What do you do when your significant other disapproves of your hobby?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Sorano, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. Sorano

    Sorano TPF Noob!

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    Help.. Short version: I want to become a semi-pro, just bought my first digital SLR, my husband could care less about photography and despises the fact that I spend $550 (on ebay) for the canon digital rebel xti, which he views as frivolous and impulsive. Yet money came from my parents. Huge fight and bawling my eyes out, don't know where to go from here.. Skip the long version if you want, but please reply with suggestions...



    Long version:
    I've always admired photography, and have always loved taking pictures. I've been wanting to upgrade to a digital SLR for more than a year, and for months I've been looking at options, price/quality comparisons, etc, everything you'd expect from a person wanting to pursue a new hobby who wants to make sure they get a good product at a good price.

    When my point-and-shoot was damaged recently early last month (lens broken during a playful fight with my husband teasing me about taking my camera everywhere), I thought it could be a good opportunity to switch to an entry-level SLR, instead of getting just another point-and-shoot that takes crappy pictures and well, since this is a photography forum I know you know what I'm talking about.

    When I first broached the subject with him it took forever to convince my husband to approve.. as much as I love photography and taking photos, my husband would never even take/look at a photo unless he had to. Special occasions/ trips/ funny moments etc, he never feels the need to take photographs or having photographs around.

    After a long and stressful talk, he agreed to let me buy an SLR - silly thing is, I'm requesting it as a Christmas present from my parents, so it won't even come from *our* money. Since then it's been a few weeks, in which I took the time to look at a bunch of SLRs, weighted in various options, practically went crazy over deciding what to get.

    I've been sort of partial to the Canon Digital Rebel XT (350d) for a while, but ultimately decided on the XTi (400d) for a variety of reasons, including the dust-reduction feature since I'm planning for a lot of outdoors shooting. Anyway... I'll mention again that it's settled with my parents that they will reimburse me for this as a Christmas present (I'm still in my last year of grad school and not yet making money, sadly).

    For the last few weeks I've just been going crazy with indecisions, Canon vs Nikon, Digital Rebel vs d70 etc, all the stuff a noobie gets through. Only thing that I obsessed way too much over everything, and even he, my husband, told me to just pick one and get it, rather than obsessing endlessly. So when today I finally settled for the Digital Rebel XTi and got it brand new from ebay with a bunch of other accessories for around $550 (body + standard lens + memory card + batteries/charger + strap + cables), I was incredibly excited and couldn't wait to share it with my husband.. I call him, he's happy to hear that I've made a decision, but when he hears that I bought it already on ebay and that it cost $550 he just went crazy and wouldn't talk to me.. I ask you this, is $550 a lot for a digital SLR?? We all know it isn't, but yet he thought it would be somewhere around $350.. so he would keep hanging up on me and not answer me.. Finally he called me back after hearing my messages, and in the end he said he loves me and that's most important, even though he dislikes photography and everything that's related to it. I'm of course happy that he's talking to me again, but at the same time also feel horrible and misunderstood, and also unsure about why we even had this fight, since the money for the camera would come from my parents.

    It's just so hard with him disapproving so much of photography. What if I will want to get a new lens in the future? What if I will want different accessories? I wanted to be honest with him rather than just buy the thing and tell him it was $300, even though it wasn't his/our money but a present from my parents. But with such a strong reaction it really makes me want to be less open in the future. You would think that since you are doing the right thing by telling the truth, everything should be fine?

    Help.. huge cultural/personality clash.. You really feel invalidated as a person when your loved one could care less about your hobby..

    Did you ever have/do you currently have a significant other that disapproves so much of your hobby? And how do you go about it? Any suggestions are most welcome..

    At any rate thanks for reading this, it really helps pouring yourself out..
     
  2. JDS

    JDS TPF Noob!

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    Before I voice my opinion..3 questions:

    Does he have any expensive hobbies?
    Do you ever plan to try to make money from your hobby?
    Does he ever plan to?


    Fighting is never a good thing between spouses..the last thing I would advise would be anything that would put any stress on the relationship - that comes first in my book.

    Fortunately for me, my wife has been very supportive of my hobbies. None of them are really cheap, and any advancement in them is slow because of that. However, with photography, I'm starting to make a little bit of money off of it, so that helps matters a little bit in that I'm getting a return on investment.

