A logical progression.
Having a steady shooting partner is very interesting. I’m not sure that I’ve ever had this much opportunity to observe another photographer for an extended period of time. What’s most interesting is watching his photographic style evolve and change, while all the same working in a cyclical way as well.
I’ve watched him cycle from being a very controlling photographer to being more spontaneous and back again to wanting control over the scene. Camera choice has also evolved in the time we’ve been shooting together from SLR to medium format SLR to rangefinders and now tending towards SLR again. We had a long talk last night about the observations I’ve had on his photography, lots of things he’s never even noticed until I pointed them out. I have the advantage of being a third-party, an observer seeing him from a different angle.
Last night, he bestowed upon me one of the greatest compliments I’ve ever received: he said that I’ve been integral in helping him move ahead when it comes to his photography. Maybe it’s that since we’ve met he’s also had a consistent shooting partner who’s always up for going out, or maybe it’s that we challenge each other with new methods or techniques, or maybe it’s that we talk about photography a lot. And by a lot, I really mean we talk a LOT about photography. (A guy at the café last night mentioned to me that we must really, really like photography based on how much we were talking about it.) We talk about famous photographers, talk about why they are famous, what we like, what we don’t like. We discuss people we’ve seen on Flickr. We send photos back and forth to each other that we liked by other photographers. We talk about shooting styles. We talk about anything and everything that relates to photography, in addition to just about anything else in our lives. He is my kindred spirit; it’s not that we often have the same ideas, but that we’re willing to discuss our differences and try to understand each other and learn.
He’s probably changed my photography and my shooting style just as much as I’ve changed his, but I just haven’t taken the time to notice and put it down in words. All I know is that since we’ve met, I’ve been more excited about photography. I’ve wanted to go out shooting every week. I’m also more selective about what I shoot, and I think more about it. I’ve always been very deliberate about my shooting and framing, but I’ve also experimented with more spontaneous shooting in an effort to try something new. I used to have photographic ruts where I felt like I was doing the same boring thing over and over, but lately, I haven’t felt that so much. I’m learning more about what I enjoy about shooting and figuring out what I want and need out of it, and I think most of that is thanks to him.
(Photos taken from the twoshooters page. His are first, mine second.)