Instagram ties Arizona photographers together

TEMPE, AZ - As smart phones permeate society, most people now have a camera with them wherever they go.

It's easy to snap photos to document your daily doings.

It's also a snap to share them with the world. Instagram is an app that lets users do just that.

"It's a very social social network. I think it's more social than Facebook or Twitter," InstagramAZ founder, Dojay Schraeder said.

Users upload their photos to the app, where other users can view them and post comments.

"You don't have to be a professional photographer, you don't even have to be good at photography," Schraeder said.

Now, the line between the virtual world and the real world is moving as Instagram users organize "Insta-meets," where people can meet face-to-face. InstagramAZ hosts regular Insta-meets. the group has a following nearly 4,000 strong.

"InstagramAZ gets together to make real what once was virtual," InstagramAZ's Ben Newsum said.

At these Insta-meets, Instagramers can share photo advice, favorite locations, and get to put a face with the username.

"Instagram takes photos and opportunities for people to get together that probably would never get to know each other," Shawn Pahl, an avid Instagramer said.

Already this year, they've hosted about a dozen Insta-meets.

"We try to move around to different spots and offer different venues for friends and family to get together and strangers to come together and take beautiful pictures," Pahl said.

As the popularity of taking pictures with your smartphone,or 'mobile photography,' continues to grow, these guys say the Instagram community will continue to grow, and they'll be there to help users stay connected.

"We're a happy group right now, and the more the merrier, so I just seeing it getting bigger and better, I don't see Instagram going anywhere, I just see it continuing to grow," Pahl said.

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