Happy Birthday Google+!

On June 29 last year, I made my first Google+ post after receiving an invite from Googler +Cody Bratt. At the time, I never realized that it would have such an impact on my life. I know, it sounds crazy right? (The people not active on G+ definitely think I'm a bit loony for making such statements, but it doesn't matter.) I continue to say with conviction, that Google+ has made a difference in my life.

Before I joined Google+, I took one or two photography related trips each year, mostly to the East Coast to explore abandoned buildings, but I stopped spending a lot of time shooting locally after a falling out with a few photographers. I was uninspired for a while, but that changed when I joined Google+.

Within six months of joining, I attended my first photowalk in San Francisco, followed +Thomas Hawk and a group of 50 photographers down to Death Valley for an extended weekend, spent a weekend camping in Big Sur with a group of photographers and hosted a Yosemite photowalk during the full moon. During those 6 months, I was not only getting out and meeting people in person, but I was interacting with other photographers online, engaging in conversations, joining hangouts and planning shoots with new photographers in the area. 

I felt inspired again.

This week, I am attending three different photowalks. One of them involves a group of locals welcoming Canadian +Karin Nelson to California for the first time! (How cool is that G+?)

Sure, it might be crazy to spend a few hours everyday sharing photos, enjoying photos, laughing at the humor of friends and chatting with strangers on hangouts, but Google+ has completely changed the way I go about photography. If you put in the time and effort, interact and engage, you will find that there is a whole amazing group of people out there waiting to be discovered.