Thursday, May 08, 2014

Selfies with Strangers: Morocco (Part I of Series)

Three Muslim Girls of Touroug, Morocco
For this week's #IGTravelThursday, I'm embarking on a new blog series, "Selfies with Strangers". I'm sharing my best tip for taking portraits of locals who may be reluctant or uncomfortable being photographed by a stranger. Take a picture with them first, in the form of the selfie.

Selfie with Moroccan Muslim Girls


Taking the first shot with the camera turned on myself too is a simple gesture that speaks volumes.

* It means asking permission - something many travelers hesitate to do when photographing strangers. Break the ice, talk to them, share photos on your cellphone or ipad and turn the camera on both of you so they too can see what they look like.  A must to do after the shot, of course. But try starting with it.

Selfie with Berber villager near Skoura

Portrait of Moroccan Berber wearing traditional Djellaba

* It relaxes my subject from striking stiff uncomfortable poses.

Selfie with Moroccan Berber Villager

Portrait of Moroccan Berber of Asni Village in the Atlas Mountains.

The resulting cellphone shot for instant sharing on instagram, twitter or facebook will be impressive - unposed, relaxed, and candid:




* It shows that I am willing to be subject to the same experience of being photographed, and that it is easy and fun.

Selfie with the piano player at Rick's Cafe in Casablanca

* It releases a more genuine facial expression and smile. It keeps my subject from forcing a fake smile because they think it's what I want, or they have become used to tourists with cameras telling them to smile. The last thing I ever ask my subject to do is "smile", if it comes naturally, great, but otherwise I don't want it.



I just love this selfie I took with my Moroccan guide, Hicham - we'd been working hard for our group and finally had everyone settled and happy and just sat down together for lunch. He's a fabulous guide, by the way, Morocco's best, never mind how handsome he is too!

* It shows that I wouldn't ask of my subject something I'm not willing to do myself. Some cultures believe that a camera takes a part of one's soul, thus, I too am sharing my soul. This is particularly true in other parts of Africa, which I will share in an upcoming episode of the series.

* It brings us together, regardless of race, religion, or politics - we are all just people sharing the same planet.  We may be strangers, but in the frozen moment of the selfie, we are a family.



More:

Morocco Gallery of Images

Made In Morocco
Morocco - A Journey in Pictures (multimedia)
Kids Around the World - Photo Friday, Morocco

And of course, check out the other #IGTravelThursday features!



4 comments:

  1. This is a great idea! And you are super brave to ask to take pictures with so many strangers! I need to do this more. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. What wonderful advice … I might even be able to get more photos of my teenager with this idea! Thanks so much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Excellent! I have always been a bit shy about approaching strangers for photographs. This Japanese child is one of my best and she wasn't to thrilled about it. I bet if I had used what I just learned from you, the image would be better. Cut & Paste; http://tommydykesphotography.com/19.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a great idea. Now if I could only learn to take photos with my cell without camera shake!

    ReplyDelete