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View Full Version : The spouse's influence on your LF work: significant, slight, or none?



Heroique
7-Jun-2015, 11:01
By chance today, I came across a few threads – old and new – where forum members have made plain a great, almost dominating influence on their LF work by their "significant other."

When I say "significant other," I mainly mean "spouse," and more specifically "wife," but the term might include any immediate or close family member or partner.

For example – and I'm paraphrasing:

"My wife liked this image so I thought I'd scan it and post it here."
"On our vacation, my wife wouldn’t allow me to take my LF equipment." :(
"I matted and framed this print because my wife chose it for the den above the couch."

If I understand the general demographics of the forum, this sort of influence by one's "significant other" has the potential to be, well, significant – and indeed, I suspect this to be the case for many LFers here, perhaps even the majority.

But I'm sure there are plenty others whose significant other has no influence at all on their work (no matter how important this person is in the wider perspective of one's life or lifestyle).

So I’m curious about your personal experience, especially if it offers a unique view into the nature of our LF work:


• If your significant other had been someone else, please describe how your LF work would be different (if at all) in quantity or quality?
• If you suddenly "lost" your significant other, how might the nature of your LF work change – or do you think there would be no change?
• And finally, any tips or lessons for the rest of us about how your relationship has helped or hindered your work?

Comments by LFers without a "significant other" are also welcome! :D

DrTang
7-Jun-2015, 11:49
like this: I used to shoot a lot of models

then I got married
and stopped shooting

then I got divorced and started up again

Rayt
7-Jun-2015, 12:02
My wife thinks this is all just a waste of money.

Randy Moe
7-Jun-2015, 12:05
Both my last wives have passed.

So have 5 lady friends, they were intimate friends.

No I didn't.

Now I suffer from artistic freedom...

And not a muse in sight.

:(

Vaughn
7-Jun-2015, 12:44
As soon as the my triplet boys were old enough not to need a stay-at-home-parent (me), my wife divorced me. Partly due to the fact that even tho she fell in love with and married an artist, I did not mature into the 40 hour a week working stiff she desired. I only work halftime at the university (but with benefits, including health insurance!) for the last 24 years.

But I can now say the divorce was a positive influence. The boys are 18 and off to college this Fall, I have my own house with a darkroom under construction, and I will have time to devote myself to my art...especially since I am retiring at the end of August.

Drew Bedo
7-Jun-2015, 12:58
My wife and mother-in-law both have a strong influence on my LF photography:


For some reason, the "Golden Hour" seems to fall right at meal time, or just when its time to stop sight-seeing and go home.

bob carnie
7-Jun-2015, 13:10
Laura Paterson, my wife is an excellent photographer and printer.. she has no problem telling me when my prints suck.... also she has been very complimentary of my printing at times.

I think her gentle influence has given me a more delicate way of looking at photographs, her series of children is very compelling and her wonderful spirit shines through this difficult subject matter as these are children she does not know. She is pushing me to teach her pt pd printing and tri colour as her work would really sing in these processes.

So over all I think she has a rather large impact on my work.

BrianShaw
7-Jun-2015, 13:19
I'm at Dr Tang's second phase for the most part and have no intentions of transitioning to phase 3.

John Kasaian
7-Jun-2015, 13:21
My bride actually encourages me go go out and make photographs plus she doesn't complain about the store room filled with such bulky gear as a Houston Fearless aerial roll film processor, an Elwood 8x10 enlarger, a K-17 Fairchild 9x9 with both lens cones, an Omega D-II, and countless boxes of other photo paraphernalia.:D

dsphotog
7-Jun-2015, 13:24
My wife thinks this is all just a waste of money.
+1
She hates all my "Photography junk" "In her way".(She shoulda known since, when we met, I had a 14x17 process camera in my kitchen)
She likes the prints, though.

