Taking Photos For Strangers

This post is a kickoff to my Talk With Strangers series. I've had this blog running for 3 years now and I still haven't told you about my encounters with them. The first few posts will be nothing specific of a particular stranger. I'll save that for later.

. . .


A very good friend of mine, Golda, gave me a gift a few years ago which contained some to-do things each written on a piece of paper. There were probably a hundred. All of them were doable: memorize your favorite poem, say "hello" first, watch a sunrise (I still haven't done this yet).

One of my favorites among the list is this:


OFFER to take a picture.
I've been wanting to do this even before I got this present. I just needed a little push and this note did it. 

I often visit places downtown, churches and museums, and a lot of people -- couples, groups and families -- take pictures for souvenirs. When I see them I feel the itch (and it's really strong) to come up to the one holding the camera and ask her if she would like me to take their photo. After a few shots I hand them back their camera and strike up a very short conversation that usually goes like this:

Them: Thank you!
C: Sure, sure. So where are you guys from?
Them: fdkalgifdsk!
C: Oh.. Well, enjoy Cebu!

I think I'll make a good politician.




So far, only one has refused my offer. I guess I'm no Don Vito Corleone. We were inside a church celebrating the parish fiesta and this father was taking a photo of his wife and daughter. I asked him if I could take their photo but he said "No thanks," so I went ahead and sat on the pew; they finished their picture taking and on their way out the wife smiled at me. Hmmm? 

This picture-taking isn't limited to their cameras but mine as well. A couple of times when I went to the library and museum there were teens who were on an educational tour and I offered to take their group photo and email it to them.

I don't know what it is that I get from doing this but every time I do, I walk away with my lips in a curve.

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