Do you view indulging your photographic hobby as selfish?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber
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    Let me explain. I'm the kind of person that does first things first. Meaning that I have to take care of my family and home before I take time to go into the darkroom or go out shooting. I took a couple of weeks off during the holidays to Yosemite and I did some shooting which was really fun. When I got back from our trip, I had too many home projects. One of them was to remove the carpet from our bedroom and putting in new flooring. My wife is very supportive of my photography, but when I indulge in a day of shooting or darkroom time, she ends up doing more work. I still work full time and I plan to retire in a few years to focus on my photography and other interest of mine.

    Do any of you work on your art/hobby first before you take care of home and family?

    What are your strategies for making more time for your hobby?
     
  2. rbultman

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    The hobby is always 3rd, 4th or 5th. My biggest problem is maintaining any momentum in the hobby due to the lack of time to devote to it. I do it when I can, which is infrequently. One or two rolls per month is about all I can manage.

    I took about a year off to finish a home improvement project. Photography is pretty much my only creative outlet, so that took a toll on me mentally. I eventually realized that I need a balance and have started shooting again and have non-definitive plans to build a darkroom this winter so I can print more regularly. 2 hours to setup and another 2 to tear down a temporary darkroom doesn't leave much time for printing.

    My wife and I support each other in our artistic pursuits. Our latest "strategy" is to unplug from TV/streaming, YouTube, and the like and use that time for sketching and painting (my wife) or photography (me). But, there are always projects to do around our live-in renovation project, aka old house.
     
  3. rbultman

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    To add on to my response...

    A friend of my is just getting into the hobby. His strategy is to let someone else do the developing and printing. For him, that is the right time vs. money tradeoff.
     
  4. mshchem

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    I view photography as a sort of mission. I help a lot of young folks get into the analog darkroom experience . I still manage to take care of chores . Yesterday I was laying on the garage floor finding a nail in my wife's car tire.
     
  5. rubbernglue

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    luckily (or unluckily) enough I have no need to prioritize one before the other.
     
  6. Alan9940

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    I have always put home & family ahead of my photographic pursuits and wouldn't have it any other way. Even being retired now, my photographic hobby takes a back seat to the things my wife and I wish to do together. We have worked on several projects around the house which has consumed quite a bit of time. I don't get to do as much as I'd like with my photography, but I'm okay with that. All that said, the number of cameras I own is certainly out of whack with someone who doesn't work at photography regularly! Just sayin... :wink:
     
  7. jim10219

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    Every hobby is selfish. You do hobbies for personal enjoyment, not for the betterment of society. When you spend time on your hobby, you're likely going to have to sacrifice time that could have been spent doing chores and taking care of your family. So yes, it is selfish. It's just the way it is.

    And that's okay. We all need some personal experiences with personal rewards. You should do some things you enjoy. The house will always need fixing and cleaning. It doesn't matter how much work you put into it, you will never complete that task. And the family will always need taking care of. It doesn't matter how much time you spend with them, there will always be more you can do. This type of stuff isn't about accomplishing all of your goals. It's about maintaining a functioning environment.

    It will do your wife and kids good to leave them on their own from time to time. They need bonding time away from you. It will do you good to step away from them as well. Life, well lived, is all about balance. And balance isn't about doing everything, all of the time. So don't feel bad about taking care of your own needs and pursuing your own hobbies. Yes, it will cause problems for others in your family. But they need to learn to take up the slack and work around that.

    That being said, you also need to be aware of this. Show your wife some thanks for allowing you to indulge in your hobbies by giving her some free time as well. Take the kids out every once in a while and give her a day to herself. Help out around the house, even with chores that aren't normally your responsibility. Teach the kids to look after themselves. It's a skill they will need if they are to become high functioning adults. And every once in a while, take a step back and reevaluate your priorities. And when you do that, make sure that goal isn't perfection, but balance.
     
  8. David Brown

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    But the title of your thread is : "Do you view indulging your photographic hobby as selfish?"

    Very different questions, are they not?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Mainecoonmaniac

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    They're related, aren't they? My question how do other folks in the same position fulfill their obligations so they could pursue their hobby. I'm asking for other insight.
     
  10. Rick A

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    My answer to the question as posed, is no. Karen appreciates me going about my print making as one of my two only vices, the other is fishing. She encourages both.
     
  11. slackercrurster

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    OP, I don't have a lot of the problems you have with family, house and such. I devote most of my waking hours to my work. Having someone tug on my time for their projects would drive me crazy. I'd get out of such a relationship. I don't mind helping someone...a little. But I need lots of time for myself. If I got into a relationship I'd make that clear. So I would not try to present myself in any other light than how I am.