Tracy Storer
7-Jun-2015, 13:38
My wife is generally enthusiastic and encouraging. Though she is fond of noting the days with the most beautiful weather always seem to be the days I end up in a windowless studio or darkroom. She's not wrong.
She prefers me working on my own work over clients, but we both know which pays more bills.
:/

Winger
7-Jun-2015, 14:35
As a woman, I know I'm in the minority here, but I'll chime in anyway.

My former husband put in more input on my photography and a certain amount more encouragement, but was also rarely critical - which is something that's needed, too. My current (and hopefully enduring) husband is fairly good with encouraging it all. He's let me take over a decent amount of space for darkroom and craft room and even buys me funky cameras. He might be hoping I'll let his hobby go one for one with the cameras, but the garage just is NOT that big (he likes to redo cars). He complains about "more flower pictures?" and "not another calla lily", but I think he still likes them. Sorta. He's also not a shabby photographer, but hasn't done much since he was in Germany with the Army in the early 90s. If I really try to pin him down, he can have a decent critical eye. He just prefers being a wiseass more.
I wish I could get more time to photograph at times that I want to, but that tends to be dinnertime or getting the little dude to school/camp/whatever time. It isn't really Ken's fault that I don't, just life in general. And he does try to give me time without the little dude when he can.

David Karp
7-Jun-2015, 14:43
My wife is an excellent photographer. She prefers small camera work. She is making beautiful photos with an Olympus E-P5 now. She has always been completely encouraging. Never begrudged an equipment purchase or my time with photography. Both of our photography time is limited by work and our time with your young kids, but that is life! It impacts my opportunity for darkroom time more than anything else. She has a great eye, and sees things photographically very different than I see things. She is also a good critic and beyond extremely supportive. I chose wisely.

Amedeus
7-Jun-2015, 15:16
My first wife hated photography. She was into paintings and antiques.

My second wife was a model and accomplished photographer. She was the one that encouraged me to photograph again and help her out with the wedding photography and model portfolio business. She divorced me when the wedding customers and the models preferred my images over hers.

My current live-in SO encourages my photography work and doubles as a (nude) model at times ... my other female friends either model for me, are photographers or are engaged in other aspects of arts and act as critics.

Photography is an important passion for me, otherwise, I make a living as a high tech executive in technology.

jp
7-Jun-2015, 15:49
My wife puts up with many things like too much film in the freezer, camera gear laying about, me off shooting at the beach or woods while she is mowing the lawn or taking care of the kids. She isn't into lf or photo history but she does a great job with family photos with a DSLR, is good at graphic design, and has good taste in photography. She isn't into modeling but gave birth to two cute daughters who are easily bribed to model. I'd call her influence slight but all good.

cdholden
7-Jun-2015, 15:52
Now that I'm single again, I'm free to pursue my artistic interests as I please. We have a saying in the south, and I'm pretty sure it has an equivalent in the north, as well as around the globe.

"If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

Chris

Mark Sawyer
7-Jun-2015, 16:22
Do pixies count?


http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g139/Owen21k/Doubts%20s_zps3un01xuh.jpg (http://s55.photobucket.com/user/Owen21k/media/Doubts%20s_zps3un01xuh.jpg.html)

jackies
7-Jun-2015, 16:47
I, too, will chime in.

My husband hated my photography. So he was never supportive at all. Guess where that went . . .

Now, I have a special man who loves my photography. He will be out traveling and text me about a place he is at where I can get a good photo. We do alot of gravel travel and he loves it. . . I have a whole new portfolio of landscape work because of him. . .

DrTang
7-Jun-2015, 16:59
I'm at Dr Tang's second phase for the most part and have no intentions of transitioning to phase 3.

phase three sucks

but.. making lemonade out a lemons I guess

Ken Lee
7-Jun-2015, 17:11
I changed the title from wife to spouse.

jnanian
7-Jun-2015, 17:20
my wife is great, supportive, artist, photographer, landscape architect
.. the whole shebang

Bob Sawin
7-Jun-2015, 22:02
My wife does not understand my photography at all. She supports me all the way though, as she knows I am a better person for pursuing my passion. I can't ask for more.

