Ok, so you don’t have a tripod, nor do you have a nifty remote controller to snap your own photos. You are alone traveling and you need someone to snap your photo because the ten second timer works but there isn’t really a good place to set it up at. And if you don’t have a professional photographer following you around either, bummer. Simple you say, have someone take it for you, but you’re tired of the people that just can’t capture the moment. You know that time when you asked Mr. or Miss X nicely to take your photograph standing in front of this tree or that monument? You know the person that takes a photo of more ground or more sky than anything else, the one that clips off peoples feet or takes off the top of heads, the time someone didn’t position the frame well, on and on and so forth. Want someone to know how to take a photo just the way you would like it? Let’s face it, you know what I am talking about if you have done any extent of travelling alone.
I have set up some simple steps for you to say to someone to get everything you wanted in that one photograph. Start off by doing the research. What do you want, where do you want the photo taken, and who do you think could take it for you.
On one of my recent facebook posts a friend from back home asked “Drew how do you get people to take such good photos of you?” I told him that I hired a Gnome that I carry around in my pocket.” laughs to him self… all kidding aside you simple just ask someone, and then show them how youd like the photo to be taken. Ok but really how?
Her’es the plug. “Excuse me sir/mam would you like me to take a photo of you and your friend/XYZ?” If they say yes then do it. If they say no then say, “Well I was curious can you please take my photo?” Sure, no problem. And we have a photographer.
Now to really get what you want, you need to take it a few steps further, or you’ll just have a point and click shooter.
Here are 11 quick and easy steps to ensure that your photograph will come out as good as you thought it would be when someone else takes it with your camera.
Stand in the spot where you imagine the photographer to be.
Look through your own camera to see what it is you want captured, if you don’t know how will they?
Once you know what you want and you have the location set picture what you want in and what you want OUT of the frame.
Ask someone, preferably someone who you personally would think to be digital camera literate. Try not to discriminate.
Greeting sir/mam can you please take my photo. (Be polite.)
Once they agree show them through your view finder or screen where you will stand, and what you want them to capture. Case in point I would like you to get the entire building and me, from this location (point at the ground) you will be able to get the entire building and me in one frame. You will not need to zoom. (Remind them many will ask to zoom.)
Once you hand the camera to them, ask them to hold it with two hands as it is more sturdy- ( No one likes a blurry photo because they couldn’t put down their coffee cup.)
Now that the coffee cup is down, they have two hands on the camera ( make sure they don’t run away) let them know it is ok if you take more than one photograph maybe take a couple. One horizontal and one vertical, but preferably tell them one, because you already scoped out the work and like the vertical idea. Don’t make it hard on them.
Ok, now show them what you want “hold it like this, and you push this button to capture the photograph”. Many people will ask others to take their photograph and run to the spot, but what if that person really doesn’t know where the buttons are. Just make it easy on them show them. “You can push this silver button once and it will click for the photograph.”
This on is funny but ask them to count 1,2,3 or 3,2,1 in any language sometimes you can be standing for longer than you want with a smile, Waiting.Waiting.Waiting. All while they are confused. If this happens to turn out bad, rinse and repeat, reconsider your options and get a second shooter.
And last smile and say thank you. This should all take about 30 seconds once you master what to say. Go stand in the frame already! Enjoy having photos taken the way you want by other people on your camera. Tell them they did great. “Wow you are a good photographer.” Then to top it all off if you have time, which you should for someone else, ask them. Sir/ Mam would you like me to take a photo of you and XYZ on your camera? It goes a long way.
Ok folks, this should just about do it. I hope you have a chance to try all this out and don’t worry it seems like a lot to do but really It only takes about half a minute and it is worth every second when you end up with a good framed photograph. Remember to be polite and ask nicely, then say thanks!
Out and about, i was walking the back streets and saying hello to the village people in Tachileik. I was warned before by some Thailand expats to keep an eye out for government officials who would watch me or follow me if I was taking too many photos. Did this happen, I looked but wasn’t too worried, I really haven’t had any problems so far. I have to say i have more guys trying to sell me cigarettes and “boom boom” than any one else bothering me.
It wasn’t until i got off the beaten track that I became a bit nervous in some areas of walking that is when my instincts kicked in and I new to turn and go the other way. There are just some places on earth that you really don’t want to walk towards alone or with a group.
I walked pretty far and then I herd a small voice and small foot steps approaching. I turned to see a boy standing about 3 meters from me and his friends following shortly behind him. all full of smiles. they stood together and just looked at me then held up my hand and made a peace sign, they all smiled and returned the gesture. I snapped a photo, this one i have attached below. After the photo i turned the camera around to show them as they all huddled around the screen laughing.
I’ve been to many countries in the world so far and each time it is very refreshing to see the locals and young people so happy. This country Myanmar/formally Burma has been through some very harsh times lately so when i see people smiling and being happy it makes me feel happy too.