78. Agree to Take a Photo for a Stranger

You know the story.  You’re walking along, minding your own business when suddenly a tourist asks you to take a photo of them in front of a steam-clock or something.  They’ve picked you out of the crowd for being trustworthy enough not to run off with their camera so you’re now faced with a big responsibility, and a perfect opportunity for cool.  Remember these 3 rules:

1) Know something about digital cameras.  Nothing undercuts your cool like uttering the phrase, “Where’s the zoom on this thing?” or “Is the flash on?”

2) Know something about photography.  This means you have some sense of framing and lighting.  Create for them a better photo then they could have taken themselves, and, most importantly…

3) Know something about people.  The only thing people care about in their photos is that they themselves look good.  Mentally rate your subject.  If they are a 6 in real life then they damn well better be at least a 6 in the picture.  If not, that’s when you utter the phrase, “One more for safety”.  Now, if you can make a 6 look like and 8, you’re not just playing cool, you’re playing God.

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