summer music playlist you can share with us?
You should be listening to my latest album, Sweet Tooth!