I mentioned recently that all of photography is a series of compromises. For example: use a tripod for sharper photos or go handheld for freedom to compose on the fly? Photography is full of such compromises, and, I’ve found, so is life. Especially in relationships. I read a Facebook post of one of my young twenty-something friends recently: “Whenever you compromise with your girlfriend, you have lost.” That might be true if you view your relationships as battle grounds.

But after you’ve been around for a few years, as I have, you’ll discover that there is a sweet spot in everything, from photography and finances to career and marriage. A phrase we use around our house is self-explanatory – “finding balance.”

So how do you know when you are “out of balance”? That’s usually not hard to discern. If your spouse doesn’t tell you, maybe your conscience will. Or, you know your finances are literally out of balance of you keep getting overdrawn notices from your bank. Car falling apart? A little preventive maintenance goes a long way.

A lot of balance issues come down to time. It has been said, to know what you value most, look at where you spend most of your TIME. Most Americans are very busy – it is our culture. But it need not be out of balance. My son, Brian, is a great example. He has great balance in his life I believe. As a junior executive with AT&T, his job demands are very significant. And yet he still has quality time for family, church, neighbors and his new hobby, metal sculpture. An amazing guy. My other two grown children are the same – amazing at balancing work, school, new babies and marriage.
(Susan and I in California, an evening walk along the beach.)

For me, I’m blessed with a natural talent for composition. It comes easy for me. I simply balance the elements in my photos. Balancing the rest of my life is trickier.

So for you, be sensitive to the imbalances in your life and your photography. Both will improve if you pay attention to them.