On June 9, 2018 (Saturday), during the height of the rainy season on a sunny day during doubtful weather, 30 Instagrammers came together in a rental space located in the much talked about area of Kichijoji, where we held the Instagram meeting (InstaMeet) using RICOH THETA, a camera of dreams that allows you to shoot the surrounding area in 360 degrees.
InstaMeet is a fun gathering for people who use Instagram to allow them to gather and shoot photos in one place. It is often held in different locations worldwide and at peak times numbers can reach 200 people who gather at the event, where they take photos and share them on Instagram. The meet, which connects peoples’ work life to private life,
has also become an important community to find like-minded friends.

It is now the 7th meet and THETA has become more well known. Over half the people attending brought along a THETA camera to this meet.
4 people organized this current event. @shitagami, @johnny777, @ry.mona, and lastly me @wacamera.
These organizers have experience organizing meets many times. If it’s your first time to come to this type of meet, these organizers always support you to put your mind at ease and to fully enjoy it.
There were 36 participants invited through Instagram.

Staff from Ricoh Company, Ltd. and the 4 organizers prepared around 100 helium filled balloons before the start of the event at a very plain and basic venue. A very familiar sight.

We opened the event after many participants gathered early at the venue, which was filled with the colorful balloons. They looked at the balloons shouted “Cute!” and started taking photos.

From 1 p.m. it was time to gently move into the lecture. After this, we all walked to Inokashira Park.
The group walked while holding the balloons through the streets of Kichijoji. It was a little strange to see. People were watching from all around.
We traveled along the road for about 15 minutes to Inokashira Park and arrived at a relaxing area crowded with families. We split into teams from this point.

After arriving at Inokashira Park, team shitagami attempted to take a group video at the open space next to the pond. Shitagami did the usual thing by having everyone surround THETA and then walked around it. After this he set a member’s THETA down and people walked around it again! They went around the promenade along the pond and he gave a lecture on how to take photos of the hydrangea flowers blossoming at a place during their walk.
After walking half-way around the pond, participants were given 30 minutes of free activity!
Each participant spent the free time going about their own thing. Some went to the zoo, some rode on the pond boats, others rambled through the park while the rest asked about THETA settings and how to take photos.

Everyone gathered together once again and took a group photo and then walk around the remaining half of the pond. They all stopped at a point where hydrangea flowers were in full bloom to take photos using the flowers and balloons!

After some time passed as they did these things, they moved back to the starting location. It seems that more people brought along their own THETA camera rather than renting it to this event and most people wanted to know about how to shoot and tips rather than lectures on how to use the camera. We were glad to see that everyone was happy and excited during the event and they had a good time.

Team Johnny enjoyed shooting photos while going once around Inokashira Park.
The hydrangea flowers were in full bloom because it was June. Johnny gave advice on how it is better to place THETA among the hydrangea flowers and shoot images and also shoot images that capture the hydrangea flowers from above and below to create depth. Everyone replied to this advice by saying “Oh, I see..!” and went on to look for the best angle to take their shot.
They continued on for a while and then took a group photo at Inokashira Park, Benzaiten Bridge. The multi-colored balloons among the green trees looked very beautiful and everyone in the shot was surprised by how vivid it looked. They moved to a different location and took some more group photos. At this point, conversation among participants starting to pick up and they enjoyed shooting images in their own way!
THETA can also take impressive photos of water like this because you can shoot images even from above the bridge using a monopod to just fit the surface of the water into the shot, something not quite possible with a normal camera.
Jumping ahead, they returned to the venue where it was cool and check everyone’s data they had shot. Everyone showed each other their photos and reflected on how fun the 2 hours had been.

After first taking a group photo on the bridge, Team @ry.mona split up into groups of 3 people and got into the rowing boats. Some people had come all the way from Osaka for this event, and everyone really looked like they were having fun and were energetic as they started to row the boats.
Everyone was sweating from rowing the boats under the hot sun during this break from the rainy season. The men helped out and everyone put their boats close to each other’s to teach each other their shooting techniques lively.
Some people lifted THETA high in the air to shoot photos while others took photos while holding THETA close to the surface of the water. They took some really interesting photos using THETA because of being surrounded by water.
They enjoyed about 40 minutes on the boats as they encountered a family of spot-billed ducks and collided with other boats. On the way back it was very hot so they stopped to buy and eat ice cream while taking photos.
After everyone’s strength had returned, they shot video. They formed a circle and placed THETA in the middle while they moved around the camera and tried jumping into the air to take some interesting shots.
Everyone tried their best jump while getting the timing right as they said “It’s so hot!”.
After this, the team was allowed some free activity time and many of them did not split off from the group but instead enjoyed shooting photos of each other around the hydrangea flowers.
Some people in the team had brought along their own props to shoot a rich variety of photos. The props included glass beads, their favorite soft toy, and their own monopod.

Everyone who returned to the venue showed off their best shots to other teams despite being tired after all the walking. While hearing about the techniques from people who often use THETA, we finally moved on to the processing lecture.
We explained the basics of how to use the THETA+ app. All first time users were impressed and said “Oh, I see!” after we showed them how easy it is to edit images.
Just the other day, THETA+ started to also support video editing so we talked about this as well.
Some of the people listening said that they would try processing photos on their way home using the app, since it had become so useful.
After this, based on the participation of only those interested, we also talked about using an app other than the THETA app to try more fun processing of THETA photos and so we discussed using a blending app on 2 photos to create a more dramatic process.
The majority of people stayed on to watch images being transformed on a projector.
Some people, while on their way home, with a smile said “I’m interested in THETA but never got the chance to try it”. We are glad that we held this meet. We always feel this way after each event. We are happy that so many people find it interesting.