A picture tells stories; it may not reveal the whole story of the exact moment the image was taken but it can trigger memories, hopefully happy ones. 🙂 Pictures from trips and vacations are especially important, it reminds us of great times, of the people we’ve shared the getaway with, and the adventures on the road. A trip without a single picture or video makes for a sad vacation in my books.
I’ve made a habit of volunteering to take pictures of families and groups whenever the opportunity presents itself. I have a soft spot especially for families traveling together yet not having a family shot. I am sure you’ve seen them around; they take turns taking photos of their family, usually the dad take the first pics, then the mom take the next shot so the first photographer (dad) will be in the frame. Never as one family in a single pic, never complete.
Family vacations are very important, and in the same respect, family photos. That’s why I like volunteering.
You may think why not use a self-timer, a tripod and remote trigger? Well, there are circumstances when the easiest, fastest thing to do is to request someone else, outside your group, to take the picture. Selfie group pics doesn’t work at all times too even with a monopod extension.
A Visit to Manaoag, 2013
I am not a stranger to requesting someone who happen to be in the same spot where I am, to take my picture or picture of us, or our group. Sometimes I’m met with quizzical look. There are many times though that the one I ask looks visibly surprise but recovers soon enough and smile and say ‘sure!’.
I found out that many will be happy to assist you, this is not only true among Filipinos but I believe it’s something positive shared worldwide.
As an example, this picture was taken by a stranger in Kuala Lumpur despite a language barrier. =)
There are a few who will refuse because they don’t know how to operate your camera. ‘pasensya na di ko kahibaw mo gamit ani’. You can explain that it’s real easy and show them how, and you’d find most people will go out of their way to learn as they want to help you have that souvenir photo.
Listen to your instinct on who to approach to be your one-time photographer. Learn to trust people too.
I realized that out there in the top tourist spots, in the nooks and crannies where you can find tourists and vacationers, there are these wishes floating in the air ‘if only someone will take our group pic… ‘ Some people are too shy to approach anyone that is why you must volunteer yourself, be their photographer.
Spread goodwill, be a bridge of memories.
The best way to go is for you to make your way to the group, and just blurt out before shyness freezes you ‘ do you want me to take your picture?’ or ‘kunan ko kayo’.
I’d be smiling; I don’t want them scared of this stranger who appears from nowhere and wants to handle their cameras. =)
4 out of 5 beams back with huge smiles and hand me their cams ‘Thank you!!!’, ‘Hayyy salamat!’ are common responses to the unexpected offer.
1,2,3, smile, snap, another one.. snap, last one, smile. 😀
Some requests to have more shots fired and I’d happily oblige. =)
Travel with a Happy Heart
Last trip in Dumaguete, I’ve volunteered thrice, first to a family pictured below, second to a couple who refused my offer, last to a foreigner backpacker taking pics of the “I Heart Dumaguete” signage.
*This pic was taken by my brother Nicko while I used this family’s camera to take their pics.
Don’t be discouraged when someone got wary or ‘may tamang duda’ about you or your proposal. Not everyone has a welcoming attitude; to them it could be ‘intrusion’ or a suspicious act. Understand and move on. But continue to volunteer, there are many who will find great joy that they have a family or group pic to look at and reminisce in years to come. After the shot, I bet you’ll feel glad too. 🙂
Godspeed on your next journeys! Travel Happy!