DG 3313
8-Jun-2015, 05:12
My wife is awesome. When we travel and I bring a big camera (that is what she calls them) she brings a book. She knows how much it means to me and that means a lot to her.

c.d.ewen
8-Jun-2015, 06:07
Yes, this is an actual quote from my wife:

"Why can't you take ordinary photos, like everyone else?"

Sigh.

Charley

Jim Fitzgerald
8-Jun-2015, 06:39
Well, my first wife and I are in the middle of a nasty divorce right now! She has been dragging it on for 13 months now at a cost that is unreal. Three years ago now I met the love of my live who supports me as an artist, educator and sports car enthusiast. I mean what woman will carry your 8 x 10 camera for you ( June is only 4'8" tall) and my backpack is almost as big as her, go camping in a tent, cook for me, take care of me and as a bonus polish the wheels on our car..... and loves to do it all! I'm the luckiest man alive. I'm going to court again and I hope to get a trial date today so I can divorce my bitch of a first wife and retire in October and live a happy life with my new spouse forever. I am a happy man!

Randy Moe
8-Jun-2015, 07:24
I changed the title from wife to spouse.

+1

John Kasaian
8-Jun-2015, 07:35
I remember a few Springs ago she was very excited to tell me that she'd heard that Sonora Pass had been opened for the season and that I should get up there with my big camera :D

Kodachrome25
8-Jun-2015, 08:16
My wife encourages me in my photography, is not biased towards any particular format…kind of like how I am to come to think of it…..

She knows it more than pays the bills and affords us the amazing lifestyle we have in our famous little ski town. She has modeled in lifestyle shoots, received all kinds of great clothes, ski passes, dinners ,awesome wines….and met gobs of famous peeps.

In fact, when we met in Yosemite I was in the act of photographing…so she knows it is who I am.

My wife is my number one fan, backer and supporter. I shall return the favor by working extra smart / hard so she can retire early.

Doremus Scudder
8-Jun-2015, 08:50
I'm lucky to have a spouse that is my partner in many things leisure, artistic and business. Many couldn't work together with their spouse all day long and still have a great relationship, but that's exactly what we do. She and I are both classical singers and have done a lot of singing together. We studied together for our doctorates and now we teach together at the same conservatory in Vienna, Austria. She's actually my boss there, since she's the artistic director; I'm a voice teacher and choral director there.

We also run a small business leading English seminars and doing translations for banks and natural gas and oil companies in Austria (I'm the boss of that company...). We team-teach days at a time, no problem.

As for photography: not only is she supportive of my "third career," she encourages me to get out and photograph, to spend time printing and to get the gear I need. She even sets up appointments with galleries for me. She loves wilderness camping, hiking, cold-weather camping (we've spent many winters out in a tent for 4-6 weeks at a time) and other "finding-photo-related" activities. When I stop to set up a shot, she has something to do and enjoys the break.

She is one of my best critics, and pulls no punches when it comes to evaluating my prints (and my singing, teaching and directing too...) or nudging me in a direction ("you should do more abstracts," etc.). On printing days, there's usually a time for a cocktail and a print viewing, which is something she enjoys, not an imposition. Her feedback comes from a purely visual and non-technical background (art history, etc.), but no photo-technical specifics, which often helps me to get away from the technique and focus more on the subject and how it works for non-photographers. Nevertheless, she has very strong opinions about contrast, tonalities, composition, etc. Bouncing my work and ideas off her is the first thing I do. It helps me with editing myself and clarifying my own ideas. We disagree about some things, but I find her opinions and insights invaluable.

Plus, when hiking, she often willingly carries an extra lens or a few extra filmholders for me.

I'm fortunate that she likes what I like in so many areas and that what I do she enjoys as well. "Happy wife, happy life."

Best,

Doremus

appletree
8-Jun-2015, 08:53
Yet to be married, but interesting to see the comments/discussions in here.

appletree
8-Jun-2015, 08:56
I'm lucky to have a spouse that is my partner in many things leisure, artistic and business. Many couldn't work together with their spouse all day long and still have a great relationship, but that's exactly what we do. She and I are both classical singers and have done a lot of singing together. We studied together for our doctorates and now we teach together at the same conservatory in Vienna, Austria. She's actually my boss there, since she's the artistic director; I'm a voice teacher and choral director there.

