It was never easy, dating as a female photographer. It was always hard to find men that weren’t somehow intimidating by my photographic career.
If I tried to date men who weren’t photographers they were inevitably intimidated by the male models that I used to photograph. They would compare themselves to the models in my photos, often asking me why I was dating them rather than a male model when they weren’t quite in the same shape.
And if I dated a photographer then it inevitably got competitive. He’d want to pick apart my techniques, methods, and ideas and often would position himself as superior in both knowledge and skill. What can I say – I was a young woman and quite easily slipped into the role of ingénue. That was before I knew any better.
So with it coming up to Valentine’s Day in a week, I thought I’d give you guys, my wonderful readers, some of my top tips for dating that I gained over the years as a single, female photographer.
Let your passion shine bright
It’s too easy for a guy you go on a date with just to assume your photography is just a silly little hobby. Make sure you stick up for yourself and impress on them how seriously you take it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re professional or a hobbyist, your photography is serious and it matters to you. It’s just as important as any of your date’s hobbies or their profession – don’t let them minimalise your passion and your successes.
Don’t be intimidated
If you date another photographer, don’t assume they’re better than you. As I said – I too often played the ingénue when going on dates, and even let it be that way in a few relationships.
Eventually, if you carry on past that Valentine’s Day date, your mental health will start to get worn down by always coming second best if you share the same passion. Know and believe that you are equal and you’ll have a much better relationship in the long term.
And don’t let them talk you into posing for them. Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you’re automatically a model (unless you want to, of course, but maybe try it out first with a photographer you’re not dating).
I think that there are some huge benefits to dating online, not least because you can explain what you do for fun and for work before you even meet. If you search for dates on a free dating site you get to sound people out and see if you think they might be intimidated by you or your passion without even spending a penny.
By talking things through before you meet, and perhaps even showing them your portfolio, you can really make sure that they understand what you do. Sites like matchmehappy allow you to find people based on common interests and then sound them out before you waste time meeting someone completely unsuitable.
Stay safe and have fun
I know a few female photographers who have said that they really struggle with dating now that they’re working full time in photography. It seems harder to get respect if you’re a self-employed woman in a creative career that you’ve forged yourself. But that’s no reason to stop you enjoying dating if you’re single at Valentine’s Day.
And if all else fails and you can’t quite meet someone to date on Valentine’s Day despite your best efforts, book a fabulous model and shoot the most incredible anti-Valentines set of images. I guarantee you’ll find it cathartic.