Yesterday we kicked off the FIAT USA Open Road Challenge in the Windy City with Josh Johnson – also known as #JJ - and his team of collaborators (Emily Gomez, Michael Petruzzi and Kevin Kuster). The #JJ community is the largest community of photographers on Instagram.
The team plus FIAT Backstage
and our videographer piled into two FIAT 500L vehicles and headed to the Navy Pier to meet Chicago’s most enthusiastic #JJ fans. Upon arrival we began to meet other avid Instagrammers who all recognized each other by their #JJ connection and usernames.
During the Instameet the group of about 50 photographers took a stroll along Lake Michigan capturing the moment through their personal artwork. Check out some of the highlights below from today’s FIAT USA Open Road Challenge Instameet in Chicago
Stay tuned to FIAT Backstage
tomorrow as the #JJ team takes on Detroit, and be sure to follow along on Instagram at hashtag JJ (#JJ).
OPEN ROAD CHALLENGE DAY 2 - DETROIT, MICH.
On day two of the FIAT® USA Open Road Challenge
, we awoke with the #JJ team and made a beeline for some espresso
before hitting the road in our FIAT 500L
to our next destination, the Motor City.
It was a gorgeous day in the Detroit, which made for picture-perfect lighting during our photo walk with local members of the #JJ community.
We spent the duration of our Instameet strolling through “the D,” capturing images that reveal the true beauty within this urban landscape.
This Instameet gave the #JJ team an opportunity to break down the barriers of smartphones and really interact with their community members. They even made a pact to leave their smartphones in the middle of the dinner table and vowed that no one was to touch them until after the meal (or else that person had to pick up the tab).
Connecting the visionaries of the #JJ community is what the FIAT USA Open Road Challenge is all about – and we’re excited to be along for the ride!
We’re going to be heading east throughout the next three days, which means there is still time for you to join the adventure! For specific dates and times, check out the FIAT USA Facebook page
OPEN ROAD CHALLENGE DAY 3 - PITTSBURGH, PENN.
Josh Johnson was a pioneer in the Instagram movement, creating a competitive and collaborative community for photographers that has grown to an incredible 445,000 followers.
As Instagram gained popularity, so did the #JJ community. That’s when Josh rallied a troop of talented photographers to help him manage and facilitate the program – thus came Emily Gomez, Michael Pettruzzi and Kevin Kuster.
The #JJ team members, who had never met in person prior to this trip, have spent the past three days getting to know each other and members of their community on a personal level beyond Instagram.
Today on the FIAT Open Road Challenge, scenery dictated our stops along the route to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The #JJ leaders, who have a sharp eye for detail, composition and lighting, strategically planned pit stops where they knew they could snap great photos to document this expedition.
Five hours and countless playlists later, we arrived at the Smithfield Bridge (one of a record-breaking 446 bridges in the city) to meet another group of creative visionaries at a #JJ Instameet.
We covered more ground, crossing the bridge and trailing a mile to Point State Park, where a mix of beautiful terrain, architecture and water inspired some striking photography.
On to our next stop in Washington D.C.! And don't forget to check out the FIAT USA Facebook page
at the end of the trip where you can vote on which photographer you think deserves to win a new FIAT 500L
OPEN ROAD CHALLENGE DAY 4 - Washington, D.C.
Day four of the FIAT Open Road Challenge brought us to our country’s capital, Washington, D.C.
A more flexible schedule meant that the team had some much-needed downtime in between traveling and heading out to the Instameet.
After four days of traveling, the team was thankful to have the time to recharge its internal (and external) batteries before heading to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial to meet some of D.C’s most active #jj members.
A September sunset set the scene for our photo walk along the Potomac River Tidal Basin and through the National Mall, where this newly acquainted group of Instagram friends enjoyed interacting and comparing techniques.
Take a peek below at some of our favorite photos from our time spent in D.C.
Where do you think the #JJ team should head on its next road trip? Tell us in the comments below!
OPEN ROAD CHALLENGE DAY 5 - New York, New York
and anticipation were high on the final day of the FIAT® USA Open Road Challenge
. FIAT Backstage
, the #JJ team and our FIAT 500L
duo beat the sun to breakfast, waking up at 4:30 A.M. in order to make it to our Instameet in New York City.
We had a five-hour drive and a jam-packed day ahead of us. As tired as we were from being on the road for five days, we all managed to enjoy the ride into the Big Apple thanks to our Uconnect system with satellite radio
. The #JJ team members all took turns playing DJ – Emily cranked the indie station, Michael preferred the classic hits, Josh concentrated on podcasts and Kevin was into “the king of rock and roll.”
Our shiny FIAT 500L fleet rolled into town and headed for the Brooklyn Bridge to meet the largest group of #JJ community members on the entire FIAT USA Open Road Challenge – we even got to hang out with Josh’s mom, @grammy1!
We spent the afternoon indulging our creative side, strolling across the bridge and capturing the stature of the city.
In the evening, everyone put on their finest attire and headed to the FIAT of Manhattan for the FIAT USA Open Road Challenge after-party. DJ Nash got us off on the right beat with some ambiance music.
In NYC, we met some community members who traveled all the way from Brazil to meet Josh Johnson and the crew. They told us about how the #JJ forums have influenced their creative lives and how the connection they have built with other users is unlike anything else they’ve experienced from social media.
Built on the principle of encouragement, #JJ has created a sense of community that is truly profound.
It was a pleasure getting to meet and interact with all of the #JJers in Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, D.C. and New York City!
How has the #JJ team inspired you? Let us know in the comments below or on the FIAT USA Facebook page
, where you can also watch some excusive footage of Josh, Kevin, Michael and Emily!