Since launching our Hejogram project, we’ve stumbled upon some fantastic initiatives that also embraced the power of Instagram in travel photography. Today we highlight SeeMyCity, which started in January this year. We talked to founder, Marianne Hope, to find out more about the project.

SeeMyCity came about when Marianne discovered how much interest there was for travel photography on Instagram. “This, in combination with the awareness and appreciation I myself felt for my surroundings after I started using my iPhone and Instagram, led me to the idea to start a city marketing project based on mobile photography,” said Marianne.

@herbertschroer for SML
Credit: @herbertschroer for SeeMyLeuven

She and the other founding members, all photographers by trade, came together on Instagram to start SeeMyCity with a goal to engage residents to “see, appreciate and share their city,” shared Marianne. “This way the marketing effect comes from the heart of the people.”

After their two pilot projects garnered much coverage and positive response, they’ve been approached by other tourism boards to help market their destinations.

Marianne Hope (@mariannehope) for SML
Credit: Marianne Hope (@mariannehope) for SeeMyLeuven

Toerisme Leuven, in Belgium, recently approached SeeMyCity to commission the current SeeMyLeuven project. The team will run a workshop where they share their Instagram and mobile photography experiences, as well as offer tips on how to take better pictures. After the workshops, they will conduct a photographic treasure trail in the streets of Leuven with the participants.

After SeeMyLeuven, we asked Marianne what are the future plans for SeeMyCity. She said, “We plan to do many more projects and cities all around the world. The concept is unique, innovative and effective and there are many cities and places that can benefit from our marketing and expertise. First out we are putting Qatar in the picture with SeeMyDoha which will be a big and very interesting project.”

Dirk Bakker for SML
Credit: Dirk Bakker for SeeMyLeuven

SeeMyLeuven is also currently running an Instagram contest. It is open the anyone who has been to Leuven. All you have to do is:
– Follow @seemycity
– Tag your pictures (mobile photos only) of Leuven with #seemyleuven
– Use Geotag or write where in Leuven the picture was taken
Deadline: Jan. 7th 2013

They’ve got some fantastic prizes lined up from various sponsors, including two luxury hotel stays. The best submissions will also take part in the SeeMyLeuven museum exhibition in February 2013. Check out their website for more information about the project, prizes and rules.

Huge thanks to Marianne for the chat, and contributing her photos from beautiful Doha to Hejogram earlier last month. Do look out for @seemycity on our Hejogram feed as we follow them around the world on their new projects.