I was thinking today about how much my different Flickr groups and their corresponding blogs have changed my photography habit. I would not have finished my first 365 without the Shutter Sisters 365 and Project 365 groups and various people I met through them. I would not have been half as inspired without the Mortal Muses and Through the Viewfinder groups.
It wasn't until I took the step of joining groups rather than anonymously perusing and using my Flickr just to upload knitting projects, that I really began to grow as a photographer. Now, don't think I see myself as anything but an amateur, because I don't. But, I can't say how much it encourages me, as I record life, to look through these pools and read these blogs that regularly feature amateurs (and professionals) from all over the world with different perspectives who share my desire to explore via camera. Through their lens, I see places and situations I might not have otherwise seen. They bring up thoughts I would never have had. Other times, I see images so very familiar to me it is like revisiting my own memories.
Once in a while I get that feeling of deja vu when I click onto one of the blog pages and it takes a moment to register that the boy or garden or roller skates or whatever is, indeed, really my image. It's another reminder that I'm part of the community. Featured or not, I'm one of the Muses- one of the Sisters.