We also run a small business leading English seminars and doing translations for banks and natural gas and oil companies in Austria (I'm the boss of that company...). We team-teach days at a time, no problem.

As for photography: not only is she supportive of my "third career," she encourages me to get out and photograph, to spend time printing and to get the gear I need. She even sets up appointments with galleries for me. She loves wilderness camping, hiking, cold-weather camping (we've spent many winters out in a tent for 4-6 weeks at a time) and other "finding-photo-related" activities. When I stop to set up a shot, she has something to do and enjoys the break.

She is one of my best critics, and pulls no punches when it comes to evaluating my prints (and my singing, teaching and directing too...) or nudging me in a direction ("you should do more abstracts," etc.). On printing days, there's usually a time for a cocktail and a print viewing, which is something she enjoys, not an imposition. Her feedback comes from a purely visual and non-technical background (art history, etc.), but no photo-technical specifics, which often helps me to get away from the technique and focus more on the subject and how it works for non-photographers. Nevertheless, she has very strong opinions about contrast, tonalities, composition, etc. Bouncing my work and ideas off her is the first thing I do. It helps me with editing myself and clarifying my own ideas. We disagree about some things, but I find her opinions and insights invaluable.

Plus, when hiking, she often willingly carries an extra lens or a few extra filmholders for me.

I'm fortunate that she likes what I like in so many areas and that what I do she enjoys as well. "Happy wife, happy life."

Best,

Doremus

How wonderful! Happy marriage, happy life. I think a spouse should be someone we enjoy life with. Not every hobby, but many that we both enjoy and can enjoy together as friends. Books to read together, someone to grow together and learn together, etc etc. Two becoming one flesh, truly beautiful and amazing.

prendt
8-Jun-2015, 09:01
I'm the luckiest man alive. I'm going to court again and I hope to get a trial date today so I can divorce my bitch of a first wife and retire in October and live a happy life with my new spouse forever. I am a happy man!

It really seems so...

Drew Wiley
8-Jun-2015, 13:09
Since our home serves mainly as a vet clinic and flophouse for indolent felines, I keep a separate building for photographic use, which I can escape to from time
to time. But anything I happen to do which does not involve helping in the kitchen or pampering the cats is, well ...

John Jarosz
8-Jun-2015, 13:38
Wow, therapy for the LFPF.

I'm well supported in my photography efforts by my wife who paints and draws. She actually exhibits & sells more than I do. She's willing to sit around while I set up and expose, which is not a small thing with ULF. She will sketch while I fiddle if the scene is right.

I'm having a hard time understanding how 2 photographers can co-habit. I can see some stress there and some of the stories here seem to confirm that.

Heroique
8-Jun-2015, 14:58
Wow, therapy for the LFPF.

I'm no psychologist, but this thread has seemed like a doctor's couch.

To be sure, the remarks suggest the "wife-influence" is quite widespread here!

But it runs deeper and stronger than I thought – both the positive and negative variety.

-----
BTW, let's not forget the negative variety can inspire some great LF work, too.

Alan Gales
8-Jun-2015, 20:34
My wife encourages me to go shoot. She especially likes family photos but is fine with me shooting other things. She just doesn't want me buying more cameras or lenses. I've got a lot of stuff so I really can't blame her.

Ron McElroy
8-Jun-2015, 21:23
I first met my wife when she curbed her car in front of my duplex long ago around 5am. I was only up at that time because my then comrade/mentor and I were going out to make photos. He had also invited a painter friend, my now wife, to come along. My landscape photography has been a constant in our relationship along with her painting. We both enjoy the seeing the quality of light even when not working on images. She is very good with portrait photography, much better than I am, as well as portrait painting. I think we have both heavily influenced each other in our varied creative lives.

