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What Being A Photographer Has Taught Me About Relationships

"Move, Michael!" 

It's something I have to remind myself of whenever I'm photographing someone. It can be easy to get stuck in one place when creating an image - especially when things are going well and looking good. And, even more so, when what I'm seeing on the back of the camera matches the image I had in my head when I initially envisioned the shoot - but this can be a problem. 

Why Singular Perspective Is A Problem

Because it limits possibility. It keeps me hanging out in what I thought should be without leaving much room for what could be. There have been many occasions where I realized my vision and then made the effort to move and found something even better than I could have imagined. Had I not taken the time to physically move myself, this never would have happened. 

What's This Got To Do With Perspective In Relationships?

I think you get it already. If we are only committed to seeing a situation from our own perspective, that can prevent us from creating a deeper connection with our lovers, friends, family and business partners. But by making the effort to really see things from their point of view - we can change that instantly. One of my favorite examples of this is actors and auditioning. 

Being On The Other Side Of The Audition Table

If you're an actor reading this you know what it's like to audition. You walk into that room and there are those people on the other side of the table that can give you a job. It's easy to fall into the trap of trying to get a job from these people. As actors, that's not our job. That is, our job is not to try and get a job. Bryan Cranston has some amazingly insightful words on this subject you can view at the bottom of this post. If you have ever sat on the other side of that table as an actor and been able to watch actors audition you have a completely different perspective. You realize that the people on the other side of that table are rooting for you BIG TIME. They want you to win. They want you to be the guy or gal that walks in and nails it so they can move onto the next 50 roles they have to cast. But it's hard to know this unless you've moved to the other side of the table - literally. If you ever have the chance to do this - it will do wonders for your work as an actor. 

Sitting On The Other Side Of The Table In Life

Here's a trick for you. Whenever you're having a difficult conversation with someone and you don't feel as if they share your perspective - move. Literally, move. Go sit down next to them and continue the conversation. Try to see things from their perspective first and then share your perspective. I guarantee this will work wonders for the both of you. And, in fact, if you're going to fight someone you have to "square off." That means face each other. But, if you make the effort to sit on the same side of the table, it's much, much more difficult to butt heads and fight over something. 

So the next time you're having a difficult conversation - move. Sit on the same side of the table together. And really be there with them. Leave your perspective behind for a moment. You can always move back to where you were - but resist the urge to do that until you've spent some time on their side of the table. 

Here's the Bryan Cranston video: