Photo Karma Kindness

There’s still a few weeks left of summer and with August now upon us, it’s the height of summer vacation season. While you’re off traveling or out doing cool stuff this month, surprise someone having a good time and offer to take their picture. I love taking pictures and I believe in Photo Karma. Don’t wait to be asked. Pay it forward by being that nice person that sees the opportunity, steps right up and offers to take a photo of someone you don’t know having a special moment – it’s a simple and fun act of kindness than can make someone’s day as well as capture a lasting memory.

Whenever I am out and about and I see people trying to take a selfie or taking a group shot of their whole family or entourage, I love to walk up and offer to take a picture for them so the photographer can be in the photo too. We’ve all been in that situation where you’re in this amazing place or having a wonderful moment; you really want a picture of yourself or one of you with your whole group, but you feel nervous or silly asking a total stranger to take your picture. I just love the look of surprise & delight as the photographer’s face lights up, when I proactively offer to take a picture for them –  allowing the photographer to jump in and be captured in the moment, too!

This is such an easy thing to do – in the summer especially, Photo Karma Kindness opportunities abound!

I spread Photo Karma Kindness all the time – I love it! It’s a great way to meet people, have some fun and give someone a great memory. Living and playing the greater Tahoe area, I encounter tourists and people having fun everywhere. It’s easy to just ignore all these folks but instead, I love doing something that makes them think that the people from the place they are visiting (or the place where they live) are really nice and friendly. I also believe this positive energy comes back to me. I was recently in Bend, OR on a lovely bridge at sunset. I was taking a picture of my husband and daughter and this nice guy on a bike came riding by. He stopped as soon as he saw us and offered to take our picture. It was so unexpected; it was awesome! The picture of the three of us came out great. It’s a great memory of our trip and his instantaneous act of kindness added to my good feelings about the place. I can’t wait to go back!

The coolest thing is that these small acts of kindness can come right back to you. As I said, I love taking pictures. However, my husband does not. Invariably, the multitude of photos from my travels are always full of family and friends enjoying amazing mountains, meals, milestones … yet, all too often there are very few pictures of me in there with them since I am often the only one who is taking the pictures. While I usually don’t have any ulterior motive beyond helping out and making someone feel good, by offering to take pictures of others, the person I help often offers to take a picture of my own group. Bam! Photo Karma!

Here’s a few tips for inspiring kindness through Photo Karma:

  1. Smile! When you walk up to a stranger, smiling puts everyone at ease – especially if there’s a language barrier
  2. In high tourist area, have your own camera or phone visible, so they can see you are a tourist too and not some kind of scammer or thief
  3. Ask the camera or phone owner to show you what button to push, how to zoom etc.
  4. Ask the group how they’d like the picture – horizontal, vertical, close in etc. Offer to take a couple of shots!
  5. If you offer to take a photo and the person declines, that’s okay too. Keep smiling and move on

Have any great Photo Karma Kindness stories or pictures to share? Share in the comments below or post your favorite Photo Karma photo on our Think Kindness Facebook page.