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Old 01-10-2005, 08:15 AM
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Darren Darren is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 854
Default Re: Taking portraits of strangers - do you compensate them?

Hi Ian. Since when did the gov't stop giving out the small Canada pins? Last time I was back in Canada, I had only to ask my MP, they had them ready the next day. I hope this is still the case.
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:09 AM
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carolskie007 carolskie007 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 93
Default Re: Taking portraits of strangers - do you compensate them?

I agree that giving money to someone whom you have had taken his/her/their picture/s would be a precedent culture in tourism. For us Filipinos, we're fond of taking our pictures especially in a group where there is an occassion/festivity. Locals in tourist destinations are generally friendly and they dont mind taking their photo by a tourist. So far,I've never encountered kids demanding for money upon having their photo taken....they are usually shy and contented looking at you with a smile.

But beware of just taking picture of someone in the metropolis particularly in business district without asking for permission, your intentions might be questioned and suspect that it would be used as porno material in the internet ( a face with a nude body of someone else). I may sound paranoid, but this is a reality in this www era.

On a lighter note, i'd like to share a story about the three men who died smiling. The first one was an American who ate plenty of steak and died, happy and smiling, after suffering a heart attack. The second one was a French man who drank plenty of wine and died, happy and smiling, after suffering a heart attack. The third one was a Filipino. Amid thunder and lightning, he went out smiling, thinking there was some picture-taking going on. He got hit by a lightning and died, happy and smiling.

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Old 01-12-2005, 09:33 AM
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Agus Agus is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 27
Default Re: Taking portraits of strangers - do you compensate them?

It's possbly better to read prior information before you visit any place and community. A good writer of people, nature and culture perhaps provides us with such important characteristic of the people. Not all people thinks materislistic, for instance. And in such a case, we have to 'pay' with such non-material stuff.
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Old 01-12-2005, 06:41 PM
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thien thien is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 405
Default Re: Taking portraits of strangers - do you compensate them?

I do not pay for taking pictures of others. I can certainly do give money away but only because I feel that it would help someone and not as a carrot on a stick. I can understand the reason behind tha fact that you are taking something from someone and why shouldn't you pay for the "service". However, I also believe that it is a vile option as I have experienced in Bac Ha, Vietnam last April. I brought some little Black Hmong friends of mine from Sapa to the market of Bac Ha. At this market, there are a few of Flower Hmongs girls (because of their colorful dress) that really enchanted my little friends. As little girls, they asked if the Flower Hmongs girls if they can take a picture together. The answer was only if my little friends has money.

You are feeling uncomfortable because you are first a traveler before you are a photographer. In this sense, I am like you.

I believe that there is some personality traits that makes a good portrait photographer: you have to be at ease with yourself before your subject can be at ease with you. It has been years and I have ultimately found out that I am not a street candid portrait photographer because I cannot be at ease with myself taking a portrait of someone who I have not had conversation with. I think Darren, Philip and Sara can back me up on this after our trip to Myanmar last November. A portrait to me has to show a person character and I do not possess the skill to instantly recognized a person traits. I need to establish a contact and only can feel at ease once I think I have known who that person is. That criteria takes a lots of time and ultimately, I can only counted on one hand the number of portrait on my trips that I am truly happy with. The rest maybe look nice but does not say anything to me and ultimately are gathering dust somewhere on my harddrive.

I guess that you have to ask yourself, what are you comfortable with and go from there. The desire of capturing a picture may blind you from the feelings of the person who is in your frame. Finally, was it him/her soul that you are trying to capture or you just want a nice picture for your collection? You have missed a picture of the man on the Nile but his image has burned in your mind, why the regrets?
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