Stacy Sparks, Southwestern College associate professor of journalism, will be leading the first ever Worldwide Photo Walk in the Walnut Valley on Saturday, Oct. 5, 9-11 a.m., in Winfield.

“We will gather at 8:30 a.m., at College Hill Coffee to get acquainted and finalize plans for a morning of photography,” Sparks says.

College Hill Coffee is located at 403 Soward Street.

This is the sixth annual Worldwide Photo Walk and, according to Scott Kelby, president of Kelby Training and number one bestselling photography and technology book author, it is the world’s largest global social photography event in the history of photography itself.

It takes place on the same day around the world where photographers of all walks of life and skill levels gather together, usually in downtown areas to socialize, learn new tips from each other, and explore their corner of the world through photography.

“In 2012, we had 1,300 walks,” says Kelby, editor-in-chief of Photoshop User magazine, and president of Kelby Media Group.

“Last year, we had over 1,300 walks with more than 32,000 photographers joining in. Over 10 million photos were taken in that one single day that wouldn’t have been taken otherwise.  I can’t wait for this year’s walk. This is easily my favorite day of shooting throughout the entire year.”

Anyone can participate in the event. All you need is a camera and a passion for photography. It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you use.

According to Kelby, people have used simple point-and-shoot and even disposable cameras in the past, had a blast, and left with a new appreciation for photography and some great local connections.

Kelby credits the success and popularity of the event to the social aspect of photography.

“Photography is usually viewed as a solitary activity, but the truth of the matter is that people love to shoot together, compare notes, and just have fun with photography,” says Kelby.

“The Worldwide Photo Walk is a social phenomenon. I’ve had group leaders contact me to say that they’ve turned their walk into a monthly event. Other people tell me that they’ve made friends at the very first Photo Walk that they’ve kept to this day. It’s the joy of shooting with friends, new and old, that makes this event so special.”

In addition to enjoying a day of photography with other local photographers, participants may also be eligible to win prizes from the Worldwide Photo Walk’s sponsors if their photo is chosen as the best photo of the day by their walk leader.

Each winning walk photo is then entered into a global competition where Kelby picks the single “best photo” of the event along with 10 runners-up. Full details are available at:

There is no charge to participate.  Sparks recommends that walkers wear a comfortable pair of shoes.  For more information, contact Sparks at (620) 229-6320.