Jean, My Virtual Concierge
I'm staying at a hotel in New Orleans that is all virtually controlled. We use PIN codes for everything. Even the front desk staff is somewhere else in the world (in this case, the Philippines). This is Jean. A real person but not physically present. She greets us each day by name and answers our questions. Where will this lead? Who knows.
Take a deep breath. And repeat after me: This is NOT as difficult as it seems in your head. As with any challenge, you can make it as easy or as difficult as you want. If you are an introvert like me, you can muster the courage to ask ANY service person, such as: your local barista, your mailperson, cashier person, uber driver, toll-booth willie, street performer, anyone that's already out there interacting with people and already giving you a smile! Most, if not all, will say SURE! Remember, this is a portrait, not street photography. You aren't hiding in the bushes. All you need is a smile (or a serious pose), but take a moment before you take the photo, preferably before you even ask the stranger, to think about composition, framing, and story. Have your camera settings basically ready before you do anything. We encourage everyone to always be courteous and move on politely if the strangers do not want their photo taken. Never take photos of strangers’ children or in a place where people expect privacy.