In addition to the thousands of photos I have taken which I still keep on record, I have shot several hundred photos which I don’t own, photos that don’t belong to me, photos I have not ever seen. I don’t know why – but it’s as if I have the word ‘photographer’ stamped on my forehead – and wherever I used to travel I would always come across someone who would ask me to take a picture of them with their own camera, usually a family, a group of friends or a couple.
Two couples Serifos island Greece
So it was in this way that for the very first time a very good camera model that I had only seen in brochures came to be in my hands. I will never forget the Nikon F2 that I held in my hands one summer up on the Acropolis to take a shot of a couple with the Lycabettus in the background, closely followed by my first Leica on an excursion to Delphi, a Canon A1 in Epidaurus and my first Digital camera on the island of Poros. But the day that got me thinking about these occurrences was a particular summer day a few years ago on the island of Santorini.
A couple Lefkada island Greece
From the early morning of that day, everyone was asking me to take a photo of them. By noon I had already started to say’ Okay’ and smile broadly at anyone approaching me with a camera. On the beach, at the archaeological site of Akrotiri and in Oia I considered it a reasonable request, but in the afternoon while having a coffee above the Caldera, I realised that this story would not have an end. With my companion I had begun to comment about it and we began laughing loudly. Later in a tourist souvenir shop when the owners asked me to take a photo of them with some of their customers, I realized that this thing was chasing me. At night in a bar while having a few drinks, I was just waiting patiently for the moment to come – which inevitably it did, quite quickly – somebody from a group of friends tapped me on the shoulder to take a shot of them as they were dancing. The night had passed and on my way back home I told myself that Ok, that’s it, no more for today. When all of a sudden a car showed up out of nowhere, deep in the wilderness and a couple stepped out and gave me their camera, naturally and somewhat in a state of disbelief I took pictures of them with a flash, having nothing but the night as a background.
In recent years because of digital photography and the Internet, I have changed the way I deal with people who ask me to take a photo of them during my travels. Usually, I take pictures of them using my own cameras (which most of the time, nowadays, mine are way better than theirs) and I ask for their email address and send these photos back to them by email, so as I can keep on record all the photos that I have taken.