ShannonG
9-Jun-2015, 17:29
My wife is one of the main reasons i still shoot large format and do darkroom work,,,she has always supported me thru thick and thin,,,,stuff like buying a new lens rather than a new shed,or a box of sheet film rather than a date night with pizza,,,,,lucky lucky lucky,,i am,,,,and she is good looking as well

prendt
10-Jun-2015, 00:56
I'm going to court again and I hope to get a trial date today so I can divorce my bitch of a first wife and retire in October and live a happy life with my new spouse forever. I am a happy man!

What's the update on your ..... of a first wife? Did you get the trial date? Keep us posted.

Dennis
10-Jun-2015, 07:50
You can't help who you love and I do love my 20 years spouse but she is not a visual artist. When trying to respond to my work she is just guessing what her response "should be".
Ultimately she just thinks pictures should be pretty. She used to be supportive but has long since become disappointed in my meager income. She thinks all nude photos are porn.
She thinks my taking my cameras on vacations is irritating because she doesn't want to stand around while I take pictures. My artistic life would probably have been far more productive had I not fallen in love with her.
But I did and can't help it and I get a lot of really likable extended family in the deal.. even a kid who calls me Grampa.

Dennis

Kirk Gittings
10-Jun-2015, 08:26
As photography is how I pay the bills my wife is very supportive to a point. Generally speaking I have to maintain a very flexible schedule so that I can take last minute jobs and chase good light when it comes. This sometimes raises conflicts. Also creative endeavors require a ton of thought, which makes me not very present in our relationship sometimes. Also the cash flow is very uneven which causes problems. This life definitely has its problems. On the other hand what I do takes us to amazing places (like the weeks we have been able to stay at the Petrified Forest while I was the AIR and after) and we meet amazing people.

Its no picnic but I can't imagine doing anything else-going on 45 years in this business and only drove off one wife!

paulr
10-Jun-2015, 08:27
I was married quite young and dumb and disasterously, so this will probably read like a predictable cliché. My wife was mostly a hinderance to photography (in a lot of indirect ways), and then over the course of a long breakup, the emotional bleakness fueled my first serious body of work. Those days are long over. I live with my girlfriend now; she thinks I should photograph more and spend less time blabbering online :)

sanking
10-Jun-2015, 09:06
I live with my girlfriend now; she thinks I should photograph more and spend less time blabbering online :)

You have a smart girlfriend. I think many of us should consider the wisdom of her advice.

Sandy

DrTang
10-Jun-2015, 10:20
I live with my girlfriend now; she thinks I should photograph more and spend less time blabbering online :)

whatever you do ...don't marry that one

there is something in the wedding cake that causes changes..in many areas

paulr
10-Jun-2015, 10:21
You have a smart girlfriend. I think many of here should consider the wisdom of her advice.

I lobbed an easy one there, Sandy. No one could blame you for swinging.

Drew Wiley
10-Jun-2015, 10:22
I do the grubby intense large format treks by myself, whether it's simple dayhikes or multi-day backpacks. When it's a vacation with my wife, I regard it as her
vacation, and well-deserved at that. So if we're going to someplace like Hawaii, we basically agree to what I term a "photographer's pre-nup", vacation-wise. I tell her I want to take a particular shot with the 4x5 and don't abuse the privilege while she waits. Otherwise, she doesn't mind the quicker 6x7 or 35mm shooting, which she relates to herself. And we try to stay places where I can casually walk around outside and use whatever camera I like while she is cooking or reading. So this seems to work. But yesterday a buddy came by whose wife is an extremely successful corporate lawyer. As soon as she had an eleven day court case across the country, he spent the whole time in the darkroom trying to catch up with his backlog. It takes some finesse.

sanking
10-Jun-2015, 10:47
I lobbed an easy one there, Sandy. No one could blame you for swinging.

Paul,

Sorry, my reply was edited and it changed the meaning. I did not mean to direct the comment only at you, but at all of us.

This is what I meant to write, now edited, "You have a smart girlfriend. I think many of us should consider the wisdom of her advice."

