Wandering Eye

Have you ever wondered why some people are monogamous and some are polyamorous? Or why I, a serial monogamist in life, am a polyamorous photographer?

Monogamy is the practice of having only one romantic partner at a time, while polyamory is the desire or practice of having more than one, with the consent of all the people involved.

In life, I have always preferred monogamy. For most of my adult life, minus a few indiscretions here and there, I have been a one-woman-at-a-time-kind-of-guy. My lifelong sentiments have always been ridiculously and obviously simple: love another in the very same way, degree, proportion and intensity that you want to be loved in return.

Thankfully, I’ve never been accused of being a guy with a “wandering eye”. You know what I’m talking about. A person with a wandering eye never seems to be satisfied or full in the relationships they are in. Ughhh.

But before you praise me for my traditional sense of monogamy and commitment, oddly, in photography, I’m quite polyamorous. When I have a camera in my hands, I can’t help it, I have a wandering eye. I love the one I’m with.
As a matter of fact, unlike life and monogamy, in photography, polyamory rules the day.

Why is that? Why do I switch from being faithful to one person in life to being open to many in photography?
I think it has to do with the nature of love and art. In life, love is a deep and lasting bond that requires trust, loyalty, and commitment. In photography, love is a fleeting and spontaneous attraction that requires curiosity, creativity, and exploration.

In life, I want to share my whole self with one person who knows me inside out and accepts me for who I am. In photography, I want to capture a glimpse of someone else’s self who intrigues me for what they are.

In life, I want to build a stable and secure relationship that can withstand the challenges and changes of time. In photography, I want to create a dynamic and diverse portfolio that can reflect the beauty and diversity of the world.

In life, I want to be exclusive and devoted to one person who makes me happy and fulfilled. In photography, I want to be inclusive and adventurous with many people who make me inspired and amazed.

In life, monogamy works for me. In photography, polyamory works for me.

And that’s OK. Because life and photography are different domains with different rules and expectations. And because I respect both my partner in life and my subjects in photography.

The subjects I love and the objects I photograph, are both life partners.

I love them both. But in different ways.

And that’s how I balance monogamy and polyamory as a photographer.

What about you? How do you navigate your relationships in life and art? Are you monogamous or polyamorous? Or both? Or neither?

Your secrets are safe with me:)



Jack Hollingsworth