I take pictures. Nothing more. Nothing less. 

“Give Away A Picture When Traveling”

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A Travel Hint For Photographers: For many years I traveled with a Polaroid camera and films to give local people a photo of themselves. I can not begin to tell you how they LOVED the picture, and how it "broke the ice" in communicating. In some countries like Nepal, they had never had a photo of themselves before. I looked like I stepped off a space ship when they saw their own face slowly appearing on the developing picture --- it was an absolute WOW moment for them. I would bet that many of them still have that little Polaroid hanging in their huts or homes.

 

Polaroid went out of business, so I have stopped traveling with that camera. But now Fuji has a small printer and photo paper that you can carry and give to locals. In Europe, you can get their email address (some even in undeveloped countries) and send them an attachment when you get home. But it is even better to give remote villages a photo to keep and cherish.

 

This older man in Ethiopia proudly displays his picture in a remote village in the Lower Omo Valley. Terre Arrigoni, my travel buddy, brought her Fuji camera and it was a major hit. She gave them to Maasai tribes in Kenya & Tanzania, along with Ethiopia. After we gave them pictures, we were allowed unlimited access to their villages and into their lives. 

 

So, if you have trouble approaching locals, start with a "Polaroid" type picture and watch the change in the village people's behavior. You will never have a shortage of willing models after that!