To me, photography is an art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in an ordinary place... I've found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.
In keeping with stepping out of my comfort zone and surrounding myself with like minded people, I signed up for Photoshop Creative Live Tour with Ben Willmore, a strobist club, and the WWPW in Ybor City with Pete Collins and Corey Barker. The photo walk was built around using your iPhone and photographing textures and elements. Photographing from a different perspective was really fun. It forced me to put my DSLR camera down and focus more closely on things I found interesting. It really was a great lesson in looking beyond your viewfinder. At the end of our walk, we had dinner and shared our photos. What a great group of artists. I was so impressed by the many skill levels, lighting set ups, and people who were willing to share both their knowledge and their gear. Most of all, it was great to share ideas and and learn while having a great photo shoot.
Once I step out of my comfort zone I was able to fully engage in those experiences. Joining other photography groups is a good way to learn and grow. By surrounding yourself with all different skill levels, you will learn while being able to teach others. It is the perfect blend of enouragement and growth.