on photography & relationships.


2009 © J.Day / S.Clark

I am currently doing what every photographer does when returning from a trip: uploading, editing & reflecting. One of my personal favorite things about being a photographer is the traveling part of it. Whether it be a destination in the same city or one in a different continent, I love seeing the place through the camera. It always provides a different view and makes me see the location in more detail. This calls to mind, an interview I read recently in “American Photo” magazine with the actress Jessica Lange, who apparently has been photographing for over a decade (and even studied it at college). She has now published a book of her photos, 50 Photographs (powerHouse books) a Noir photography collection. In the interview, one quote she said rang true with me: “I love to experience something new through the camera… which is probably why so many of my photographs are from my travels. I find I shoot all the time if I’m in a place that’s new and mysterious. If I’m in New York, I rarely pick my camera up.” – this is something I can really relate to. When I am home in Miami, I don’t pick up my camera much (unless of course I am working, but as far as personal shooting -i.e. art – goes, it doesn’t happen often) however when I am on a trip, one or two of my cameras are always with me.

My most recent trip was to Lake Placid & Winter Haven, FL. with my boyfriend Shawn, who is also a photographer. This trip and the previous one (to San Francisco) have been with him and consisted of us walking around, shooting. One might worry that competition would ensue or several images would end up appearing the same, which could cause a blow to the person’s sense of individuality, especially when you’re a couple. This isn’t the case with us and I have never worried (and don’t think I will) about the aforementioned issues. We are just simply too different as photographers for that to happen. His point of view is his and mine is mine. And that has shown to be evident through our photographs. Having gone through mine and now looking through his, I have noticed that we’d shoot the exact same scene sometimes but focused on two totally different things. They’re almost opposites, which is quite interesting to see; being able to see different views of the same image makes the scene become multi-dimensional, thus allowing the images to compliment each other. Notice I say “compliment” and not “complete”. Because my photograph and Shawn’s photograph are two pieces of work on their own. However, together they work well – much like Shawn and I as individuals and as a couple. I have heard people describe their significant other as “completing them.” I have always thought of this statement to be rather bothersome because it is like saying you are not “a whole” without the other person. Personally, I think that feeling like that is quite an unpleasant feeling. I want to feel like me and happy when it is just me, as I want to (and do) feel like myself and happy when I am with Shawn. It is like the saying, “in order to love someone else, you have to love yourself first.” That is why I think two people “complimenting” each other is a far better type of relationship.

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