Welcome to (The Occasional) Photo Tip of the Day! Please also visit my main site jeffwignall.com. Text and photographs Copyright 2016 Jeff Wignall.

“The best way out is always through.”

Monday, November 10, 2008

Talk to Strangers

Walking up to a complete stranger--especially in a foreign country--is probably one of the things that people fear most about taking travel pictures. But the truth is most strangers don't mind tourists photographing them at all, as long as you're polite and have a big smile on your face. Trust me, people in Paris or London know a tourist when they see one and I've made some great friends in far-off places by just taking the time to talk to strangers. I'm lucky in that I take after my mother in that respect: she could start a conversation with anyone, anywhere. Even if you don't speak the language, you can learn how to say please and thank you in almost any language and those are the only two words you'll need. Some folks, like this mime that I photographed near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is used to being photographed. For a small tip in the umbrella he posed for me at twilight and didn't mind the flash I had to pop on to bring up the light levels. I shot this photo after watching him perform in a plaza for an hour, so he absolutely deserved a "merci" and a tip. Talk to strangers, the pictures you'll get will add a lot of depth to your travel photos!

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