    The areas I neglect for work is health, eating right and exercise.

    The problems I have with doing my work amounts to not having enough $$ for supplies and equipment or proper space to work. A big reason I gave up film photography is no room for a darkroom. I'm lucky to have room for a printer and scanner. I also neglect areas of my photo and archive work since I take on so many projects.

    Devoted photogs have always put work above all else...

    Weegee in his room

    weegee-listening-to-police-scanner-d-d-teoli-jr-a-c.jpg

    Weegee on the subject…

    “Sure. I’d like to live regular. Go home to a good looking wife, a hot dinner, and a husky kid. But I guess I got film in my blood.”

    In your case OP, where will your photos get you? Are you going to be a big name museum photog? A darling of the art world? If not, maybe you don't want to give up 100% of your life, seek balance.
     
  12. Sirius Glass

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    I do my photography whenever I want and my family supports that approach and life style.
     
  13. MattKing

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    Photography is important to me, and contributes to my happiness.
    The same thing applies to my wife's interests.
    And both of us value each other's happiness.
    My wife and I incorporate things like our hobbies into our lives. That means she participates in my photography, I participate in her interests, and when we organize things, we assign to our hobbies and other interests a reasonable level of importance.
    Some times our interests combine - all my darkroom towels came from her searches for vintage linens! :smile:
    That doesn't mean that there aren't times when there isn't enough time for hobbies, but does mean that we both try to make time for each other's enjoyment.
     
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  15. mshchem

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    I hauled a 200 lb hydraulic press my wife bought for her metalwork. Took my little flatbed trailer, and a lawn tractor, to move it from the street to her studio. Had a friend over to help me get it onto the bench.

    I married an artist, she lived in Philadelphia for 16 years, single and unafraid. When a 10 foot sink shows up in the driveway, she's unfazed :smile:
     
  16. Eric Rose

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    It's only selfish if it negatively affects those that are either close to you or depend on you.
     
  17. C Jensen

    C Jensen Member
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    Yes, and I am a white male, so there is a list of nasty things I am guilty of just by my birth, I did not know it when I was younger, now I have been informed just how despicable I am.. Who would have thunk.
     
  18. RalphLambrecht

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    you seem to be very considered.So,I'm sure you are finding the right balance.Moreovwr, your family might be happier when you are happy too. I't's all a give and take.best.
     
  19. Helios 1984

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    That's a relationship goal right there.
     
  20. winger

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    I do tend to put everything else first, but I resent it at times as well. I'd much rather be out hiking on a nice day rather than running errands, picking up the dry cleaning, or getting groceries, but I do the non-fun stuff so it gets done. The best light is always when I'm doing things like getting Nate ready for school or making dinner. By the time he's in bed, I only have a few hours left and I'm tired (and it's too dark to shoot outside). I always feel like I'm just making do with whatever light I get rather than shooting what I want in the light I want.

    I don't argue too much with my husband's projects (there's currently a halftrack under construction in the garage) and he doesn't argue against new cameras showing up. It would be nice to not be playing driveway tetris in order to avoid parking on the yard (too much rain this year and cars get stuck).
     
  21. jnantz

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    i used to put me first but then started sharing my life
    with others. then for years i put everything else first and me last
    and it took a toll on ME
    i eventually made a new years resolution
    to make art every day .. it didn't matter what it was as long
    as it was something i made...
    a few years ago i forgot about the resolution and it took a toll again
    im back to making things daily .. and if my family and people close to me
    can't deal with it .. not much i can do about it but be alittle selfish...
     
  22. RalphLambrecht

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    and looking at your images Janian anybody can see that you are a true artist.I just can't imagine anybody calling you selfish for it; keep up the great work.
     
  23. MartinCrabtree

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    60 years old soon and single.no kids. Closet with many cameras,fly rods,guns and a garage with many motorcycles. I must be selfish by nature.
     
  24. Theo Sulphate

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    Somehow, I have always integrated photography into family life - usually documenting it. I've never spent a whole lot of time on it - at most spending one or two all-nighters per month making prints. My parents, grandparents, etc., only made photos of people. To them, people were the only thing that mattered. So their photos, which I've inherited, sadly lack context about who many of these people were and where the photos were taken. However, even as a kid I photographed our apartment, our cars, going to the beach or park, etc.

    If anything, I have too many hobbies: photography, languages, linguistics, guns, target shooting, sports cars, and playing musical instruments. Photography, however, was my first.
     
  25. RalphLambrecht

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    sounds that way but, who cares if it makes you happy?
     
  26. RalphLambrecht

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    he's missing out.
     
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