When I travel, I love taking candid photographs.
I don’t snap candid photos to catch people doing anything wrong. Catching a mistake would be an accident. I don’t want to click as someone misses a step and falls even if they execute the trick with non-RoseMary acrobatic grace. It’s more fun seek the humorous, the endearing, the sweet, or unexpected. My ideal shot depicts someone, especially the elderly, sharing tender moments in settings that tie place to person.
Jackie taught me the fun of “I Spy” snaps when we were in the Cinque Terre, Italy. She takes exceptional photographs of people and nature and I try to emulate her talent. We’ve shared this picture game ever since.
These candid photos, and the physical file of pre-digital snaps stashed in my desk drawer, are fodder for stories. Writer’s block? I don’t understand the term. Can’t you make a story about any one of these images? I invite you to. Observing people can fill a writer’s travel journal in no time. (Did you like how I snuck that little plug in there? I’m so smooth, right?)
Couples In the USA
Imagine my surprise in preparing these photographs and realizing I don’t have many candid photos of couples in the USA. What’s up with us Americans? Get on the ball and start holding hands, folks!
In Beautiful Lucerne, Switzerland
Lucerne is a city of beauty—grand architecture, breathtaking Alps, delicious food, and affectionate people. Seeing couples of all ages holding hands became the norm very quickly and I racked up many shots.
Lovey Lyon, France
Lyon is another European where snapping candid shots of couples was easily achieved. Tourists or natives, strolling through cobblestone streets arm in arm is commonplace. If you go (please go!) don’t forget to share a little tenderness with your travel partner. (Of course, you should make sure that’s okay with them!)
When in Romantic Italy
Walking in Italy, you catch elderly couples showing sweet affection that melts my heart. The Italians are a hearty bunch, sharing laughter and casual gentleness. There’s nothing more pleasant than sitting at an outdoor cafe, sipping a macchiato, and people watching.
People can blend into a color-full crowd of bright clothing, but blurred faces or they can be seen for their individuality. We are each unique—our expressions noticed, the thoughts we ponder, the living of life full of back story. In Cologne, I snapped these photo of a young couple. I entitled it, Dating in the 21st Century—which made me sad. Perhaps I caught them at the wrong moment and then ended up giving each other their attention—not their phones.
Sometimes in Madrid, Spain & Brussels, Belgium
We weren’t in Madrid or Brussels very long but caught a few duos strolling along.
And Wandering in Wonderful Wales
I’ve been lucky enough to come across many friendly people in my travels. Wales, though, takes friendly to an entirely different level. Hiking the Pembrokeshire Coast Path we received the treat of a male choir singer serenading us. Can you beat that for trailside entertainment?
Snapping these candid shots, especially of the elderly, allows me to see the varied hearts of couples.
Read: Sweet Switzerland and Grand Gestures of Happily Married People
I love this “I Spy” concept! How cool is that? One thing I noticed is that you get the back of people a lot. Is it hard to get frontal shots or do you feel self-conscious taking those?
I once had a three hour layover in Houston and played the “let’s make up a story” game to pass the time… making up stories about who the people were and about their travels. 🙂
I love that you make travel fun!
You’re right, Joy, I’m self-conscious taking pics when the folks are facing me…unless I have a good distance shot. The iPhone has made that an easier process!
I love the make-up-a-story game!
Ah, travel…love it!
Nice pictures of couples.
Reminds me of seeing my parents, married almost 50 years.
That is a long time to travel together in this world, it is good to see that kind of love and affection.
Thanks for sharing this with us.
I’m glad to remind you of your parents, William. I was remiss in not posting one of my parents. They were mushy with each other until the day Mom died.
It is reassuring to know that longevity is out there to be witnessed.
I enjoy taking similar pictures as well. When I was on the island of Rhodes in Greece, the restaurant I was eating lunch at was a story above the street and faced a fountain in the middle of the square. It became such a fun game to see how many pictures I could take of all kinds of tourists. Also, when eating at a sandwich shop in Nashville a few years ago, I was actually able to get a picture of a man who proposed to his wife. They were actually very grateful, and after their special moment was over, I introduced myself so I could email them the picture. It really is a great pic.
I’d love to hear the stories you made up about all the people at the fountain, Jeri!
Sweet that you caught the proposal for them–fun to get a shot without their knowing. More genuine, perhaps.
I have a funny story about people watching RoseMary. We were sitting in the lounge of a luxury Casino on the French Rivera and watching all of the beautiful people come and go. There was this lovely couple about our age sitting at the other end of the bar and we had fun making up a story about who they were and why they were there. We started chatting up the bartender and when they realized we were Americans the man in that couple got up and walked over to us to introduce himself. Turned out there were also Americans driving through Europe in an RV! They not only lived in our area in CA (this was before we moved to Maui) but he also worked for the phone company as my husband did at the time! Talk about a small world. We ended up making friends with them and still write occasionally all these years later. 🙂
That is such a great story, Marquita! The world has always been a small place, hasn’t it?
I enjoy people watching. I imagine the kind of house they live in and the lifestyle they have based on their appearance. It is amazing the number of people we come into contact with on a daily basis.
It is sweet seeing elderly couples together.
I love imagining that kind of thing, Phoenicia! It’s why we’re writers–thinking of the back stories behind us crazy humans.
These are lovely photos, Rose Mary. It brings back my time in Europe. Thank you. People are amazing and before kids, I would observe them all the time through taking pictures and just watching people around me. Now that our kids are older, I may go back to observing people. Thank you for sharing.
Kids are so entertaining, Sabrina, that I’d imagine it’s hard to focus on the arbitrary people you see when your family is out and about. Enjoy!
My favorite type of sneaky photo is take pictures of people or groups who are taking selfies. A good zoom lens is a must. But usually these are so aborbed in how they look themselves that they never notice me.
Ha, Ken. I look forward to seeing those pics.
A lot of them are embarrassing. I couldn’t post them online.
Ha ha, Ken.
Sometimes … I confess … I secretly write down conversations. So fascinating.
I LOVE THAT YOU DO THIS, Karen! How fun!
I enjoy people watching, especially when I’m travelling. I love the photo of the two children holding hands in Italy.
I love that pic, Donna–and must credit Seester with taking it!
Aw, I agree and I love to spy on older couples (in a kind way) as they amble or set together on a bench. A world of experiences have been shared – oh that we could know their stories.
Exactly, Susan! I want to know what has allowed them to maintain an obviously love-full relationship.
Love this….it’s so much fun! To see and to do!
Thanks for the lesson, Jackie!
You’re totally right about that, Jacquie. I’m always torn between people watching and reading a good book.
People watching is by far my most favorite pastime:) The only positive by-product of being at an airport so early. I love that you’ve captured so many portraits!