Yesterday I wrote a post about whether we ought to pay someone in developing countries to take their picture. A few different people wrote in with different ideas. Some talked about carrying a portable printer and printing off a picture for the person right there, which is a great way to honor them and give back in a healthy way.
Another healthy way to give back is to take the time to honor this person with your time. In my travels and work internationally, I have found that when I take the time out of my shooting schedule to sit and talk with people about their lives, it not only results in a richer cultural experience for me, but it also can lead to opportunities to create stronger images.
So next time you are traveling internationally with your camera, try to be more mindful about leaving space in your schedule to sit for a while and drink tea with someone and find out what matters to them. I can’t guarantee it but I am pretty sure that if you do, not only will your images be stronger, but you get to see another side of the person and culture that would have missed if you had hurried off.
The icing on the cake would be if you get a Pogo-Printer and print off their picture for them right there! Not only will you be friends for life, but I bet they won’t ask you to pay them either. Its a win-win situation.