Sandy

Andrew O'Neill
10-Jun-2015, 10:48
I've been with a very tolerant and supportive Japanese gal for the past 26 years. She also has a very keen eye and freely offers up useful criticism. I recently discovered that she is a gifted poet and asked her to see if any of my stuff would inspire her...

paulr
10-Jun-2015, 11:21
Paul,

Sorry, my reply was edited and it changed the meaning. I did not mean to direct the comment only at you, but at all of us.

This is what I meant to write, now edited, "You have a smart girlfriend. I think many of us should consider the wisdom of her advice."

Sandy

Ha! No worries, Sandy. Both versions are true enough.

hoffner
10-Jun-2015, 13:30
Well, my first wife and I are in the middle of a nasty divorce right now! She has been dragging it on for 13 months now at a cost that is unreal. Three years ago now I met the love of my live who supports me as an artist, educator and sports car enthusiast. I mean what woman will carry your 8 x 10 camera for you ( June is only 4'8" tall) and my backpack is almost as big as her, go camping in a tent, cook for me, take care of me and as a bonus polish the wheels on our car..... and loves to do it all! I'm the luckiest man alive. I'm going to court again and I hope to get a trial date today so I can divorce my bitch of a first wife and retire in October and live a happy life with my new spouse forever. I am a happy man!

Good grief!

SergeiR
10-Jun-2015, 21:01
My wife is probably my biggest supporter and she got very good eye for details. Not to mention being very good MUA and occasionally - model ;) I would imagine i still would shoot LF without her (i started before we met, but it would be very different.

And we met for first time in person b/c of LF.. :) And because of collodion! :)

(Jim i feel for ya.. i had gone through nearly same experience, of having divorce dragging legs for 5 years - but now i am happily married man).

Jim Fitzgerald
11-Jun-2015, 05:24
My wife is probably my biggest supporter and she got very good eye for details. Not to mention being very good MUA and occasionally - model ;) I would imagine i still would shoot LF without her (i started before we met, but it would be very different.

And we met for first time in person b/c of LF.. :) And because of collodion! :)

(Jim i feel for ya.. i had gone through nearly same experience, of having divorce dragging legs for 5 years - but now i am happily married man).

Sergi, yes it has dragged on but I finally get my day in court. August 6, 2015 I am a free man! I have the most supportive woman in the world and it is so nice to finally be happy. So glad to hear you made it as well.

SergeiR
11-Jun-2015, 05:30
Sergi, yes it has dragged on but I finally get my day in court. August 6, 2015 I am a free man! I have the most supportive woman in the world and it is so nice to finally be happy. So glad to hear you made it as well.

Funny thing is mine was in the first half of august too ;) Gratz on getting onto final run... Nothing like being able to finally breath.

prendt
11-Jun-2015, 06:39
Well, my first wife and I are in the middle of a nasty divorce right now! She has been dragging it on for 13 months now at a cost that is unreal. Three years ago now I met the love of my live who supports me as an artist, educator and sports car enthusiast. I mean what woman will carry your 8 x 10 camera for you ( June is only 4'8" tall) and my backpack is almost as big as her, go camping in a tent, cook for me, take care of me and as a bonus polish the wheels on our car..... and loves to do it all! I'm the luckiest man alive. I'm going to court again and I hope to get a trial date today so I can divorce my bitch of a first wife and retire in October and live a happy life with my new spouse forever. I am a happy man!


Sergi, yes it has dragged on but I finally get my day in court. August 6, 2015 I am a free man! I have the most supportive woman in the world and it is so nice to finally be happy. So glad to hear you made it as well.

Good to hear! Hope your woman won't develop a bad back or something and stop carrying your 8x10 camera a polishing the wheels of your car. Better to have some plan B for happiness in such a case.

Michael Graves
11-Jun-2015, 06:52
My lovely wife and I shoot together all the time. We never see eye to eye on what the best angle or focal length will be for any given subject, so we can both set up on the same scene and get totally different results. That said, she does have a profound influence on how I work. She has formal training in art and has helped fine-tune my composition technique. Maybe someday, I'll even be as good as her.

