As photographers quite often the addiction we have to capturing that next special moment becomes one of the most dominant things in our lives. And while photography is generally a “healthy” addiction in comparison to many of the things we could be doing with our time and money, sometimes we can also be blinded by what is truly important in life and forget about those around us. While we are off chasing that magical sunrise or sunset in some faraway place, our partners in life may be left behind wondering when we are coming home, or where exactly we may be.
There’s no better feeling than having that special someone in our life who is supportive of your goals and dreams. But this works both ways – and while that endless journey and pursuit we like to call photography leads us all to some incredible experiences, it’s the experiences we have when not pointing the camera at pretty scenes that truly matter in life. Here are 5 tips for maintaining a healthy romantic relationship as a travelling photographer to ensure a healthy balance with the things that matter most in our lives.
Involve your partner in what you do
How awesome is it to experience and see amazing places with other people? Quite often though it is other photographers who we experience those with, rather than our beautiful partners. The best experiences I have in photography are those I share with my partner. She is there for me through thick and thin. We spend so much time driving and travelling to incredible places together and each and every trip we make together is a new adventure. Sure, I really do enjoy spending time with my other photographer mates. It’s great to just be able to chat about cameras, image processing, pay each other out through endless “insults” and plan for that next great image. But nothing beats the feeling of standing there and seeing an amazing sunset with my partner and seeing her excited about those “pink” skies, just as I get excited about how they are any other colour but pink.
Be “present” when you are at home
So you have just come home from the “most amazing” photography trip with your mates, you have laughed so much and discovered the true meaning of photography along the way. That’s awesome. It’s great to be able to share those moments with other people. But don’t forget about the moments you could also be sharing with that person who loves you the most. It’s time to turn off the computer and save the image editing for later. You can relive those memories of that incredible night sky anytime, but don’t forget to make the most of the time you have away from the camera to focus on your relationship as well.
Try to get work closer to home
Travelling to faraway, exotic, new places is amazing for photography. You get to see new things, hopefully capture some amazing images and share them with whoever it is that you want to see them. It’s also incredible to be paid to travel and continue building up your portfolio of images and ticking off those dream destinations. But that time spent on the road can also take a toll on even the most solid of romantic relationships. While you are looking for your next pay packet from a workshop or some other form of paid work that requires hours of travel time to get to, that is time spent away from home. While the destination can quite often be a big drawcard for photography work, you may also be overlooking and forgetting that these things can also be achieved a little closer to home.
Put that camera away
So you are heading out on a romantic weekend away with your partner? What is the first thing you pack? Is it your camera? If this is the case, perhaps it may be time to start thinking about leaving your camera gear at home. Yes we are photographers. And yes it’s amazing to be ready to capture whatever amazing natural phenomena could possibly happen at any given moment. But while you are constantly thinking of the best compositions for any moment or scene that may be in front of you, you are probably missing out on things that are far more important in life. And that is the true connection and commitment to the time you are spending with the person who should mean more than any other fleeting moment in time.
Log out of those social media profiles
So you captured the BEST SUNSET EVER and you need to share it with the world! Wow you just got 1000 likes and 200 comments in the first hour of posting it! How many more likes will it get? Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Who out there with any reasonable social media following doesn’t do this? And how much of a distraction is it to the “real” world while you are looking into the portal of your digital world and focusing on that? Here is a tip – when you are with your partner log out of your social media profiles. And I mean actually log out to ensure notifications don’t keep popping up on your screen and distracting you from spending real time with them. The digital world can wait for you. The real world won’t. There’s far more important things than how many people did or didn’t comment on that last post while you are sitting there with your partner in a restaurant or somewhere else. Focus that energy into creating moments with them instead.
About the author
Jason Futrill is a photographer based in Tasmania, Australia, who specializes in aerial photography and long exposure landscapes. He’s one half the Project RAWcast podcast team. You can find more of his work on his website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. This article was also published here and shared with permission.