On Marrying a Photographer: Alec Soth, Martin Parr, Zoe Strauss, Spouses Weigh In

On Alec Soth’s blog, Little Brown Mushroom, the Magnum photographer has responded to a reader whose partner is a photographer, and wants advice about planning a future life together, “marriage and babies included.” His post has inspired loads of comments (51 so far) from photographers and people married to photographers.

Martin Parr, who has been married for 35 years to a woman “who is bored with being Mrs. Martin Parr,” cites the challenge of constant travel. Zoe Strauss says if it weren’t for the support of her wife, “I doubt I’d be a photographer.”  Rachel Cartee Soth, wife of Alec Soth, notes that when you live with an artist, things can be fantastic when “the creative juju is flowing,” and not so great when the juju is blocked.  She also warns, “It’s easy to lose yourself, especially when your partner is successful.” Photographers Rebecca Norris Webb and Alex Webb are thoughtful and candid about the problems and rewards of life in a two-photographer household.

Having met lots of photographers struggling with the demands of family and a freelance career, I was touched by photographer Paul Shambroom’s comment about what sacrifices have to be made when both partners are “accomplished and busy”: “Many of us (some posting here) could probably also be wealthier, but we made career adjustments in order to have functional marriages and try to be good parents.”

Take a look: littlebrownmushroom.wordpress.com.

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4 Responses to “On Marrying a Photographer: Alec Soth, Martin Parr, Zoe Strauss, Spouses Weigh In”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    Although we’re not married, I’ve been happy to support and assist my photographer partner in all of his endeavors. Throughout the last few years the business has picked up and we complement each other with one another’s skills – he’s obviously the creative genius, while I handle admin/organization of things. It’s also such a pleasure to watch him work; from setting up a photo shoot to delivering the final prints, the process is a lot fun to be a part of. I’ve been able to maintain my own passions, while still being a part of his.

  2. Photographers, spouses talk about their marriages | Astrid Bidanec Says:

    […] Brown Mushroom Blog Photo District News highlights discussion on Alec Soth’s post about what it’s like to be married to a photographer. […]

  3. Nemo Says:

    I’ve been professional photographer for 35 years and had my ups and downs in relationships. I had a 17-year relationship where my partner was literally my business partner (photographer) and my life partner. My partner tired of the business and left it while I continued to travel. And our relationship ended during a month long photo shoot. My wife and I met on a shoot 14 years ago — she was the AD. We now have twin 3-year old boys. While my wife stays at home, I continue to travel 1-3 weeks a month. Fortunately, she is supportive, even while being mom and an AD, and on top of that, is my producer. The important thing here is to have a partner knowledgeable about the business, understanding of the demands, and supportive of one’s career.

  4. Cool Stuff – January 23, 2012 | The Blog @ BorrowLenses.com Says:

    […] And finally, for the significant others of photographers everywhere, the spouses of famous photographers sound off about what it’s like to be married to a professional shutterbug. […]