I kinda hate people taking selfies while traveling. Not the ones taking an occasional picture with friends. I’m talking about the ones with their face in every single photo from every single trip. You know, I’ll trust you when you just TELL me that you went to London. Oh, is that Big Ben peeking out behind your big head?
I just came back from a very warm and sweaty trip to Thailand (Scandinavians really appreciate warmth during winter-time) and I came up with a very serviceable way of using selfies, though.
The major obstacle when approaching someone on the streets to take their picture is gaining their trust. Imagine the difference between taking photos of a good friend versus a complete stranger that you just met on the street. The shots with your friend would be relaxed and joyful, whilst the pictures of the stranger would almost show the doubts swishing around their brain. Who is this guy? Why does he want to take pictures of me? Can I leave now?
Often, you don’t have a lot of time to build the trust with a random encounter. If you meet someone on the street, in a café, or on the bus, you’ll have to find ways to connect quickly before your soon-to-be friend disappears.
Whatever you might think about it, selfies are a great way of building quick rapport! Instead of picking up your big shooter, grab your camera phone. Ask the guy to snap a photo of just you with some nice background. Then suggest taking a few photos together. Goof around and make it something fun.
Then, whenever you feel like it, just casually ask if you could take a few shots with your “good” camera, because you love to capture nice people that you meet while traveling (or anything that is true for you). Tell them you would like to move to the better light over there or ask if you could go outside.
This little trick will work best on relatively young people; they are the ones who are most used to the phenomena/plague called selfie. It also works great when you want to portray one particular person in a bigger group. If you walk up to a bunch of friends and ask point-blank if you could borrow one of them for a second, the victim would most certainly feel extremely exposed (no pun intended) and the rest of the group would do their fair share of mocking. But by first disarming the whole situation and letting them get to know you first, the whole thing will change!
Here’s the takeaway:
- Your new friend won’t feel like a freak-show that people want to show their friends.
- It will make him or her much more ok with you moving them around.
- You will have more time to take pictures, because your friend won’t look for an opportunity to get the heck away from the uncomfortable situation.
Geez, I knew we would be able to find a use for that selfie-crap! Next, let’s find a way to utilize the man-bun!
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