How not to be a creeper…

23 Oct 2015, Posted by silentimages in Blog

I have way too many moments when I catch a random teenager pointing their iPhone at me because I fell off the treadmill or had my soda explode when it opened… and I know my awkward face is ending up on Instagram somewhere.  #hotmess #creeperlife

And if I consider these teens creepy, I can’t even imagine how extra creepy I personally am when I’m abroad filming people on the streets.

Wherever I travel my goal is to get every person’s permission before I just start filming them because without permission I’m just this strange foreigner with a scary giant camera invading their life.

Hard part is that I have absolutely no foreign language skills. Locals literally laugh at me when I try to speak the native language.

So I’ve come up with an incredibly sophisticated system of getting permission without actually talking…

I smile… I wave… I point at my camera… I give a thumbs up…

Thank the lord for the universal language of the thumbs up. If they give me a thumbs up, or a smile, or a nod (or anything that’s not the stink eye or a hand over their face) then I take that as permission.

Honestly, the greatest part is when you take the photo then show people a picture of themselves. The smiles are HUGE! We laugh together and suddenly I’m not that creepy stranger anymore.

I seriously wish I could have a long in-depth conversation with every person I film. I wish I could learn about their history, their family, their joys, their struggles…

But I can’t.

I can’t talk to every single person I see when I’m abroad. I don’t have the fluency or the time. What I do have is a camera and a mission. I have a story to tell of the community and it’s needs. And I have faith that the video I produce will make a difference for the community… and that the individuals I exchange thumbs up with will be benefitted by the images they allowed me to capture.

I’m thankful I get those moments of smile and connection with the locals… and I hope they remember me  as that sweet blonde lady and not just some creeper.

Always connecting, 

    ~ Lydia 




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