August 2009
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Day 31: Is this you?

I don’t know why carrying a large camera along the Las Vegas Strip actually looks like a sign around your neck that says "Ask me to take your picture".

Actually I don’t mind at all, but if people think that just because it looks like I might know what I’m doing I can somehow produce stunning night portraits on the first attempt by hand-holding a compact camera I’ve never seen before and using its harsh built-in flash in wildly polluted Vegas lighting conditions, they’re probably going to be disappointed.

Tonight, in just a short walk between Caesars Palace and The Mirage, I was asked to take three pictures.

First, two English girls wanted to throw a quick pose by one of the Caesars statues.  I snapped them, and offered the screen so they could make sure it was OK, but really they just seemed happy that I’d had a go and didn’t want to bother me with nit-picking when I’d already done them a favour.  How very English.

Then there was a guy of unknown foreign origin who wanted a little more input into the creative direction of my work, albeit in broken English.  He knew where he wanted to stand and what to get in the background and gestured like a pro.  I understood every hand-wave.

He let me fire off a couple of shots and then broke pose for my personal appraisal and to initiate a brainstorming session.

"Can you …" was all he said, and his arms did the rest.  I knew immediately that he just wanted to be taken from the waist up.  I made the correction, shot, showed him and he gave me a thumbs up.  Another happy customer. 

And then there was this couple:

I was trying to do something with the big neon McDonald’s arch outside Harrah’s when the guy approached me.  The exchange went like this:

Him: "Hey, can you take our picture?"

Me: "Sure"

(They pose)

Me (confused): "Do you have a camera?"

Him: "No, but you do" (pointing, in case I’d forgotten where it was).

I took the picture and showed them how it turned out on the screen.

"Wow, we look good together", said the girl.

And that was that.  A quick thankyou and before I could even suggest giving me an email address so I could send them a copy they were off. 

It’s a bit of a long shot (although the person I saw hit a staight flush against quads at Bill’s last Christmas read my blog and went "woah that’s me") but if this is you – or one of them is your husband or wife – and you want a copy of the picture, leave a comment.