She, on the other hand, has little or no technical expertise and no desire to learn. She just has me calculate exposure and develop all her negatives. Then she prints them.

seabee1999
11-Jun-2015, 08:40
Sergi, yes it has dragged on but I finally get my day in court. August 6, 2015 I am a free man! I have the most supportive woman in the world and it is so nice to finally be happy. So glad to hear you made it as well.

I am glad to hear that you finally got a court date. I hope it does go smoothly.

R/
Dave

seabee1999
11-Jun-2015, 08:47
My wife is generally supportive of my photography work. Acquiring gear, now that is a different story. Thankfully, I got a lot of my stuff prior to us getting married. She doesn't have an influence in what I photograph per se, but as a general rule, if I take an image that I feel that I cannot show her, then I won't take the shot (ie, no nudes).

R/
Dave

David Karp
11-Jun-2015, 10:17
. . . We never see eye to eye on what the best angle or focal length will be for any given subject, so we can both set up on the same scene and get totally different results. That said, she does have a profound influence on how I work. . . .

This is quite true for my wife and I as well. Before kids, we used to go out photographing together quite a lot. We would always come back with such different photos that it was not even clear we were in the same place! This was true even if I was using 35mm or MF (she always used 35mm, now works with M4/3 or a Canon S95). Many times one of us would invite the other to take a peak at the image we had framed up and the other would wonder how the photographer even saw what was framed up.

I think that she also pushed me to do better work.

David Karp
11-Jun-2015, 10:29
. . . I'm having a hard time understanding how 2 photographers can co-habit. I can see some stress there and some of the stories here seem to confirm that.

I am lucky in that my wife understands what I am doing and why. There is and was never any competition between us photographically (an idea which I find absurd). Even though we both photograph less due to our work and family obligations, photography has never been anything but something important and shared between us, not a wedge. Even if we did not share in this way, it seems to me that people have to learn to accommodate each other. Compromise and understanding go a long way in a marriage. Like I said earlier, I chose wisely.

Drew Wiley
11-Jun-2015, 13:35
Unwritten rules help. When I'm in the lab, that's my space and she doesn't interfere. When I'm in the kitchen, that's her space and she's in charge. Everywhere else
the cats are in charge, and I'm their butler. One of my favorite Far Side cartoons has a guy in the darkroom looking under his safelight and realizing that he's finally captured the world's first shot of Bigfoot, Elvis, and Liz all arm in arm. Right at that moment, his wife opens the darkroom door with a lunch tray, flooding
the room with light.

Jim Fitzgerald
11-Jun-2015, 18:28
Good to hear! Hope your woman won't develop a bad back or something and stop carrying your 8x10 camera a polishing the wheels of your car. Better to have some plan B for happiness in such a case.

She is my plan B

Jim Graves
11-Jun-2015, 18:35
Well, I am very lucky ... my wife is a bit bemused by the large format complexities ... but she thinks I should be doing what I like and is always very supportive of that without being judgmental.

But, in addition, she has extraordinarly good artistic taste. Her brother is a very accomplished designer/artist ... her sister is quite a good painter as was her grandmother ... so she is a great resource when I ask her opinion on photos. I learned early on to trust her artistic judgment ... even over mine ... which she is kind enough to deliver without criticism ... and I have profited from that.

It also helps that we are soulmates ... trusting and liking each other ... I fully support her love of horses and participate in her activities with them too ... so, what is good for the goose is also good for the gander ... or in this case, vice versa.

munz6869
12-Jun-2015, 06:31
My partner (of 17 years) and me have such different photographic mindsets - she loves shooting macro medium format from low angles, to the point of blurry abstraction, whereas I am invariably shooting large format at tripod height, searching for the epic landscape or urban photograph. This makes for very interesting comparisons later on. She staunchly refuses to use a light meter, yet consistently gets nice dense, INTERESTING printable negatives... I just don't understand at all. It's absolutely wonderful having an artistic foil...

