Author Topic: Will you take a picture with my camera ?  (Read 14955 times)

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TeamBhakta

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Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« on: October 08, 2010, 04:46:59 PM »
Yesterday I was at the local airport, waiting for my aunt's flight to arrive from another town. I was sitting on a bench reading a book. I had a purse with me and also a bag of items to give my aunt. On another bench nearby was a middle aged woman, a 17/18 year old boy and a 17/18 year old girl.

The middle aged woman came up next to me and said "Excuse me ? Will you take a picture of us ?" Then she held out her expensive looking camera. (Being deeply into my book, it took me a second to realize "Oh, duh, someone's talking to me ?") My response was "Umm....no thank you." She answered in a snotty, shocked tone "Ohhh-kaaay ?" and approached another person. This second person agreed to take the picture. Camera lady made sure to say loudly "THANK YOU. YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL AND KIND TO TAKE OUR PICTURE. BECAUSE WE DON'T KNOW IF WE'LL EVER SEE EACH OTHER AGAIN FOR A LONG TIME." After the picture was taken, the two teenagers commented pointedly "OH MY GOD, I CAN'T BELIEVE SHE WOULDN'T TAKE OUR PICTURE" AND "I KNOW, I GUESS SOME PEOPLE ARE (FEMALE DOGS) AND SOME PEOPLE ARE NICE."

I had a couple of reasons why I didn't want to take their picture. I wasn't going to get into it with her, but (1) my book was rather interesting (2)My hands shake terribly when I take pictures. And I'm rather clumsy. So I'd feel bad if I took a poor picture or messed up her camera (3) I dislike being approached by random strangers and (4)I would have had to set my bags down and stepped a couple feet away from the bench to take the picture.

So is it rude to decline to take someone's picture ?
 
« Last Edit: October 08, 2010, 04:55:15 PM by TeamBhakta »

Hushabye

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Re: Will you a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2010, 04:51:39 PM »
Not at all.  I often tell people who ask me that that they don't want me to take a photo of them; they're more likely to end up with a nice picture of my thumb than anything else!

I think it's far more rude to interrupt someone who's involved in some other activity, personally.

Kaypeep

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Re: Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2010, 04:59:27 PM »
It's absolutely NOT rude to decline taking a photo, and you don't owe them any explanation.  Shame on them for being so critical of you afterwards, I hope you don't let it get to you.

I used to work at a major tourist attraction, and I work in NYC now where I pass tourists every day.  I will often go up to people and offer to take a picture of them so that the photographer can actually be in the group photo for a change.  BUT - since I am from NYC I am also VERY skeptical of anyone who would approach ME, ESPECIALLY in an airport, and ask me to take their photo.  A wedding, sure.  An airport or other public place?  No.  I'd probably decline.  I would be too paranoid that it's a trap to pick my pocket or plant something in my carry-on luggage.

You did the right thing.  They are the rude ones for not accepting your valid answer and just moving on.

Only me

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Re: Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2010, 05:11:35 PM »
Hi

No not rude to decline. Maybe unusaly, but certainly not rude.

Like the others who responded, I've asked people if they want me to take a pic of them.

Onlyme

gollymolly2

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Re: Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2010, 05:25:39 PM »
I don't think you were rude - it's well within your right to decline.  But I do have to say that if I asked someone to take a picture and they responded "no thank you,"  I would think the whole thing was really odd.  I wouldn't be as rude as they were to comment on it, but it would feel off to me.  Perhaps in the future it would go more smoothly if you said "sorry" instead of "thank you" and perhaps also offered a very short explanation.  This wouldn't be necessary, of course, but it just might make the whole situation less awkward.

gramma dishes

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Re: Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2010, 05:38:35 PM »
I can fully understand why you wouldn't want to leave your personal items unattended to take a picture of strangers.  In the back of our minds there's that perhaps irrational expectation that as you're standing taking the requested photo, some accomplice will run out from behind a tree, snatch your stuff and run off.

But I think your reply may have confused them a little.  Even if you're the world's best known professional photographer and you just don't want to do it, you could simply have said, "Oh, I'm really a terrible photographer and any picture I took would be horribly blurred.  And I'm not comfortable at all with that kind of camera.  I'd probably break it or mess it up for you somehow.  Sorry."

"Sorry" seems more appropriate than "Thank you" in this situation.  But no, you weren't rude -- at least not any more so than they were by interrupting what you were doing and asking you to do them a favor.

I like to do it so I probably would have happily complied, but I can see why you wouldn't want to given the circumstances.

RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2010, 07:29:00 PM »
I agree with the last couple posters.  You're fine saying no, but it might go better for you in the future if you give a quick excuse.  You don't need to go on and on, just "Sorry, I'm a terrible photographer," smile, go back to reading.  Rational people will understand and find someone else to take the picture, and you come off as that nice girl who couldn't help, instead of that mean girl who wouldn't help.  Not that you're actually mean to say no, but you know what I mean.

