Whenever I take photos I am satisfied with, I feel butterflies in my stomach. I recently though how photography gives me the same feeling as when I’m in love. And so, my always-in-love brain came up with a bit quirky comparison: how is photography similar to a relationship?
I’ve had a few relationships over the years. I’m currently in the longest one with a human, but the one I’ve had with photography still beats it in duration. All this considered, I thought about a few phases every relationship goes through and compared it to the phases I had with photography. As odd as it may sound – they actually have plenty of similarities.
Before I begin, one more thing – it feels strange to refer to photography as “it.” I mean, the very comparison of photography and relationships is weird enough in itself. :) So, led by the logic of my native language, I hope you won’t mind me referring to photography as a female. And now, let’s begin.
Phase one: the excitement of getting to know her
You have found each other, and everything is fresh and new. When you just think of going out for a walk with the camera today, you feel butterflies in the stomach. Everything is interesting, even what most people see as boring, crappy and ugly. You just can’t get enough of taking photos, and always looking forward to the next day when you’ll do it again. You still have some doubts, though, afraid that you may be doing a lot of things wrong and that the passion may disappear. But you manage to overcome the fears and just go on.
Phase two: you grow together
There were some concerns, and they slowly begin to fade. Now you’re quite confident that this is gonna last forever. You are convinced that this kind of love is not something that just comes and goes; it’s something special. Photography has proven herself as a faithful lady who’s always there for you, and you’ve proven yourself as a devoted person, who’s willing to learn about her and take the best out of her. You develop and grow as you learn new things about her and as a result – your photography grows and develops, too. You influence each other in a marvelous way!
Phase three: you have difficulties
Well, each relationship comes to this stage. When the initial hormonal rush falling in love is over, you see where you really are. You realize all the flaws he has and how much there still is to improve. And you feel like you don’t know how to improve stuff. You try to feel that initial excitement, but you know so much about her, that it seems like it’s limiting you. You want to move forward, but it feels like you’ve hit the wall. Your relationship stagnates, and you’re frustrated.
Phase four – two possible outcomes
When you get to the stage where you face the difficulties, there are two possible outcomes. I had the first one with some other hobbies I pursued (and needless to say, some relationships). But with photography, it was the second scenario.
1. Breaking up
Sometimes, the difficulties are simply too big to overcome. You begin to lose interest, and eventually, your passion disappears completely. You turn away from photography and realize it simply wasn’t for you. After a while, you may find new “love.” One that will last a lifetime. Although, it sometimes takes a few failed attempts.
2. Moving together towards the future
The second possible outcome after the period of difficulties is that everything comes to its place. You let some time pass and allow yourself to observe the problems from all angles. Now, it’s time to rekindle the flame.
If there are flaws you can’t accept, you realize – you can only change them if you change your approach, not if you force anything. As for the rest of the bad sides, you embrace them. You take the next step, try new stuff, work on yourself and your relationship, and get inspired all anew. The spark from the beginning is here again, and although it may not be constant – you will feel it from time to time, strongly and intensely. It will make your eyes glow and wake up those sleeping butterflies in your stomach all over again.
Now, as time goes by, you’ll most likely experience phases three and four go on repeating themselves in cycles. But you will keep overcoming the difficulties. You love photography so much that you just know it’s gonna be all right, even if it takes some time. This is when you realize one important thing – you need to work hard to make it work. It’s not just sunshine and roses. And you will always know – this love is going to last forever.