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At @IGBoston show, tiny images became big

The moderators of @IGBoston (from left) Brian McWilliams, Kathryn Riley, Ash Heath, and Mic L. Angelo posed among the prints at their exhibition at General Assembly.
Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff
The moderators of @IGBoston (from left) Brian McWilliams, Kathryn Riley, Ash Heath, and Mic L. Angelo posed among the prints at their exhibition at General Assembly.

A dragonfly. A stairwell. Saturated skylines galore. Square photos hung from tiny white clothespins as a few hundred people filtered through a pop-up gallery Friday night.

These were Instagram photos, traditionally confined to a tiny phone screen, blown up and displayed in an industrial basement space at General Assembly as part of an event hosted by @IGBoston, a membership-based Instagram group that shares photos by Greater Boston shutterbugs.

The group’s founder Brian McWilliams, 56, of the Back Bay, said members are well-acquainted with one another’s work virtually, but this was a chance for fellow “photo geeks” to meet in person.

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McWilliams, who posts photos of his walk to work through the Back Bay and Beacon Hill every morning and evening, said he founded the group in November 2013 as an alternative to more touristy Instagram groups.

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With three other moderators, McWilliams highlights exceptional photos by @IGBoston members daily. Membership is contingent upon completion of a photo challenge, which people can attempt as many times as they need.

Around the room Friday, guests sipped drinks, swapped contact information, and of course marveled at seeing their photos in a larger format.

“It just doesn’t even seem real, and it came out of my little iPhone,” said Marsha Epstein, 67, of Newtonville, gesturing to her sunset photo of Madaket Harbor in Nantucket.

Calling it a newfound passion, Epstein said she’s attended four or five Instagram meet-ups and is often the oldest one in the room: “I feel like the Grandma Moses of Instagram.”

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Mu Yun, 24, of the South End, and Iliana Panameno, 24, of Malden, were touting their Instagram account @we_ceremony, dedicated to women of color and fashion.

“There’s a legitimate photography community,” said moderator Kathryn Riley, 21, a senior at Boston College. “I’ve met a lot of friends through the app.”

Stephanie McFeeters can be reached at stephanie.mcfeeters@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @mcfeeters.