Photography has defined my life since I first started dating my husband, Rich, nearly 30 years ago. Since then, photography has taken us on adventures I never could have imagined that first time I stood next to him in his old-school darkroom, watching an image magically appear in the developer tray.
After navigating through brambles, long-awaited sunsets, several versions of LowePro backpacks, and countless dropped lens caps, here are 15 things I have learned about being married to a landscape photographer:
1. All extra money that comes into the household will be first considered for photography or photographic purposes.
2. Most trips of any meaningful length, distance or expense, will also involve photography and/or will completely revolve around photography.
3. Romantic sunsets sitting side-by-side will be replaced by sunsets spent sitting next to his camera bag while he photographs.
4. You will freeze many mornings while watching spectacular sunrises. Bring blankets or hot cocoa.
5. Dinner will not be eaten until it is completely dark, and all possibilities for photographing sunset have disappeared. Bring snacks.
6. You will find yourself answering a slew of questions about your husband and his photography, while he’s busily taking photographs. Be patient and kind.
7. A “quick drive to check something out” always turns into a longer adventure than you expected.
8. Bring hiking boots. Even if you are going out for a romantic dinner. Especially if you are going out for a romantic dinner. This image of Half Dome, for example, was taken on our second anniversary, requiring an unexpected hike in a Yosemite meadow (pretty, but not so great with flats), and delaying dinner by at least an hour. It was still a happy anniversary.
9. Photography equipment will hurt you. Especially heavy tripods, which always seem to catch onto something…like your ankles. Or your hips. Or your back, as you are juggling it alongside your three-year-old toddler.
10. Inkjet printers, photo equipment and mat board will fill your home. Who needs a closet for clothing? We spent our clothing budget on photo gear, anyway…
11. Photographing with kids? That’s almost always an oxymoron…especially if you have more than one child in tow.
12. If you are traveling, at least one of your carry-ons will be a camera bag, and your checked bag will be partially filled by a bulky tripod. Plan accordingly.
13. You will see breathtaking beauty and fleeting sights that few people will ever see, just by hanging out with your husband.
14. You will gain a new understanding of light and simple beauty, while exploring the area around his tripod holes.
15. You will likely never be rich, but photography will take you on adventures you never dreamt of having, giving you experiences that will shape your life for the better, one beautiful scene at a time.