A heady mix of camera and the streets.

Me : “ajoba me tumchi photo gheoo ka ? “ (uncle, can I click your photograph ? )
Ajoba : nervous
Me : “ tension nako gheoo, asach vicharla ? (don’t get nervous, I asked casually )
Ajoba : “ho, pan ka ? “ (yes, but why )
Me : already looking thru the viewfinder, “ajoba smile please “. Click.

The best part of the whole activity, for me, comes when people see their pictures at the back of the camera instantly light up with a smile. The phrase ‘simple pleasures of life’ fits perfectly here. The person being photographed is not going to get paid, not that he is a big star (but you sure made him feel like one ) neither does he get a copy of it (generally). All that makes him happy is the moment in which he sees himself smiling, and somebody finding him worthy enough of photographing him. Its a totally mental non materialistic thing ! many a times, in a poor locality, you may be the one photographing a person after many years altogether, may be even the first photo of him ever.

Many of dread speaking to strangers, let alone standing on the stage and face the audience speak. Then imagine how would you muster up the courage to stop a perfect stranger on the street and ask them to let you take their picture ! but trust me If you enjoy such challenges and are game enough then you would have some amazing stories to tell, experiences to share.

This is when you become from a tourist to traveler. And most surprisingly you may not even have to set a budget aside, review hotels and book tickets. You may very well turn into a traveler of your own town. I am sure there must be many nooks and corners, shopkeepers, gardens , the cute girl in the sun-dress that you always wanted to speak to, the small eatery ,and such, that you till now just ‘saw’ but never ‘interacted’ with.

A camera can be a surprisingly efficient ice-breaker. I always held an impression that people would scoff when I would look at them and ask for picture of theirs. But no, majority were more than glad to be photographed. Though I haven’t tried street portraiture in other countries, but I am sure people would be generally positive about being photographed. An ‘eye contact’ a ‘nod’ and a ‘smile’ goes a long way in getting some really great pictures. At times people also provide their e-mail ids and addresses to send them the pictures and within no time, you are from a total no one to a friend. Now imagine doing this in the same place over a few times, and one would have got some really great pictures and new people mingle with .

P.S. : let me know if you guys find it difficult to read on the present background image

As always, thanks for dropping by. Comments and critique most welcome !!

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About Vishal Tomar

I'm a binge traveler, binge thinker, writer, storyteller and photographer and reader, that's when not being street food connoisseur, fitness enthusiast and a doctor. cheers..!

5 responses »

  1. Your post has come at the perfect time for me, as I was practicing being a tourist in my town yesterday and today. Today I stopped into a pharmacy and lunch counter that is a kind of institution in our city. And though I’ve lived here practically all my life, I had never set foot in this place before. I had my camera out and once I knew I could take pictures inside, something great happened to me. I began to interact with the employees and customers. This is not something I very often do. But it enabled me to get a better feel for the place, and I also took a lot more pictures than I would have otherwise felt comfortable doing.

    After having two great days of exploring (and seeing the photographs come to life on my computer), I had decided to continue being a hometown tourist throughout the summer and maybe beyond. Now you are inspiring me to start talking to more people and hopefully incorporating some human images into the mix. The worst they can say is no.

    Thanks for the great post.

    Reply
    • kudos..!!! congrats…now i know its the same everywhere…glad to hear your experience, would love to see the pictures too..!!

      keep in touch..

      vishal.

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Hometown Tourist | Let me ask you this…

  3. good words used…its so true…the instant that we as a photographer manage to bring in these peoples faces makes it all worth…

    Reply

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