Can You Take My Photo?

“Can you take my picture?” It’s one of the obligations of traveling alone. Couples, groups, and other solo travelers tend to ask me to take their pictures.

It’s not always when I’m traveling either. I used to live in Washington, D.C., where I worked across the street from the White House. Every spring and summer, families on vacation would descend upon the city. During my lunch hours, people frequently asked me to take their pictures. Sometimes it happens here in Florida when I’m at the beach.

Taking someone’s photo is an opportunity to meet people, even for just a moment.There is a basic etiquette to asking someone to take your photo. If I take your picture, you should offer to take mine. If you don’t offer, I’ll ask you to take it.

Taking someone’s photo is an opportunity to meet people, even for just a moment. Sometimes it can be one of the high points of a trip, as it was when I was in Japan and students wanted a photo with me.

I’m a total introvert. I used to be reluctant to ask others to take my photo. But my family and friends insist on it. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve regretted that there are so many pictures of me at my current age, and so few of me when I was younger and had fewer lines on my face.

I’ve become better at the self-timer selfie. I shot the cover photo of my blog in the Sahara desert by using a sand dune for a makeshift tripod. But when necessary, I ask people to take my picture. And I take theirs.

Photo: High school students, Kinkaku-ji temple, Kyoto, April 2013.

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