We learn something from everyone. Four years ago, I was alone in an airport holding my new SLR camera that my parents got me as a present. It was my semestral break and I was off to Saudi Arabia to visit them for a month. While I sat on one of the airport’s steel chairs waiting for my flight number to be called, I took pictures of every corner of the airport feeling my new camera like I was a professional photographer. A man maybe in his 40s (more like in his 50s but I want to be nice) who was sitting beside me started a friendly conversation. Maybe he wanted me to take his photograph or maybe he wanted to stop me from relentlessly spinning the dial of my camera as if I was trying to unlock the ‘professional shot’ setting which didn’t really exist. He asked me if I was new to photography. Damn! Does it show? I smiled and said yes. He gave me some basic photography tips and taught me how to set my camera when using it outdoor and indoor. I adjusted the settings based from his tips and took a snap. Woah! My camera’s finally working the way it should be. Ha!
The ground crew of the flight I was getting to finally announced that it was already time to board. I stood up and thanked him for our short informative chat. He smiled and wished me good luck. Little did I know, I would still be applying all those photography lessons and tips to capture my life’s greatest moments until now.
You see, it’s not just the photography tips and lessons that I value from that experience. Those kind of experiences are the little things that encourages me to get out of my comfort zone. I realised that I shouldn’t be too defensive when a stranger approaches and tries to talk to me. There are still a lot of good people in the world. All you need is to be open to meeting new people but also know when to walk away. Because sometimes, we learn the most important things in life from people we don’t really know. In case you’re wondering, he is a professional photographer from Russia.
Have you had some kind of a similar experience before? I’d love to know about it!