A couple of weeks ago we went out to Patea as a storm system began to roll in, to capture the big seas and breaking waves. But we weren't the only ones, in fact there was probably 15-20 people at the beach while we there. It's no wonder really, it's an impressive site to see, to feel, both relaxing and invigorating.
But there was one group who were making better use of the conditions than most. A group of teenage surfers were making the best of the conditions as the tide reached it's peak and then began to move out. I couldn't help but be drawn to thinking about the influence friends (or as we are more likely to say in Kiwi-ish 'mates) have in our lives.
The surfers were constantly talking to each other, watching each other and the most typical of teenage traits, showing off. Or if you want to take it from a different point of view, enjoying themselves, learning (by watching and talking) and pushing the boundaries (by showing off).
I guess in a more general sense that's what mates do. Beyond the laughter we get to enjoy things from a slightly different angle and viewpoint. If they enjoy photography like many of my friends do then you get a chance to see how they approach it, what attracts then, what interests and inspires them. The advantages of avenues you may not have heard about or have not chosen to explore. A reason to take that unexplored road you have always wondered about.
There are a lot of photographers who will not go out photographing with others. For some it interferes with their concentration or means that they will have to fit in with another's plans. For others they don't want to share their favorite spots or techniques. I can see their points but on the other hand there is so much to be gained, whether it is just a meetup, a weekend away or something else, it's good to have a bit of cross pollination in our creative lives.
Make the time, enjoy the company, be appreciative, give freely and be open. Who knows where it will lead.