Emmy

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Re: Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2010, 08:46:29 AM »
I don't think you were rude - it's well within your right to decline.  But I do have to say that if I asked someone to take a picture and they responded "no thank you,"  I would think the whole thing was really odd.  I wouldn't be as rude as they were to comment on it, but it would feel off to me.  Perhaps in the future it would go more smoothly if you said "sorry" instead of "thank you" and perhaps also offered a very short explanation.  This wouldn't be necessary, of course, but it just might make the whole situation less awkward.

I also admit that I would be puzzled if somebody replied with 'no thank you' when asked to take a picture.  I know you didn't mean it this way, but that choice of words would come across as a bit snarky or dismissive to me.  I do agree that, "sorry, I'm not a great picture taker" would be a better way of turning down the request without offering a long explanation. 

I do agree that the family was rude to interrupt you while you were obviously involved in a book and it was beyond rude for them to make comments and statements about you not taking the picture.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2010, 05:13:28 PM »
I've asked strangers to take pictures of myself and friends before and luckily haven't had anyone refuse, but if they did, it wouldn't bother me like it did these people.  Heck, you're at an airport, there's got to be plenty of people around they could ask!   LOL!

Course I'm thinking of BWI, but even a less busy airport might have someone else waiting for someone they could ask without being so passive aggressive.   
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Granny Takes a Trip

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Re: Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2010, 04:33:10 AM »
I agree with the last couple posters.  You're fine saying no, but it might go better for you in the future if you give a quick excuse.  You don't need to go on and on, just "Sorry, I'm a terrible photographer," smile, go back to reading.  Rational people will understand and find someone else to take the picture, and you come off as that nice girl who couldn't help, instead of that mean girl who wouldn't help.  Not that you're actually mean to say no, but you know what I mean.

While I agree with this, and the previous couple of posters, I just wanted to add the OP's not explaining in no way excuses their rudeness afterwards. OP  was awkward at worst. They were heinously rude. I also think that it was rather rude of them to interrupt OP's reading.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 04:35:23 AM by Like Any Other Candidate »
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kckgirl

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Re: Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2010, 06:11:58 AM »
I recommend not beginning a sentence with "Um..." especially if you're going to say something negative after it. To me, it always comes off snarky, even if that's not what you intended. I also agree that "no, thank you" was an odd response to their request, and "sorry, I'm not good at taking pictures" would have probably been better.
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Re: Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2010, 06:25:21 AM »
I agree with the last couple posters.  You're fine saying no, but it might go better for you in the future if you give a quick excuse.  You don't need to go on and on, just "Sorry, I'm a terrible photographer," smile, go back to reading.  Rational people will understand and find someone else to take the picture, and you come off as that nice girl who couldn't help, instead of that mean girl who wouldn't help.  Not that you're actually mean to say no, but you know what I mean.

While I agree with this, and the previous couple of posters, I just wanted to add the OP's not explaining in no way excuses their rudeness afterwards. OP  was awkward at worst. They were heinously rude. I also think that it was rather rude of them to interrupt OP's reading.

And if people interrupt other people's reading, the first people need to expect a disorientated and surprised and slightly nonsensical answer. If the first people are asking a favour, they need to be prepared to react with politeness no matter how they are answered.

I'm not surprised the OP said "um", it's what naturally comes out of many people's mouths when they're processing information and working out what to say.



OP, I don't blame you in the slightest. I used to have to do this as part of a job, where I couldn't say no (it wasn't in my job description, but was part of making the customers happy), and having to handle their expensive cameras and watch them frown over my amateur efforts was stressful. I wouldn't do it if approached in my own time. Now that you can get those self-tripod things that hold the camera back away from you, there shouldn't be such frequent need for people to ask strangers anyway.

Twik

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Re: Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2010, 09:26:47 AM »
I can fully understand why you wouldn't want to leave your personal items unattended to take a picture of strangers.  In the back of our minds there's that perhaps irrational expectation that as you're standing taking the requested photo, some accomplice will run out from behind a tree, snatch your stuff and run off.

That's in no way irrational. It struck me when reading that someone could easily come up with a scam like that.
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Raintree

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Re: Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2010, 05:34:18 PM »
It wouldn't occur to me to say no to such a request, so if someone said "Um, no thanks" to MY request for a picture, I might be a little taken aback but there is no way I'd be making an issue of it like they were.

You don't owe it to them to comply with their request, but perhaps you came off as a bit snarky.  Perhaps a little better would be "No, sorry, can you ask someone else?" Only the most boorish of people would push after that.

TeamBhakta

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Re: Will you take a picture with my camera ?
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2010, 08:41:36 PM »
To clarify, I tend to say "no thank you" to people because of past experiences regarding favors (not involving picture taking). I've found that "I'm sorry, I can't" or "I'm sorry, I'm unable to because of x reason" lent itself to "Why ? What is the reason ?" or "Oh, I don't mind that reason / that reason isn't good enough for me.  I still would like such and such favor."  

"Umm" came out of my mouth partly because I was coming out of my book daze. And partly because I was trying (and failing) to think of a quick but polite way to turn her down, without it turning into the discussions I mentioned above.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 08:52:46 PM by TeamBhakta »