    Maybe she's so supportive because in turn she makes me be supportive of her expensive hobbies... ;)
     
  3. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I got a dog like that. Wants all my attention all the time. I love the beast, yet I do as I please. If it gets real bad, don't feed him for a day or two- the mutt will get over it. If it gets worse, move without him. Life's too short. R-U hot?
     
  4. cpd23

    cpd23 TPF Noob!

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    I hope I am wrong but it sounds like there may be more problems than just the hobby and camera. Take a long hard look at what is happening around you and seek some outside help if you find its needed.
     
  5. jols

    jols TPF Noob!

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    firstly not all point and shoots takes 'crappy' pictures photographers do!!!!

    i cant see what your husband has to moan about except why couldnt you wait til you had the money from your parents until you bought it?

    thirdly when you need to buy a new lens ect get yourself a job and buy it out of your money.

    my husband supports my trying to make money out of photography but i also have a part time job and im a mum and he really likes it when i do a wedding and then we all go on holiday on the profits ha ha :)
     
  6. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    its your money, have fun with it. get good with it and make some money from it. then buy the other stuff you need.

    How about his hobbies, car etc... ?

    sounds like you are married to a control freak, but I dont know the
    circumstances.

    for a hobbyist 2-3K can last a few years of fun learnign and joy.

    Ill bet he spent that much on his computer/wheels/car engine/stereo etc...
     
  7. (Ghastly) Krueger

    (Ghastly) Krueger TPF Noob!

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    Sorry to hear about your situation, sounds quite... stressful.

    From what you said, your husband is being quite unfair and part of me would say "tell him to chill, it's not affecting him." Or is it? Why do you think he reacts so strongly? What's going on in his mind about this topic? Is it just that he dislikes photography? Is something else going on?

    Talk to him and try to find out what's up. Tell him why the hobby is important to you. Assess the situation and maybe you'll have to make a decision and keep one, like Abraxas said.

    I've had some problems with my wife... so I started taking pics she likes... our son, the pets, herself... made a couple of enlargements of the best shots (which would've been hard to get by somebody else in the family and / or with a p&s) and now she complains a bit less...

    Like others said, what are his interests? This can work in two ways, if he spends money, you can call the "fairness" card on him... otherwise, maybe you can get some pics for him of what he likes.

    Good luck
     
  8. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    If photography is a true passion, and your husband won't support you in it, then you probably have more significant issues than just money.

    I've seen these things go either way, though usually over wives being jealous of their photographer husbands shooting models. Find a way to compromise or give up the hobby, if it's just a hobby to you. If you can't live without it, then you may have a more difficult decision at hand.
     
  9. This is not unheard of. You're shifting attention to something that is "just yours" and you'll have to figure out a way to include him, or to make him comfortable with it.

    How old are you guys? I don't mean that in a condescending way, I'm just interested - I assume you're both on the younger side. There are obviously growing pains in the relationship, see if you can work them out. It's perfectly healthy to have interests that are exclusively your own, the problem is that both sides need to understand that.

    My wife is quite happy to have me in front of the computer working on images...
     
  10. (Ghastly) Krueger

    (Ghastly) Krueger TPF Noob!

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    Instead of at the bar working on some cold ones... ;)
     
  11. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Heya Sorano, and welcome to ThePhotoForum :D
    We won't really be able to help the two of you, since this seems to be something a bit fundamental (you say "cultural/personality clash"), we can at least share. And while I can't say my husband is as clearly against photography being my big hobby, I do know where you come from when you say you feel awfully misunderstood. You have a passion that he feels unable to share, and you feel he does not even begin to understand how much of a passion it is to you to express yourself in photos. And here I am, still wondering if my husband really knows how much it means to me. My photography hobby has only become "interesting" to him when (and all this only happened throughout this year) I began to make some money with it, so that I could go and buy myself the lens I had coveted for so long, and later the external flash that I so wanted, from the money I made out of my hobby.

    Maybe, if you two stick this momentary friction out over your getting the camera when the chance to get it had come, even if that was 2 months before Christmas, and you really begin to become as "semi pro" as you would want to be, and you then begin to make some money with it, he'll come round? Maybe when he hears others say that your photos are good he will begin to look at you with surprise at first (happend to my husband when he first heard others speak about my photos), later with pride, and a new recognition?

    You will have to work a bit ... on your new hobby AND on your relationship. But I believe it can well be worth it, and even the most picture-blind husbands CAN come round!
     
  12. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Me? I flog her around the fleet with a cat-o-nine-tails, and if that don't suit I keelhaul her. Generally that at least makes her reluctant to give me any lip about my new camera equipment.
     

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