I think I first realized I was entering other people’s family photos – vacation photos to be precise – when we lived in Chicago. At the time I was working for the Trib. The Tribune Tower is right near the Chicago River on Michigan Avenue.
People liked to take pictures of the river, of themselves on the bridge over the river and of the ol’ Magnificent Mile itself. I got caught in the crossfire. Usually I wait for someone to take their picture – but that always takes longer than you’d expect. It is point and shoot people not point and ask what this button does.
Invariably, I’d walk through the shot after waiting a fair amount of time (10-15 seconds) and end up in the background of the photo.
It’s worse for me now – I’ve worked in the same neighborhood for the past four years and I’m centrally located near several popular tourist destinations: the Boston Public Garden, the Common, Cheers and Copley Square (home to Trinity Church).
I’m always there – walking to the gym, to the bank, to that bakery where they make those pastries that melt in your mouth from the buttery goodness, to CVS for a Coke Zero fix (I know I have a problem) and there they are: tourists. They are taking pictures on the turtle and rabbit, chattering and asking for directions and pointing excitedly to stuff like squirrels (I know they are exotic in some parts of the world – but are they really exotic in Iowa?).
I try to stay out of their way; I’ll stand patiently on the sidewalk as they take pictures of each other standing in front of Cheers on Beacon Street. Then they take forever – someone doesn’t know how to work the camera. I start to walk and then I am immortalized forever in your vacation photo.
Sorry people. The nice thing about digital, you can erase it. Of course, that’s assuming you know how to work the camera.