September 15, 2010

Do you mind taking a picture of me?

Topping off on yesterday's discussion, I had a GChat talk with our SLR guru, SS. He pointed out to me that it was super irritating to him when someone approached him for taking a picture of them when he was busy setting up his own SLR to take a shot-of-the-year, so to speak. And however occupied he was, he couldn't say 'no' and be done with it. After some thought, I figured it wouldn't hurt anyone to know the etiquette of getting their picture taken by complete strangers. So here are some helpful guidelines - 

1. If someone looks busy and doesn't make eye contact, approach someone else. Simple, right? If they don't make eye contact, they obviously want to be left to do whatever it is that they're doing. So find someone else.

2. Just because someone's dangling an SLR doesn't make them an expert. This is a wayward assumption. But given the fact that all the major brands have slashed down prices, most people are buying the SLRs first and figuring out how to use them much later. However if they do look jobless or aimless, go for it.

3. Never ask someone with a tripod to take your picture. This is ambiguous too. It is assuming that the tripoder is a serious photographer and would much rather wait for his/her "moment" than take a picture of arbitrary you.

4. Approach other tourists with point n shoots. Well, they are your best bets really. And be polite and offer the barter. Their picture for yours.

5. Never make someone take your picture twice. Think about it. Even if they messed up the shot, they did take out the time to aim and shoot a picture of someone they didn't know. Don't extend their courtesy beyond the normalcy and make them take multiple shots, scrutinizing the previous ones right before them and scowling at the bad shots. There are other people out there. Me, for example.. I am already praising their effort even before the preview appears on the screen. And if I hate it, I wait till the first guy is out of earshot and then find someone else to take it. Its only decent.

6. Mean the "do you mind" part. Its like some well-rehearsed dialogue and it must appear in some book for sure. "Do you mind taking a picture of me/us?" is how anyone approaches a stranger. Unfortunately the "do you mind" is purely perfunctory and you are already thrusting the camera into reluctant fingers even before you get the confirmation. Be prepared to hear a "yes" for the mind part and move on spiritedly to someone else who doesn't mind. After all the picture shot by someone who truly doesn't mind has got to be better than the one taken by someone who did for the heck of it.

On that note, here's a one-liner for all the people who did mind taking photos of others and didn't say it - SAY IT! We'd rather not approach grouchy people to take shots of us in our happy times. On the other hand.. it is one picture. And we're not robbing you off anything here. And so if you really can take a shot, consider it your good deed of the day and do it in good humour if it permits you to!

Uh, well.. that's all I could think about right now. Is there anything I left out? Add your two pence...


calibergemini said...

:D Very Well put! Although I wouldn't go so far as saying shot-of-the-year :D!! Cracked me up!

Jaya said...

Shiva->Jai ho guruji! As long as these tips work in reducing everyone's burden! Thanks for visiting n keep coming!

calibergemini said...

inda guruji laam romba romba too much!

Shantosh said...

Very nice tips. First time I am coming across etiquette for such a simple act..

Jaya said...

Shiva->No shame in acknowledging the Guru :P

Shant-> Yeah.. who knew something as simplea s getting your picture taken could have etiquette? :)

Thanks and keep visiting, all!

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