Your Story: StreetMeetLA

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“You are the average of 5 people you surround yourself with.”

There’s an amazing group of creators that gather in the streets of Los Angeles with the sole intent to capture magic. This “underground” scene of L.A. photographers put together numerous photo meets, with one happening pretty much every single week, but, by far the biggest one you will see happening is StreetMeetLA.

If you have ever attended one of these incredible meet-ups you will know how massive this event gets. Over 200-300 people attend each meet, from models, to photographers, to fire performers, and just overall characters.  There is never a shortage of content to capture at a StreetMeetLA meet-up. What shocks me the most is the neighborly feel you get from each person that goes. Sadly, there’s a shortage of this in Los Angeles. This event is so well organized each and every time though! I never see trash left behind, and the people who attend are so friendly and helpful! Everyone bands together to give this such an inclusive and homey feel. I have personally seen people lend out spare batteries, or pass out extra smoke grenades just to make the shot that much better. KushDolls has experienced the patronage of StreetMeetLA ourselves numerous times! We’ve had models who were there throw on some KushDolls gear and pose for the cameras alongside the KushDolls we brought with us, and the content we receive back from Photographers at the meet is always top notch.

Because of all of this, we reached out to StreetMeetLA creator, Dovvie, to pick his brain about the meetup and ask some important questions about what it is, how it came about, and some other cool things you guys might like to find out about it!

“StreetMeetLA is community and passion.”

How long have you been a photographer?
I’ve been photographing professionally for 10 years and I’ve been taking photos since high school. I played around with my dad’s old Canon and Pentax film cameras growing up in his art studio. In high school, I decided to take a photography class and I ended up really liking it. In college
there was no photography major. So I majored in art with an emphasis in photography. All of my classes all 4 years were photography related. Everything from the darkroom, to commercial studio photography.
What is your favorite thing about what you do? 
My favorite thing about what I do as a professional photographer is I get to do what I love full time. I’m a people person and love being able to capture a person’s emotions in front of the camera. I’m super fascinated with how people’s personalities can change in front of the camera. They almost become vulnerable, which allows you to really get to know them on a much more personal level, and, in turn, I’m able to express them through photography.
What is StreetMeetLA?
Street Meet LA is community and passion. It’s a community of like-minded individuals and artists who are passionate about photography. Who are passionate about modeling. Who are passionate about performing – whether it be fire breathing, smoke performances, dancing and everything else revolving around the arts.
What inspired you to create StreetMeetLA?
I’ve always been a leader and not a follower for as long as I’ve been alive. In college, I was nominated to be president of an on-campus student organization that actually represented another college as well. As president, it was my duty to organize and plan out events that were held every week, and to plan and organize trips. I also had the opportunity to travel across
 the country and attend really important political conferences with other college student leaders. I really grew and learned so much from those experiences.
I then took a long hiatus from leading anything to focus on my own business.
I had been on Instagram since the very beginning in 2010. After 5 years of following other incredible photographers, I realized that a lot of the photographers I had been following lived in L.A. Then I began to wonder if any of these photographers knew each other outside of Instagram, meaning out in real life. That got me really thinking, and I started brainstorming ideas in early 2015. What if I used Instagram to promote a photo meet where L.A. photographers can connect in real life?
In June of 2015 I hosted my very first photo meet in The Arts District. I was petrified thinking only a few people would show up and it would be a huge disappointment for them and myself, but the opposite happened! Over 100 photographers and several models  showed up. It was an incredible day that I will never forget.
How long has StreetMeetLA been around?
Almost 3.5 years. I can’t believe it!
Do you only host meet ups in LA county?
Yes, for the most part. I hosted a photo meet in Las Vegas a few years back, and it was a success. A lot of Vegas locals showed up. I plan on doing it again.

“I hope to be a good role model for other creators.”

What kind of people come to the meet ups?
People from all walks of life. The people that attend Street Meet LA have an interest or passion for photography. Photography is their creative outlet. I recall a photographer explaining to me how stressed his week was and then
he took a deep breath, and as he sighed he said, “I needed this. Thank you” That brought a smile to my face. I rarely see people on their cell phones at the meets. My goal has always been to get people off of Instagram for at least a few hours, and meet other people face to face, and network. I’ve learned that the only way to get ahead in life is to network and develop friendships with people who have similar passions and interests. There’s the saying, “You are the average of 5 people you surround yourself with.”
Where do you see StreetMeetLA going in the future? 
I want Street Meet LA to go nationally, then internationally. Although Street Meet L.A. has been around for 3.5 years, It’s still, “underground” As much as I like that, I do want to get involved with big camera corporations and host photo meets/walks in several cities, like a tour. Those of us who live in Los Angeles are very lucky to go out and experience a photo meet literally every weekend. I get messages from people all the time saying, “I wish you could do a photo meet in my town.” With the help of sponsorship’s, I hope to one day bring Street Meet LA to other towns and cities.
What kind of affect would you like StreetMeetLA to have on creators?
Hopefully a positive effect. I hope to be a good role model towards other creators. I want creators to do what they love, and hopefully turn it into a career. In-between meets through Instagram stories, I provide a lot of relevant value and inspiration. I want to push more people towards following their dreams and living a more fulfilled life.
What advice would you give to newbies wanting to attend one of the meets?
Arrive with an open mind. If you’re nervous it means you’re doing the right thing! I promise you’ll end up leaving the photo meet feeling rejuvenated and inspired.

These images are just a taste of the incredible content that comes out of the StreetMeetLA meetups. We’d like to thank Dovvie for his time and his candor and we highly encourage each and every one of you to check out the StreetMeetLA instagram page, and attend one of the meet-ups! You won’t regret it!

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