Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How to approach strangers

Nothing has changed my perspective towards life more than taking the risk of saying “Hi” to people I don’t know. Fellow travelers, photographers, shop owners, locals… we meet so many people while we are on the move. And believe me I have made some of my best friends on the road only. And also some of my best pictures are of strangers.
If you are a shy person, the biggest concern is how to initiate talks. And believe me its not just you but many of us face the same. Here are a few tips:

The hardest part of talking to strangers is getting started. Start with making an eye contact with strangers and smiling at them. Smile is contagious, they are surely going to get a smile back.

This cute couple was basking outside their house in Nathang valley, Sikkim. Just a quick eye-contact and smile got me going with them. I spent almost an hour after that talking to them about their life.

A quick “Hi” once you have caught their eye followed by a compliment on something remarkable you see is the best ice breaker. Compliment on their dress, smile, appearance or whatever catches your eye.

These Rajasthan ladies were very shy in the begining to talk to us. The moment we complimented them on their dress, they were all excited and wanted to be clicked.

Be genuinely interested in their culture. Asking questions regarding their culture works best with locals in case you are in some other town, city or country. Ask about local food, language, costume etc. You’ll find that not only will they be happy sharing it they might as well invite you to their place experience it.

Met this lovely girl in a village of Himachal. I was just roaming around, our eyes caught we smiled and she invited me in. I was curious to know about their tradional attire. looking at my interest she took no time to take her wedding dress out and wore it just for me. 

Smile at the kid and ask his name politely. Kids are never camera shy; they always love to get clicked. So if you are carrying a camera, click their picture and show it to them.

This sweet kid was playing with her mates somewhere near Mulbek in Kashmir. This picture was just a begining of my long talk with her while our vehicle was getting repaired.

Spending time with kids give me immense pleasure, especially when I am traveling alone.

Go there… talk to the strangers… You have nothing to lose but your shyness!

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