As a teacher and a photographer I see respect slowly dying out in our society. As the world moves more and more to living our lives online, people forget about showing respect. It seems easier to send a text now then talk face to face or even pick up a phone. Even email is being used less and less as Facebook and social media becomes more popular for a means of communication. This impersonal way of communicating is really taking away the human interactions. Teens are bullying each other more and more, through text messages and social media. Parents too are at fault for not being able to model respect to their children. People are being more and more rude. Status updates on FB become more explicit and teens to adults are being totally open to the world about their personal lives and also in the expression of their anger and hate.
To me this lack of respect comes from an increasingly selfish society. People are more concerned with themselves than they are about their fellow man. Teachers are not being respected. I remember having teachers I did not like, some of them were mean and not the easiest people to deal with. However I did not disrespect them. Despite what I felt about them as teachers, I still showed them respect and was never taught by my family to show disrespect or be rude to an authority figure like a teacher. Today, parents are teaching their kids that they able to be rude and show disrespect to teachers and authority. The parents are pampering their children by coming to the beckon call of their child. If the child struggles in school parents that pamper their children are likely to blame the teacher, the school and not look at their child as a possible problem.
I really feel like lack of respect is a growing problem not just in schools but in most all areas of life. Photography is not immune to this. So many professional photographers have problems respecting each other. I am not sure if this stems from jealousy or feelings of inadequacy but it is real and I do not understand it. So many photographers have real problems and strong feelings about the work of others. When I started out in photography I looked to other photographers for help. I had some amazing people help me out. Nathan Elson is one such photographer. He was always kind and helpful to me and someone I respect for the way he handles himself. He is a pro in Calgary and does amazing work and frequently gives back to photographers by teaching workshops and giving advice and tips in his twitter and blog. However there is a lot of photographers not willing to respect another person that is growing or learning. Many dislike the growth in photography and see it as a negative that many people (lots of them female) that are buying DSLR cameras and going out and starting photography businesses. I do not look at someone and decide to respect them based on their work. I respect them because I want to be shown respect too. So many people want respect but are not able to show it to others. They do not see that it starts with showing it. I love seeing young photographers that are starting out. I love seeing people taking the same journey that I have had. I have seen some young photographers struggle, produce some really amateur work. I just smile and remember to when I was just like that and realize there are days when I am still like that. However, I show them respect and help them any chance I can. I know people helped me and I am always wanting to give back. The best part is I have watched some of these young photographers become REALLY REALLY good. So good in fact that many are better than I am in less time it took me to develop my skills. The point is I am still growing and we all are. If respect is shown and given to each other, it makes this growth a lot easier. The disrespect only breaks things down and creates such a rift in relationships and does nothing to improve the world.
In closing I want to post some shots from a recent shoot, nothing to do with my topic of respect. :) I just wanted to share.