Sharing A Passion For Photography
My favorite boy toy has been in love with the camera for years and I have the pictures to prove it too! (Click here for pictures of a younger boy toy with his camera.)
He’s encouraged me over the years to do it with him, with varying levels of success. Not that I’m stubborn or anything (cough, cough). Not that he wasn’t insistent that I do it exactly the same way he did it (more coughing). Over the last few years though, we got it figured out.
So our vacations don’t quite fit the norm of everyone else, as these pictures show from our recent trip to Maine. Our days might start at 5:30 am to catch the sunrise. It might not end until after midnight if we’re out doing some night photography. We catch up on our sleep in the middle of the day, when the light is flat.
He enjoys using a tripod and composing each scene to the nth degree, a holdover from his days of film when film and processing were expensive and took way too much money from our household budget. Me, I hand hold my camera and in a short period can shoot several hundred pictures. After that, I get bored waiting for him. Eventually I find someplace to sit and read while I wait for him to (yet again) get done.
Sometimes I amuse myself by taking pictures of him. It’s best to catch him from behind or when the camera is in his face so he’s not scowling at me. It did occur to him though that he might want to use some of these on his website and he got much friendlier about it!
There are other big differences in how we approach our photography. He’s blowing his up into 18″ x 27″ canvases to sell for hanging on the wall. Mine are going into a blog or photo album. His have to be perfect – people don’t want to pay for “it’s good enough”. Mine are “good enough”. I have limited patience and time for editing and processing them and because they’re so small on the screen, they don’t have to be perfect. My audience loves them as they are; his criticizes everything he does. Not everyone, but every year there’s a few customers who get nasty about it. I don’t know why they don’t just keep walking and feel they have to tell him what they think is wrong with his work and how they can do the same thing with their little point and shoot camera.
It’s taken us a long time to get to this point. He was critical that I didn’t do it the way he did. I responded by not bothering to take pictures. If I took pictures, I came home with all kinds of good things. He’d come home with a few, then complain that he didn’t get any good pictures. He’d give me advice, I’d ignore it, then find out the hard way why it was good advice – like when I tried taking pictures of the lightning several years ago. He insisted that I upgrade my digital camera several years ago and he was right about how the quality improved. But when I turned up my nose at learning Adobe Photoshop, he backed off and suggested I try Adobe Lightroom instead, which I love using.
Then one day he looked at my pictures and realized that I’d gotten very, very good at the photography. When I demurred, he told me to look around at the art fairs and art galleries that he liked checking out. He was right – my pictures were nearly as good as his and in some cases, even better. I definitely had an eye for composition. Funnier yet, I was asking him questions about Lightroom that he couldn’t answer. He’s still the king of Photoshop, but I’m not bad with Lightroom! He’s been more supportive of the way I do my photography and as a result, I’ve been much more receptive to his advice.
According to a recent article from the Wall Street Journal, sharing an interest good for a relationship as it prevents boredom and complacency, and encourages the brain chemicals related to pleasure and bonding. In the article, it talks how learning a new hobby from scratch is one way to go, but another way to consider is when one partner has a passion already. For the other partner, they have a build-in teacher and get bonus points for efforts. Of course, that has its pitfalls, as my husband and I found for ourselves. For the newbie, check the attitude, take direction, and don’t kill the joy for the partner with the passion. For the proficient partner – reward the newbie, be patient, and stay focused on the long-term goal of introducing your passion so the other partner will want to learn it.
At the end of the article, one of the partners commented on learning beekeeping with his wife saying,
“If you create fun, enriching experiences together, you reinvent yourself and your marriage. . .
you look at your partner in awe.”
[If you’re interested in improving your photography or other skills, check out this review of Lynda.com for inexpensive on-line training. I highly recommend it!]
Maine (Acadia National Park) Photography Acadia National Park Adobe Lightroom Adobe Photoshop Bar Harbor Maine photography
dogear6 View All →
I am a backyard adventurer, philosopher and observer, recording my life in journals and photographs. Visit my blog at www.livingtheseasons.com.
Excellent advice about sharing what you love with those around you!
Thanks Andrew! I’m glad you liked it.
I totally enjoyed your post, thank you for sharing :)
It’s nice to see that you two share a passion for photography. I think my husband gets a little bored when I’m taking photos when we’re out hiking or whatever. He takes very good photos when he can be bothered, but mostly he doesn’t want to bother. That’s okay. We share other hobbies, and I tell him to go on ahead when I’m taking pictures and then run to catch up. I get extra exercise and he doesn’t have to wait. Win-win. :)
The big thing is that is works for the two of you. I cannot tell you how many orchid stores he dragged me around to and I just sat and read – in the car if I had to. Ditto on his side when we went to my needlepoint stores. We all work out in some way (or spend our time being miserable, which I feel bad when I see couples that do that).
Thanks for sharing your photography adventure. I enjoyed seeing your boy toy through the years at the link you provided. I need to experiment with the tripod I was given.
