Thursday, October 22, 2009

Expect Respect: The Politics Of It All

When I was younger, I didn't have much respect for myself. I had always been taught to respect those around me, but I overlooked the importance of loving myself, and therefore was taken advantage of for my talents and skills. Since then, I have learned how important it is for that self-respect to be present in my life, and I know how to properly respect and love others because of it. I know that I should demand respect, because I, like everyone in this world, deserve it. I strive to respect others.
This leads me to the topic of my talents and skills, and how I feel as though people have started to think they can take advantage of them. I am not bragging when I say this, I just know that I have a nice camera. I know that I can take good photographs from time to time. But it's when people start using these resources for only their benefit that I feel a little discouraged in the photography field, in life in general I suppose.
I love portraiture. My goal is to capture the person how they really are, like when you look at a photograph of someone and feel as though you have known them for years. There are a few people I just love to photograph, and there are others who ask for my photographic assistance in projects, and others who ask for me to take their photoraphs in exchange for other things, photographs of my own, or money, or whatever. I appreciate their willingness to show that they appreciate what I do for them. With those things I know that they appreciate what I am doing. Even people saying yes to my offer to take their photographs is a huge compliment to me. If anyone asks kindly, and I know that they appreciate the hard work I put into my art, I am more than happy to include them in it.
Since getting my new camera, I've received quite a few requests from people for me to photograph them. I'm planning on shooting for a band soon, and others want to exchange photographs of them with taking photographs of me. It's motivating to know that people like my photography! If you're one of those people, thank you. Thank you so much. I really can't tell you how flattered I am, and how excited I get when I find out people enjoy what I do.
When people I hardly know, though, simply state that they want to hang out so I can take their picture, I'm a little discouraged. Offended, really. I think that's a little too blunt for the manners that I have been taugh to abide by since childhood. If you want to hang out with me just because of my resources, I can charge you for that. That's called modeling, and there's generally a fee with that. But I'm not going to waste my time if you don't want to actually have a friendship with me.
How can I properly capture a picture of someone that I don't know, and who has intentions of using me at no cost to themselves? I want to be passionate about the things I do, the people I photograph. I want to photograph you, but I want respect to come before that.
I expect respect from you, because I want to respect you too. One for one. Let's work together here.

1 comment:

miles b. said...

This was good. I enjoyed reading it and you're totally right. People try and use me all the time for my skills in being really, really, ridiculously good looking. So I know how you feel :)