I met the lady in the Temple of Heaven Park, early in the morning. She was very friendly, started talking to me (of course, apart from 'Ni hao' I couldn't understand what she was saying) and when I asked her, through signs, whether I can photograph her, she accepted with pleasure.
I generally notice that Chinese people have a passion for photography. Even the locals take shots everywhere.
If you want to take pictures of strangers or street scenes with people, make sure to get their permission for the photo or do it without detection. I was caught on this one, the man sweeping the sidewalk on the left appeared visibly angry afterward, the man in the middle was just laughing and selling pee-pee boys, the girl on the end is just watching the laowai get busted for the photo.
Is that funny or is it funny?
Taking pictures - Asian style.
And don't be surrprised, if they ask you to take a picture with them... and their mom, and dad, and brother, a cousin, a friend...
It's just a national custom...
It seemed that many people did not have a camera with them as the photographers at the main entrance to the Forbidden City at Tiananmen did a brisk business when I was there. There were many boxes to pose on with the huge picture of Mao as the background!
There are many great photo opportunities in Forbidden City. You will want to bring some extra film or make sure you have an extra digital card. There are many guys there taking photos of a local tourists for a small fee. If you want to make a local friend bring a poloroid camera and take photos of people and give the photos out........But at the same time you will be making the local photographers angry for taking away the business.
I've come upon these rent-a-costume stands in all touristic places and it seems there are only chinese people who like to dress like the Emperor/Emperess.
They are really popular as the line is pretty long, all waiting to have their pictures taken... Chinese people like everything that is touristic...
It should be pretty common with western tourists in Beijing these days. But in the Forbidden City, a guy came over to me and said something about taking a picture. I thought he wanted me to take a picture of him and his friend but it turned out that he wanted to take a picture of me and his friend. Another day while I was walking in a shopping mall I saw two girls and one of them had a camera. All of a sudden I was in the background of the picture and I tried to hurry up because I didn’t want to ruin their picture. But then all of a sudden the girls shifted position and once again I was in the background of the picture. So I went over to them and asked them if they wanted a picture of me and they said yes. So I ended up taking a picture with both of them :-) But the question is: are western tourists still so rare that Chinese wants to take pictures of them?
Many a picture awaits you in Beijing. Above, I took this picture of some locals in a street on my way to the Temple of Heaven. Whenever possible, ask permission before taking a pic. Also, look for bike riders passing by in the middle of the pic :).
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