I’m glad you liked the pictures of the younger boy toy. Doesn’t it look like I robbed the cradle? Although I looked just as babyface.
I really hate using a tripod. I do it for night shots, but that’s about it. Hopefully you will do better.
PS. Would love to see some of your husband’s work. Is he online??
His website is at: http://www.kensphotographs.com/
It’s not very current – our daughter is not very cooperative in updating it for him. He’s finally agreed to use WordPress instead but hasn’t been ready to start work on it yet.
Wow, he’s really talented! Let me know when he puts up a wordpress site!
Wonderful post – agree wholeheartedly. One of my first posts (not as interesting as yours!) spoke to the same subject in a (hopefully) humorous way. The difference is I’m the photographer and my husband is now learning. Check it out here: http://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/7-simple-suggestions-for-staying-happily-married-to-a-non-photographer/
It’s funny to see your different approaches to photography. I’m with you. Snapping a gazillion photos is what digital cameras were made for. You’re bound to get a good one eventually. I use photoshop but don’t do a lot of processing. Sometimes I think I should do more but it seems like a lot of work to learn how to really optimize the shot. I’m in a photo club where generally cropping is all you are allowed to do. It evens the playing field somewhat, but then there is that matter of camera capabilities. What do you shoot with now?
I’m shooting with a Rebel 3Ti. There is a Rebel 5 out, but it’s the same megapixels and sensor, so there’s not enough advantage to buy it.
Your camera club sounds very limiting. Since I shoot in raw, I have to post process or the pictures won’t look good. I shot in jpg for many years, but the difference is that the camera makes the processing decisions for you instead of you making them yourself. I do some minor cloning, particularly if something is out of place (a person or a droopy flower), but generally my compositions don’t need that. Raw has a lot more data in it. Because of that, it’s easier to adjust shadows or burned out spots without getting pixelated or chromatic aberration (where a spot suddenly has a prism rainbow color).
loved seeing the pictures of your favorite boy toy taking pictures, and loved your article. thanks for sharing them ……
As a passionate photographer, I liked reading about the differences in how you and your husband approach photography. Photography is fun and there are so many ways to enjoy it!
What a wonderful comment – I’m glad you enjoyed the post and left a comment. I agree that there’s so many ways to enjoy it, but you couldn’t convince my husband of it ten years ago. It didn’t stop me from taking pictures, but I took a lot less and it was all point & shoot in jpg.
Great post – I can really relate to it :). I have always been addicted to anything electronic, and my DSLR goes everywhere with me. Until about 2 years ago my hubby didn’t even know how to turn on a computer. Then all of a sudden he started taking an interest and now he regularly uses a digital camera and knows how to upload his photos to his laptop. Now we will often just hop in our car and drive around for an afternoon finding things to photograph. It’s so nice to have a common hobby now even though he always claims his photos are better :) Oh, and I’m the one who takes 200 photos for every 5 of his LOL!
That is too funny – him taking the pictures but you having the volume! My hubby and I do the same thing with hopping in the car and just driving around. Sometimes it’s just a bust, but other times we do pretty good!
Yes, it can make for a really fun day, especially now that the kids are older and we can just take off without worrying about them. It’s nice to have some time for us again!
Even if the spouse doesn’t share the passion for something, having passion for your spouse to learn about their ‘other’ passion can do wonders. This is a fabulous post. I love your pictures of your favorite boy toy. I think the Day 5 picture of him waving is my favorite.
You’re right – it has helped us grow closer having a common interest. I’m glad you liked the post and him waving at me!
It is great to share an interest. For a time my hubby was into fishing. I didn’t like fishing but I went with him as I enjoyed the boat ride. I was able to get some sun and fresh air and caught up on my reading. Sometimes I would read aloud as he fished. If it was a good book or article, the fish seemed to bite so he encouraged me. It was fun.
I did the same thing when we went out shopping for his orchids. I was happy to get out of the house, but I just read while he shopped.
I loved your story though – how funny that the fishing was better if it was a good book or article!
While neither my husband or I are into photography for blowing up and selling, what you write is just like us. I will take many photos in the time hubby sets up and takes a couple. One example is a few years ago we were overlooking the local airport but more interested in the sunset and the view of the town with the lights going on. I got bored and started watching for the evening flight to leave. I got the picture, hubby missed it while he was trying to setup the shot.
Yep, that describes us pretty well. 12 years ago, I got a ton of pictures from this place. I think he got 3. And it so seldom happens to snow when the leaves are still on the trees, he never was able to duplicate these conditions.
Great comment – so glad it’s not just us!
I think it’s same with any couple who enjoy the same things. One is always the perfectionist, for whatever reasons.
I think you’re right about one being the perfectionist. The trick being for them to realize it and back off!
There’s nothing wrong with being a perfectionist, it’s tolerating the lack of perfection in others that may be the problem. Backing off also helps.