Saturday, August 13, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness for Tourists

Years ago I worked as a photo editor at a photo press agency. How on earth I ended up there, looking back I honestly haven't got a clue as my main interest as an editor is to edit text, not pictures. But a colleague of mine was as interested in photography as you might expect from your average photo editor. He used to walk around the city with his camera in his hand or around his neck most of the time.

He told me that - almost daily - this resulted in a request by tourists to use their camera and take a picture of them. He would always agree (that in itself is obviously a random act of kindness to strangers) but he'd add a little something extra. As soon as the loving couple, family or group of friends were in position he would... Just stand there with the camera, without pushing the button.

After a couple of seconds, someone would hesitantly point out that the button was on the ... side of the camera... Right there... See? O yes, he would nod, he didn't realize and again, he'd assume the photographer position and... Not press the button. Then, surely, most of, if not all of the posing people would stop posing and THAT's when he would *CLICK*! And hand the camera over with a big smile.

I remember thinking my colleague was a bit of a jerk for doing that, but he continued his story. 'Who needs those dorky posed pictures? It is way more fun when everyone is just acting like themselves. And more importantly: I'll look like a total dork and they'll have a story to go with the picture, in stead of a boring holiday picture.'

I'm not sure if his logic makes sense; maybe most people just toss the picture, but I really like the thought behind his anti-holiday picture.

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