Not a stranger, I’m a random photographer

When I organize a family’s photos, it becomes obvious who is the family photographer, not because they’re in every picture but because they’re not.

The best way for the family historian to get into the picture is to offer the camera to someone else to operate. But then the new photographer is omitted from the shot.

Which is why I always try to offer to take people’s pictures when I’m out and about and seeing subjects standing alone in front of lighthouses and landmark restaurants and pretty landscapes. I turn to the one behind the camera, and I say, “You want me to take a picture with both of you?”

I have never been turned down.

That act is described today in The Calendar of Awesome I received as a holiday gift:

Everything is rolling right along, everything’s smooth sailing, until it eventually happens. You want a couple shot. And you can’t get one. Can’t get one, that is … until a friendly stranger walks by, notices your awkwardness, and chimes in with a quick, “Hey, want me to take a picture?” Now, that’s just perfect and that’s


It works smoothly when the volunteer knows enough about cameras to frame the shot and click the right button, but I had a lot of experience with that when I worked for a big scrapbooking company, mingling at conventions of thousands of paparazzi trolling for the next photo opportunity. It’s a big undertaking when you’re asked to photograph a group and every single one of the dozen people standing there hands you a camera. “OK, say cheese again! Just four more!”

It’s fun to, quite literally, put a smile on someone’s face.

Ultimately, the photo might be the best one of the trip, and I get the satisfaction of knowing I played a role in preserving that memory.

Go ahead, offer to take someone’s picture next time you’re out. Be awesome.


2 comments on “Not a stranger, I’m a random photographer

  1. More than once, it’s been that awesome stranger that volunteered to snap the photo that has ended up on our holiday card or in a frame in our home!

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