Twice in the last 24 hours, I’ve seen a reference to the trouble with asking strangers to take pictures for them.
After all, it’s a bit of a tricky situation. You try to ask the most likely candidate (someone who looks like they know how to operate a camera) but if they screw up, it’s hard to go from there.
You don’t want them to take ANOTHER one, because if the first one was a miserable failure, you can make a good bet on what the second one will turn out like.
But it feels awkward to ask someone new to take it in the same location because the first person might see you asking someone else and realize you weren’t happy with their kind act of service.
But if you felt strongly enough about taking a picture in a certain location – enough to stop and ask a stranger to take one – and now you’ve spent all this time trying to unsuccessfully get the picture, it is deeply distressing to walk away pictureless.
A year and a half ago, my parents were in Austin the weekend of my birthday. My dad was lecturing, so my Mom, Bart, and I went out to dinner to celebrate. We’d gone to a restaurant called “Louie’s,” based mostly on the fact that my mom has called me “Louie” most of my life and it seemed funny to go to a restaurant by the same name.
Anyway, after dinner, we decided to get someone to take a picture of us in front of the sign. We stopped a very nice gentleman on the sidewalk who immediately agreed to take our picture. We smiled, he snapped the picture, and handed it back to us. The three of us could all see the display, but he couldn’t and asked how it’d turned out.