Being passionate about photography and doing it for a living has plenty of great sides. But, there are some downsides as well, and they can affect your private life. In this video, Manny Ortiz and his wife Diana get honest and personal about how photography can negatively affect marriage. It’s a cautionary tale and an inspirational story for all of us, as we all sometimes tend to take relationships for granted and we find it hard to switch off from work.
In this video, the couple talks about how Manny’s photography affected their marriage and how difficult it sometimes was to deal with it. In this regard, “photography” includes both the creative and business side of the job, and both can be really consuming. As a result, it spilled over to their relationship.
Diana explains that she felt like she was competing with Manny’s obsession with photography. I don’t believe that your partner would mind hearing about your job or even getting involved from time-to-time. Maybe they’d help on set, with prep, or even pose for you. But when they feel as if they are competing with your photography… This is when it gets frustrating, for both of you.
Now I’m gonna get a little personal as well, because I’ve been there. I had more than a few situations with my ex-boyfriend that resulted in us arguing because of my photography. Usually, it would happen while we were traveling abroad or visiting interesting locations in our own city. He would sometimes feel left out because I got so consumed by photographing the stuff around me, that I didn’t share any of my impressions with him. After hearing Diana share her feelings, I understand what caused my ex to feel so frustrated. He felt like he was competing.
Now, if you want to maintain a healthy relationship, Manny advises that you develop an “off switch” and use it when you’re with your significant other. Make a clear boundary between work and private life and don’t let your work spill over. Manny admits he even carried his camera to dates, he was so consumed by it. And I’ve gotta admit – I did that too. What I’d like to add is that communication, mutual agreement and balance are the key. At least that’s my opinion, and actually – I think it’s pretty universal recipe if you want to avoid arguments and maintain a successful relationship.
As photographers, we often talk about the business, industry, marketing, and of course – about gear. But relationships with other people are something that makes up a great deal of our lives, and we don’t discuss it that often. So, I think it’s cool that Manny and Diana opened up about this issue, and I hope they’ve made you think and reconsider your own behaviors. I encourage you to find and use that “off switch” from your job when you’re spending time with your partner. But above all, try to find common ground and compromise.
[I made a HUGE MISTAKE! | Manny Ortiz]