Can You Take This Picture?

While listening to talk radio the other morning the hosts were discussing taking pictures with a cell phone. They talked about the etiquette involved when taking a selphie with someone. The discussion moved from there into a stranger asking for their picture to be taken. The situation can happen frequently especially when in an area of tourism. People will look around for someone to take a picture of them using their cell phone. The question was posed on the radio if anyone had said no when asked to take a picture for someone they didn’t know. Of the four people taking part in the question, not one of them had declined when asked by a stranger to take a photograph. The thought among the gentlemen on the radio program was it would be rude not to take a picture for someone when asked.

I bring up the scenario because it has happened to me on occasion. Someone I don’t know will ask if I’m willing to take a picture. Having cerebral palsy makes it difficult to snap photos using my own phone. Even with the familiarity I have with my phone, my hands are shaky, and it’s tough to center an image in the frame. I can’t imagine attempting a photo with a stranger’s phone that I’m not familiar with. It would cause me to shake with nervous energy, as I would be attempting to use the camera function on their phone. I would feel fear of fumbling my hands and dropping it. Experience tells me, my attempt to take a picture with the phone of a friend has often ended in disaster and the picture needing to be retaken.

Usually while walking around a city or taking in a sporting event I’m with a friend or family member. In my travels I’ve been asked kindly to take pictures for a stranger. After the question is asked I turn to my companion who steps in to snap the photo. While on a trip last month I was approached by a kind tourist. I was sitting on a waterfront bench waiting for my buddy to reappear from the coffee shop. The woman asked if I would take a picture using her cell phone. I glanced around for my buddy who wasn’t there. I told her I couldn’t do it for her holding out my hands trying to signify they were too shaky. The woman went on looking for someone else to take the photograph and I sat waiting on my buddy. The situation gave me a feeling of helplessness. It’s not fun to be rude to anyone and I enjoy helping people out wherever possible. It’s depressing to feel like I’m unable to gladly accept the strangers phone and take a picture for them.


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