Five years ago this Christmas, I gave The Husband a digital SLR camera. His film rig, which is a fairly professional set-up, had been gathering dust for a few years at that point. As the prolonged death of film photography hastened, so did his interest in taking pictures. He studied photography in college and already had an exceptional portfolio. But, true to perfectionist form, he managed to talk himself out of shooting more. I hoped that digital might be freeing; just shoot away and delete later.
The past year in our household has been quite a time of change. Apparently my nose-to-the-grindstone execution of my decision to change my life was “inspiring.” Really, I think The Husband just had his own epiphany that he has only one life and should probably drop the all-or-nothing idea that if he isn’t shooting for Vanity Fair that he shouldn’t bother trying at all.
His first major outing with the digital rig was a rainy hike up Rooster Comb mountain in the Adirondacks. It was the damp summer of 2008 and I think we stopped to photograph every mushroom on the trail. It was a formative hike for both of us – for me, it continued my newly awakening love for the mountains and conjured much of the imagery that ended up in my award winning essay. For The Husband, he did what a photographer needs to do – he pressed the shutter button over and over. He took over 500 photos in three days. Later that year he would press that button almost 2,000 times over the course of a week in the mountains.
Sifting and editing that many photos is another story of anguish and perfection, but the point is he was shooting again. And finding the need for more equipment. (Of course. Photography is an expensive hobby.) The images he captures with that equipment is part skill, part serendipity. It is a dash of creativity, a pinch of patience, and an eye that can see what a camera sees. No small feat.
So, no wonder that last Friday night was the opening of The Husband’s photography studio/gallery. Five years is not a bad span when you consider that we dated for nearly the same amount of time before getting married. This opening is really right on schedule.
As he said that night, where he displayed matted and framed prints alongside greeting cards that sold like hotcakes (all assembled by him – did I mention that he is a perfectionist?), he finally has a space where he can work on his photography ideas. He spent two months preparing the studio for that night. The fact that it can double as a gallery during the city-wide First Fridays* events is just gravy.
It’s a beautiful space and I’m looking forward to what he is able to create there. Privately, I think the real “space” that he has finally cleared and prepared is inside his head. But the studio is nice to have, too.
I have been proud of The Husband’s photography since I met him. Now, he is, too. All it takes is pushing the button, over and over again.
*First Fridays is a city-wide event in Rochester where local artists exhibit their work in their studios and/or in galleries. It is a creativity-inspiring event, every month, which has pushed us both to work harder at our crafts. Click here to learn more about First Fridays!