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Speaking of photographs, Washington, D.C. is a very photogenic town and you’ll be taking your fair share of photos of the memorials and monuments. You’ll be taking photos of other tourists too, whether you want to or not.
Everywhere I went people would ask me to take a photo of them in front of some memorial or monument. I don’t mind doing so for people, but not when I’m behind the lens trying to compose a shot of my own.
I would have my Canon 5D Mark II on a tripod and just a like a magnet, tourists would swarm around me to ask to have their photos taken of themselves with their camera. So I would have to take a couple of steps aways from my gear hoping somebody wouldn’t grab it and run away with over $3,900 dollars worth of photo equipment. Sometimes they would be a couple of yards away from where I had my tripod mounted gear, so I would have to gather it up and take it with me and then go back and reposition everything.
One night I was photographing at the Reflecting Pool in front of the U.S. Capitol. I got there a little late so I set up really quick and just starting shooting with my eye glued behind the camera eyepiece. Sure enough, out of the corner of my other eye some guy was standing right next to me and asked to take a photo of him and his friends.
Are you kidding?
No, I’m not busy at the moment and the blue hour only last a couple of minutes. Let me stop what I’m doing so I can photograph you guys with your Android phone and then later you can post your photos to Facebook of you guys doing the “holding up” pose of the Capitol.
The worst offender was when I was shooting here at the Marine Corps War Memorial. I was position further back from the Memorial and on top of a four foot concrete block so I could include both the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol in the frame.
“There’s a guy with professional equipment. Could you take a photo of me and my girlfriend?” Some stranger asked in the dark.
Being the nice guy I am, I stepped down from the block and took a photo of them, but one wasn’t enough. They wanted one vertical, one with funny faces, standing back to back, etc.
He asked how the night time mode on his camera worked and if I could take another set of photos with it on.
“$495 dollars,” I stated.
“What’s that for?” He replied.
“That’s my fee if you want my full time instruction,” I indicated.
With a puzzled look he asked, “Why the amount of $495 dollars?”
“$495 dollars sounds much more marketable than $500 dollars. Cash only please,” I demanded.
I left him with his girlfriend in the dark still bewildered and trying to figure out the night time mode on his camera.
Text and photo copyright by ©Sam Antonio Photography
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