Respect is Earned not Given. This is something which I have understood since I was a child, and still something I live by to this day.
Threw Hard work do we gain the respect and admiration of others, years of toil and labour to become the professionals in our own individual chosen fields. It has always been a belief of mine that nothing beats dedication, perseverance , and consistency to achieve something which you can be proud of , to stand out above others and earn the respect which I so speak of above. This , I feel very much when I capture moments of the dancers whom I work with. All too well is it understood of how much effort it took to get to their level of elegance, powerful precision, and self discipline as since I was seven years old my father had made sure that “Martial Arts” was in my life. Constant Training for hours on end , competitions, bloody noses and fractured hands ….it was wonderfully fun even if it broke me down physically time and time again. When I see then the body and skill of a dancer it makes me miss Martial Arts, to do something so active which is highly demanding of the human body.
With each shoot that I do I have a sense of awe and respect for the people whom are in the frame of my camera, feel honoured that I can be trusted with the representation of their image unto the world. As such, a sense of Responsibility falls on me. To make the images look Beautiful, preserved in a moment of time , a Lexicon of Dance. It vexes me at times if a person(s) claims that I show little respect for the Art of Dance or to the Dancer(s). This is, as said above contrary to how I think and feel about the craft and its people. This is why the editing often continues until the very early hours of the morning , so that the images are of the best quality and the dancers have a smile on their face, for after all ...these images will last a lifetime and to be a part of documenting their history so that they may look back upon the images as the years roll on by is a pleasure. Why I do this time and time again ,spending every penny on very expensive equipment, and putting my heart into the images or as some have called them “Art”. As a photographer Europe, it is very hard to make money with this unless you are extremely famous. This is very rare. We all have to pay rent, myself included and money burns like a wildfire, even besides this there are so many challenges and times when I wanted to Quit photography due to Finances. But, I do this for the love of the Art and because of my love for being able to represent the image of the Dancers. It has been told that my images (there are far better photographers than myself of course) inspire people to take up Dance, To pick up the Camera, or to keep them going. So then it would seem I have gained a small moderate amount of Respect myself also. To finishing up. Character is also a vital part which I see as a separate segment from Skill itself and hard work, it is about treating each other with an equal measure of professionalism, respect, and consideration of one another. One can not demand Respect or a certain way to be treated by another human being, Demanding or expecting certain things from someone to treat you in a specific way is highly egotistical and shows a fragile persona, a delicate sensibility which must be always placated with showers of compliments and the bending of the knee. Luckily, the people I have worked with have been absolutely Beautiful in every way as I go into a shoot with an open mind and open heart, always ready to make the last shoot better than the last!
Always do what You Love with the Utmost effort!
A late, Happy New Year to you all.
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