On Saturday, my mom and I went to a museum. At one point, we and two other groups of people found ourselves exchanging cameras to take pictures of each other. It made me think about this phenomenon.
Isn’t it interesting how widely accepted this practice is? If you go anywhere touristy, and even lots of places that aren’t, you can confidently ask a perfect stranger to take your picture. No one thinks it’s weird. No one thinks it’s rude. They just smile, agree, and ask how to use your camera/phone/picture taking device of choice. Usually they’ll take two without being asked, just in case.
You don’t even have to speak the same language. Mom remembers having people take our picture in France. If you smile and hold out a camera, people know what you mean and are willing to oblige.
“Everyone smiles in the same language,” according to George Carlin (whoever that is). Maybe everyone takes pictures in the same language, too.