‘Photo please’ extortionists

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#91 Mar 9th, 2007, 09:06
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  • anarkali is offline
#91

An adjustment for new travellers - the people photo thing

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Originally Posted by lotus blossom thanks for all the comments!

yogagal, i know what you mean. incidents like these test my ahimsa, because there is the instint to strike back! but, my instincts told me that doing so would've escalated the situation to an even more dangerous level!

i still maintain that asking persmission to take a point blank photo of someone is best (unless it is a candid one in which they're not even aware of it, or if it is at a rally/protest type situation). a photo of people in crowds, of course, it is a different thing.
I am absolutely with you on this one lotus blossom. On a "Hidden Delhi" tour at the dhobi ghat one of the participants took a close up picture of a guy's face without interacting with him at all, or asking permission, or smiling, or anything, and quite understandably he gave her a verbal pasting. Bizarrely, another of the tour participants asked the tour leader why the subject of the photo was so angry. The tour leader was very diplomatic and suggested that it was advisable to ask people's permission before taking individual photos. I don't get how being a tourist seems to make some people feel they have the right to treat other people like they're animals in the zoo. Some people don't seem to have the slightest bit of empathy for others. All it takes is to think how it might feel were the roles reversed!

I think there are necessary cultural adjustments the first time traveller to India (husband and I) needs to get their head around. I wonder if it's common for first time travellers to India to end up with far more pictures of buildings and animals than people for this very reason. This is how it turned out for me simply because I wasn't confident in my ability to make the necessary delicate negotiations. Hard to explain, my thoughts were very mixed. I think given a bit more time or on the next visit I might well have worked it out, and there were some simply awesome opportunities if I had the confidence. Main example the train platform full of junior high school kids in Agra waiting for the late night Taj Express. We had earlier been chatting with some of the kids, who'd approached us full of questions about where we were from. We later approached their teacher to ask where to stand for our carriage, said thank you and goodbye to them. Picture an entire school group smiling and shouting "Goodbye" and waving to the exotic foreign tourists :] My husband remarked more than once after that experience and many other lovely experiences meeting locals that he'd never felt more like a movie star...

All that said, sounds like you handled an unpleasant experience very well, lotusblossom, and that you have the right approach to photographing people sensitively.
#92 Mar 9th, 2007, 18:40
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  • lotus blossom is offline
#92
Quote:
Originally Posted by anarkali Picture an entire school group smiling and shouting "Goodbye" and waving to the exotic foreign tourists :] My husband remarked more than once after that experience and many other lovely experiences meeting locals that he'd never felt more like a movie star...

All that said, sounds like you handled an unpleasant experience very well, lotusblossom, and that you have the right approach to photographing people sensitively.
there is something inherently more precious about those photographs in which you personally interacted with the people that you meet. i have a good picture of those smiling school children's faces

thanks for your comments anarkali.
Not all who wander are lost
#93 Mar 11th, 2007, 04:19
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#93
We got completely mobbed at the Jama Masjid. We only stayed a couple of minutes because of it. No one asked us to take pictures but all the children wanted us to shake their hands. My boyfriend was worried that it might be a distraction for slipping a hand in one of our bags so we left. We were permanently surrounded by a crowd for the whole time we were in there. Some of the photos really make my smile though because of all the children in the front (they wouldn't get out of the way) it reminds me most of our trip. We were generally a bit too self conscious about asking to and taking people's photos.

Beautiful building though. Someone set off three nail bombs in there the week after we visited.

A lot of indians we met seemed very keen to have pictures of us. I must be in more Indian holiday snaps than in our own sets of pictures. The amount of blokes who wanted to come and drape their arms round me and have their photo taken - complete strangers! My partner mused that he didn't think grabbing their wives and asking for a photo would go down so well. I did feel like we ought to be charging sometimes.
#94 Mar 14th, 2007, 12:27
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#94
I had a construction worker at Humayun's Tomb telling me to take a photo of him. I did, just to amuse him, but then he wanted money. I gave him and his mates a few cigarettes instead.
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