I am a serious hobby photographer, husband, and a pretty good amateur plumber... Other hobbies include model railroading and archery.
A few words about my "Hand Picked Circles" project:
This is my second go-around on G+. (I am just a private individual, a user like most everyone else.) I had over 1500 followers the first time. I added circles to my stream that claimed they were full of photographers. What they were full of was spammy animated GIFS (which bog down my browser) and a few nut jobs and many who might have owned a camera but never posted a picture. And worse, there were folks that did not respect the country I live in (or any other, I suspect). I got totally disgusted about it Thanksgiving 2011 (3rd week in November for those outside the US of A) and blew away that account and the 1500+ followers. I thought about it for about a week and then restarted. I would actively check EVERYONE that I add to my circles. And since I thought such circles might have value to others, I started sharing them. I try to watch the stream, if someone drops in a bunch of goofy GIFs or political stuff I look at their profile again. If, in my judgement they are no longer interesting to me, BOOM! Gone! Mostly I don't have to do that. I also actively seek out new photographers to add to the circles, I add about 100 every week. The other thing I do is drop anyone that has not posted anything in 30 days or more. I figure they have lost interest.
When people follow me, I don't follow them back unless they are a photographer. And I BLOCK anyone I suspect has terrorist ties or that seem to me to be evil - exploitive or whatever. (Yes, I translate foreign language posts. I have seen pictures of an "al-queda picnic" - looked like normal folks, but if the guy is involved with that stuff, he's out. Also the OWS crowd pretty much turns me off.) I also block anyone I know takes other people's work and calls it their own. That's theft.
So that's it. In trying to make my world a better and safer place I have created a unique product that I am willing to share. (I'll take my payment in small, unmarked bills. <GRIN!> )
What I Am Looking For:
Item one and most important on the list, you need to be a Google Plus Photographer. This means posting pictures to Google + and Picasa and allowing the general public to see them. You can turn off downloads (I have), but I don't want to leave Google + to see your work. If you have a blog you can occasionally drop a reference to offsite work, but for the most part, post them here.
Corollary 1: You need to have original content. This must be most of your profile stream.
Corollary 2: If you share other people's work, credit them and say why you are sharing. Share one picture or album, if it's good enough that will get us interested. We don't need more.
Corollary 3: Vacation snaps of you and the kids better be pretty darn creative if that's all you post. And if all you post is pictures of your own sweet self, I am not interested. That's not a symphony, it's a "one note samba."
Corollary 4: You need to be active! Because of the circle limits, I drop anyone who has not posted in over a month.
Corollary 5: I find it harder to drop people who are my followers. Fact of life, sorry. But I do it.
Secondly, play nice. You can mention religion or politics as long as you don't say "my way is the only way." Don't insult people or the countries they live in - or your own. This world is too big and funky and cool to be mean.
Third, If you "Share a post with me" by accident, OK, I can live with that. If you do it every time I will block you and you will be removed from "Hand Picked." I don't have enough hours in the day to do what I am doing now, don't add to my workload.
Why break your circles into Canon, Nikon and "everything else?"
When I first started these circles, the circle limit was 500 and I felt it was an interesting way to split things up, It worked out to 15 circles, 6 Canon, 4 Nikon and the rest and unknown into the rest. The underlying question to me was if there was any kind of difference between the styles and subjects between users and followers of the various brands. Yes, I see some differences, but I will leave it to you to figure out what they are. :-)
Now I have troubles adding circles larger than 200 members. So I have reduced the circle size to 200. This means that there are now 30 circles and each shares once per month.
A Few Words About My "Photographic Style"
In general my style is "Photo Veritas." I almost always strive for realism and the common experience. I don't usually include people in my photos, because I expect the viewer to be "the person in the picture."