America's Worst Photographer

In the first of several posts from our journey to France and Italy, I am choosing to begin with some travel advice. In many of his travel books, Rick Steves often warns you to be wary of local pickpockets and thieves. The warning extends to anyone offering to take a picture of you with your own camera. Knowing that, while we were at the Palace of Versailles, I found a very nice couple from New Hampshire and asked if I could take a picture of them with their camera and then asked if they would return the favor.

I'm normally very picky about staging my photos, but in this case I simply asked this nice man to get a picture of us with the palace in the background. To make it easier, I gave him my iPhone with the instructions: "Get us and the palace in the picture and then push the big white button." 

My faithful readers, allow me to introduce the world's worst photographer:

Him: "Hmmm...somehow I opened up your calendar."

Him: "Hmmm...somehow I opened up your calendar."

In order for him to have opened the calendar, he would have had to push several buttons, but I was soon to discover that this guy was really good at ignoring the simple.

Him: "Which button do I push?"

Him: "Which button do I push?"

Apparently the instructions were lost in translation from English to English.  However, I reemphasized which big WHITE button I was talking about. I showed him the big WHITE button! Actually, it is the only WHITE button on the screen.

Him: "Okay, now there is a bunch of pictures open. I don't think I'm doing this right? This is a tough camera."

Him: "Okay, now there is a bunch of pictures open. I don't think I'm doing this right? This is a tough camera."

Me: "Here, let me show you..."

Me: "Here, let me show you..."

Him: "Oh, okay...I need to push the WHITE button."

Him: "Oh, okay...I need to push the WHITE button."

At this point, I checked his belt and noticed he had on a clip-on Nokia phone.  Rick Steves needs to put this piece of advice in his travel books. Do not ask people wearing Nokia flip-phones to take pictures of you on vacation with your iPhone.

Him: "Oh. The white button on the screen. I was pushing the round black button."

Him: "Oh. The white button on the screen. I was pushing the round black button."

I can see his confusion. Afterall, maybe I wasn't clear the first or second or third time when I had said to push the WHITE button.

I love my readers. If you are from New Hampshire, I am really not making fun of your state, just this guy.

However, if it is possible for the state of New Hampshire to intervene, I would recommend public service announcements that review several things, like:

  1. The color white
  2. The difference between buttons and...everything else.
  3. How to push things, like buttons.
Him again: "Okay perfect. The white button. I think I got it this time. You'll like this one."

Him again: "Okay perfect. The white button. I think I got it this time. You'll like this one."

Ummm. Actually, no. I don't really like this one much. Also, I could have taken this photo myself.

Him again: "Yeah. that's it. I got it this time."

Him again: "Yeah. that's it. I got it this time."

I know I wasn't super specific, but I hoped for our heads and the palace to be in the same photo. 

 

Me: "That's okay. iPhones can be tricky. Let's try one more time."

Me: "That's okay. iPhones can be tricky. Let's try one more time."

At this point, he had definitely mastered the pushing of the WHITE button, so I focused all of my attention on his other glaring issue which was his apparent inability to get everything into the same photo.

Him: "Alright, that one is perfect! I got everything that time."

Him: "Alright, that one is perfect! I got everything that time."

Yes. We got everything except for the people who actually wanted the photo taken.

We were so very close to getting this done, but if you scroll back up and read my initial request, maybe you will agree that we haven't quite arrived.

Seriously, I considered hiring one of those French chalk artists to take a few hours to sketch a portrait of us in front of the palace. It would have been quicker.

Him to his wife as she took this picture: "Make sure you push the white button. Are you pushing the white button?"

Him to his wife as she took this picture: "Make sure you push the white button. Are you pushing the white button?"

Yes. I realize now that I should have asked his wife at the very beginning.

I know you think I am making fun of this guy. I am. I totally am, but only because I did not include the other 20 pictures that he took which were duplicate versions of the gravel, the naked statue, our feet, Kendra's knees, my crotch and several pictures of his fingers. 

Quietly making noise,
Fletch

 

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Andy Fletcher

Andy "Fletch" Fletcher has been married for the past 22 years. He and his wife Kendra are the proud parents of five sons and three daughters, all of whom keep them laughing and on their toes. During the day he can be found fixing people's teeth, but in his spare time you can find Fletch stretching out a pair of flip-flops, creating a new pizza recipe, playing the drums, or rescuing a piece of his tie-dye wardrobe from his wife's donation pile. You can find him online where he writes on his personal blog: theMangoTimes and cohosts with his wife on the HomeschoolingIRL.com podcast.