"Be careful of the photographers you choose to follow or you may become like them." I'm not sure if that was exactly how Clement Stone phrased it, but I believe it could be close. Do you think it is possible to be heavily influenced by the images and shooters we follow and not even know it?
Through the past years, I have added many photographers to my online networks, but actually find myself following a much smaller crowd these days. It's still a large number, but I do find myself returning to my favorite photographers and spending much more time studying their work. I am also a bit more selective in adding to my followers list, however it seems I find new and exciting photographers every day now!
What amazes me is that some of the shooters I follow have such a different style than I do. For instance "John Adams" (aka) ThePres6 on Flickr, is a wonderful example. I've been following John's abstract and HDR custom motorcycle work for a good time now ( he was recently published in Easy Rider Magazine) and I can only hope something rubs off on me. So much so, I'm planning a trip to Daytona Bike Week next month!!
I also enjoy following the work of some of Canada's finest photographers, who shoot (amazing) landscapes of which are more in common with my style. Shooters such as CowgirlStraightup, Altamons, and Napaneegal do some impressive work! They are always worth my time and I return to their images at Flickr often for inspiration and to compare notes. I have no doubt my work would look very differently today if it were not for this special and talented Canadian trio! I aspire to the best and have long lost my glass ego the day I purchased my first DSLR.
I've read with any interactions, that we are all unconsciously trying to find ourselves in the others we interact with. I'm not sure, but feel my photography has been greatly influenced by my social network of photographers. Do you feel like your images reflect the work of the photographers you follow?