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8 Things You Should Know if You are Dating a Street Photographer

Let’s face it, photographers are a breed of their own. Street photographers may belong to an even more extreme category… so here are eight things you should know if you are dating a street photographer:

#1 You cannot walk where you want on your own

No matter which side of the street your favorite shops or restaurants are, you will be required to walk on the side that offers the best dappled light, long shadows, reflections, backdrops, etc. You may also occasionally be used as a decoy to approach a situation inconspicuously.

Date night often means going downtown and it's also my opportunity to explore areas I would go on my own. We have fun, even if I'm the only one with a camera! ©Valérie Jardin

Date night often means going downtown and it’s also my opportunity to explore areas where I would not go on my own. We have fun, even if I’m the only one with a camera!   ©Valérie Jardin

#2 You may visit a lot of back alleys

If you and your partner are on a shopping spree, you may often be required to exit a building through the back door. Back alleys hold secrets, interesting subjects and magical light that are too good to pass.

#3 Good luck having a romantic night just the two of you (without a camera)

Unless your street photographer date is blindfolded, you will rarely have a romantic night out in the city without a camera. Yes, we live and breathe street photography. The camera is an extension of ourselves. The temptation is too great and you might as well let us grab a shot or two to prevent mood-breaking frustration.

#4 Do not expect to have your date’s full attention

You will have a hard time spending an evening in public gazing into each other’s eyes. A street photographer is conditioned to be on constant alert to notice every gesture, expression and lighting in the immediate radius, with or without a camera. Hey, you knew all along you were dating a photographer…

#5 You can expect to meet lots of new people

Expect to stop often and talk with strangers of all walks of life, at any moment and on any given day. This can happen unexpectedly in the subway, at the bus stop, in the cab, at the coffee shop or while you are waiting to cross the street. Just know that the street photographer who shares your life has a keen eye at spotting interesting people from a mile away!

#6 You may temporarily lose your date at a moment’s notice

I must admit, I had an ulterior motive when I suggested that we go for an evening walk over a bridge, down next to a highway so I could get this shot... ©Valérie Jardin

I must admit, I had an ulterior motive when I suggested that we go for an evening walk over a bridge, down next to a highway so I could get this shot…   ©Valérie Jardin

Do not worry if your street photographer takes off in a hurry in the middle of a conversation. The right subject may be entering the perfect backdrop for the shot of a lifetime. Or maybe an interesting person just passed you on the sidewalk and your street shooter now needs to run the other direction, well ahead of the subject, to find the best way to frame the shot.

#7 You’ll need to have patience

Bring a book! Setting a stage and waiting for the story to develop may very well be your partner’s favorite pastime. This can take a few minutes, or a few hours…

#8 Your vacation destinations will be predetermined for you

If your significant other is a street photographer, do not be surprised if your next vacation destination has an ulterior motive. We much prefer to walk the streets of a large city than to lie on the beach of an exotic island.

Vacation on the beach? Sure, as long as it's not too isolated and there are people to photograph! ©Valérie Jardin

Vacation on the beach? Sure, as long as it’s not too isolated and there are people to photograph!   ©Valérie Jardin

Conclusion:

Street photographers are not the easiest people to live with. Honestly I’m not sure I’d want to live with me if I wasn’t a photographer. We require a lot of patience. If you love one, don’t think for a second that you will be able to keep him/her away from that camera for more than a few hours. Be generous, give the street photographer in your life some time to pursue their passion on their own or with like-minded people. After all, wouldn’t you rather do your own things too? Look at it this way: We are the way we are because we have a true passion for people, it’s not such a bad thing.

Blue hour by the lake? At the very least I'll get a shot of my drink, or his... Sometimes both.  ©Valérie Jardin

Blue hour by the lake? At the very least I’ll get a shot of my drink, or his… Sometimes both.
©Valérie Jardin

If you read this article, you’re probably a photographer. Please share with the non-photographer in your life. And if you plead guilty to any of the above, please share your experience.

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Valerie Jardin
Valerie Jardin

I live and breathe in pixels! Photography is more than a passion, it’s an obsession, almost an addiction. When I’m not shooting or writing, I spend my time teaching this beautiful craft during photo workshops all over the world! I am also thrilled to be an official X Photographer for Fujifilm USA. Visit my Website
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