I will speak to strangers, and I will ask strangers for permission to photograph them.

It happens to me ALL THE TIME that I want to but manage to procrastinate asking until they're gone.

Today when I was getting coffee with a friend (after all-you-can-eat Indian lunch for $7.95, mm!), a young woman saw me take my Diana out of my bag and started talking to me, because she has one too. As she was getting her coffee, it occurred to me to ask her if she wanted to go on a Diana picture-taking date sometime. But I didn't! How blah! How tragical!

Hesitating just a moment too long in situations like these has caused me no small amount of regret. Conversely, speaking to strangers has been marvelously rewarding at times. Like when it got me road-tripping companions in Iceland!

New rule, Holly: if the thought even flutters across your mind that you would like to say something or take some picture, SPEAK. Don't deliberate. I'm deciding for you right now, it's a rule: you will ask them.

Are you good at this sort of thing? Any helpful hints for hesitation killing?


Q 6/30/2010 5:46 PM  

I too am bad at talking to strangers. When I have to, I just grit my teeth and do it.

Q 6/30/2010 5:47 PM  

Oh, one more tip from my cousin: Pretend everyone you meet has a crush on you.

Holly 6/30/2010 6:08 PM  

Q - That is EXCELLENT. Thank you/your cousin.

andsoiwasthinking 6/30/2010 6:19 PM  

I am a big time hesitator. So I am no help!

The Pieces 6/30/2010 6:57 PM  

I try to speak before I think as much as possible and it generally turns out ok! A girl came into my work the other day holding a Holga and I was "Oh cool, I have one too! Aren't they awesome blaa blaa blaa" and she was like "yeh, whatevs.." Can't win em all :)

Priya 6/30/2010 7:24 PM  

This happens to me all the time too. I don't know how effective this is, but I think about the pros and cons for both scenarios, and try to convince myself that I should do it, that the worst that will happen is that they'll say no... most of the time, I'm just too hesitant or shy to do it, and by the time I've convinced myself, they're gone. :(

Holly 6/30/2010 7:46 PM  

andsoiwasthinking - Yeah? Haha, well good luck to us!

The Pieces - Yes, that has been my experience as well, that I almost never regret just opening my mouth (though it's not my natural inclination)...mrah!

Priya - Your thought path sounds like mine. I'll pass someone and think, Oh, nice shot of them right there...and then I keep walking thinking, Would it really be a nice shot? Hm, where would I stand to take it? And then by the time I decide, I'm a block away. Haha...ah.

Cheray 7/01/2010 6:13 AM  

I'm terrible at talking to strangers when it comes to photos...
but talking to strangers in general...i'm usually ok with...
put a camera in my hand and I become almost...shy..?
It's not a good trait!
I'll come on a photographing adventure with you - I'm heading to the usa in january/february next year :) x

Jenica 7/01/2010 8:08 AM  

Haha, I would be awful at making myself do this...but best of luck to you and your bravery :)

Maya Ganesan 7/01/2010 4:55 PM  

Try to think about the fact that you will probably regret it if you don't ask. That always works for me, because I really dislike the feeling of disappointment and therefore usually end up going for whatever it is I'm unsure about doing.

Shannon - Some Pretty Things Photography 7/02/2010 1:11 AM  

If you ever figure out how to do it without feeling extremely nervous, let me know.

I'm doing this. Well, I'm thinking about doing it. Maybe.

Holly 7/02/2010 1:12 PM  

Cheray - That would be's hoping it's while I'm in San Francisco.

Jenica - Thanks!

Maya - Yes, that'd be a good motivator for me as well.

Shannon - Hm...I may too. I probably do need a quota.

Amber 7/02/2010 7:51 PM  

Thursday was Canada Day. I'm in Australia so nobody was celebrating, or even knew. As I stepped off my bus to work, the driver said, 'aw, so you're leaving me here?' I hopped back on, dug into my bag, and gave him a Canadian flag and explained why. He looked surprised and smiled a big smile.

But it took him saying something first.

Erin 7/11/2010 7:36 PM  

I am the same way, but I like your resolve, and shall try to adapt it for myself.

Holly 7/12/2010 11:12 AM  

Erin - It's already getting easier for me, in fact; I just try to let there be no time between me thinking it and asking for it. Good luck to you.

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