Marc!

Alan Gales
13-Jun-2015, 16:35
Well, I am very lucky ... my wife is a bit bemused by the large format complexities ... but she thinks I should be doing what I like and is always very supportive of that without being judgmental.

But, in addition, she has extraordinarly good artistic taste. Her brother is a very accomplished designer/artist ... her sister is quite a good painter as was her grandmother ... so she is a great resource when I ask her opinion on photos. I learned early on to trust her artistic judgment ... even over mine ... which she is kind enough to deliver without criticism ... and I have profited from that.

It also helps that we are soulmates ... trusting and liking each other ... I fully support her love of horses and participate in her activities with them too ... so, what is good for the goose is also good for the gander ... or in this case, vice versa.

Hey Jim, do you take very many photographs of her horses? They are beautiful animals.

Jac@stafford.net
13-Jun-2015, 16:51
My wife when I was an active press photographer in the city of Chicago in the early Seventies, then later as freelancer with some astounding clients, would tell me as I rolled into bed at 3AM that she liked the sounds of me working in the darkroom in the next room. She died.

My current SO of 18 years could care less about my work.

It is too late in life to look for alternatives. I am Seventy. I work regardless but with little joy.
.

Rick A
14-Jun-2015, 05:31
Simply put, Karen is my muse. She encourages me to go places and shoot. Some days I feel as though I'm ignoring her, but she always tells me I'm not and that she's happiest just being out with me. My best work is attained when she's around. We aren't married, nor do we live together. In fact, she lives 150 miles away, and we don't get much time together, but when we are together it's magic.

Jim Fitzgerald
14-Jun-2015, 17:51
Simply put, Karen is my muse. She encourages me to go places and shoot. Some days I feel as though I'm ignoring her, but she always tells me I'm not and that she's happiest just being out with me. My best work is attained when she's around. We aren't married, nor do we live together. In fact, she lives 150 miles away, and we don't get much time together, but when we are together it's magic.

Then it is right! Go with it. I feel the same when my June is with me which is generally always. Wouldn't have it any other way. Enjoy, life is short.

Liquid Artist
15-Jun-2015, 18:42
My life is different from most, since I work away from home around 200 days a year.

My girlfriend and future wife encourages me until I get home.
Then she looks at my work, and loves around 80% of it. However accuses me of photoshopping the other 20%.

Then when I want to go out with the camera she makes it difficult.
Going out with the camera is easy compared to going in the darkroom.

Then she complains when I don't have any work in my portfolio.

So after 4.5 years, I still haven't the faintest idea if she truly supports my photography or if she's a roadblock.

What I do know is I still love her and miss her the entire time that I'm away from home.

Jim Graves
16-Jun-2015, 20:41
Hey Jim, do you take very many photographs of her horses? They are beautiful animals.

Not with large format ... these are mostly young (2 & 3 year-old) performance reining horses ... high energy. There are almost always other people on their horses when I'm around them at training sessions and shows. The horses get pretty dicey around a large strange looking camera on a tripod with a person moving under a black cloth behind ... and the riders tend to frown on stampede instigators.

Gary Tarbert
17-Jun-2015, 00:11
There is no doubt in my mind ,i would be a far more prolific photographer if i was single . But would i be happy? Probably not , My wife supports me to a degree but it seems to fluctuate with the print sales ,When sales are up she seems more supportive , We have had a tightening in our economy of late so spending on things like artwork etc have cooled , So when i spent $600 US on film last month she was less than impressed

Rick A
17-Jun-2015, 12:31
Then it is right! Go with it. I feel the same when my June is with me which is generally always. Wouldn't have it any other way. Enjoy, life is short.

Thank you Jim, I shall.

Robert Langham
19-Jun-2015, 16:01
A happy household is about the best foundation for work that someone can have.

135702

Iluvmyviewcam
19-Jun-2015, 16:27
OP, she has just a little influence. My wife and family hates most of my work. Her support is more on vacation pix. Very little home base support for my real work.