It’s something I’ve got used to over the four years I’ve been a Town Crier of a tourist town and that is a request to either photograph me or be photographed with me. It’s wonderfully flattering and also, so terribly good for the ego!
I am the most unphotogenic face on the planet but dress me in a costume of the late 18th Century, give me a prominent, animated and noisy role in the streets of a quaint historic Town, crammed with holiday snappers and I am fair game.
When asked, I always respond courteously and in the affirmative. I’ve always liked being photographed with young kids or the elderly. It’s fun getting them “in on the act” by asking them to hold my bell or scroll.
Some like to take that candid shot using a long lens. But when I see them photographing from a distance, I tend to give an obliging pose with my bell held in the air; it’s great to get that nod of appreciation or raised thumb, in thanks, from the other side of the street.
I was stood in front of the huge gaping Glastonbury Abbey doorway as a group of photographers started assembling across the road but for a better backdrop, I took a few paces right to stand in front of that wonderful Aladin’s-cave-of-a-shop, “Man, Myth Magik” and then let them snap away! The small windows and bollards give a nice authentic historical touch, don’t you think? As I was saying to Mrs Richmond, the shopkeeper, it helps give her shop a bit of publicity when these photos are downloaded or shared to all corners of the Globe. Of course, there is a bonus, inasmuch as it reminds them that I am the “Man, Myth and Magik of Glastonbury” as well.
I’ve learned to switch on and off a smile instantly as a camera lens appears as well as going into statue mode, which I sometimes do anyway when I’m bored …..just for the hell of it!
This morning I was busy chatting to two ladies from Australia who wanted a photo with me. “You’ve come all this way for a photograph with me?” I quipped. Always a good line to use, to break the ice and put them at their ease. I was not able to converse as long with them as I was hoping to, since a lot of people were assembling across the road, getting ready to snap away.
Only in Glastonbury could you get photographed with a Dragon! Soso, the Dragon’s owner, is now a good friend – along with her dragon of course. I’ve been photographed with a few animals, but I do draw the line at pet snakes and crocodiles!
When I was in Marrakech in 2010, I photographed this tinker from several hundred feet away. He turned and saw me photographing him. He spun around and briskly marched towards me forcefully and aggressively demanding payment! If I’d asked for the same amount of cash that I was forced to give him, from every tourist since starting this job, I think I could now comfortably retire in the Bahamas! But when I meet people, I want them to leave me feeling pleased that they’ve met me and had a chat…….. and that’s the way it’s going to stay.