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Culture April 26, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogging, Humor.

Some cultures shun cameras, feeling that photos steal more than the show ~ they steal the soul.



Ringling Museum 018c

They suck the life right out of you.


In those cultures, you’ll never hear, “Smile and say C~H~E~E~S~E!”


No matter how perfect the Kodak Moment.


Aah . . . that’s better!


1. jannatwrites - April 26, 2013

I’ve heard that about pictures stealing souls. I’ll have to be careful where I travel because I have a hard time putting the camera down…I’m an honest person, I really don’t want to be accused of stealing someone’s soul!

nrhatch - April 26, 2013

It’s a good practice to ask if taking a photo is OK whenever someone’s face is “front and center.”

I never ask permission before taking a Butt Shot. πŸ˜›

jannatwrites - April 26, 2013

Ha! You know the answer to that question – isn’t it better to beg forgiveness than ask permission in that instance? πŸ˜†

nrhatch - April 26, 2013

I’ve been places where people push and shove to get INTO the shot ~ either they view snapshots as a high compliment OR they’re expecting to be paid.

With family and friends, I say, “Say C~H~E~E~S~E!” and snap the shot before they have a chance to run away.

2. Sandra Bell Kirchman - April 26, 2013

I’d heard about the soul-stealing thing too. Those totems and other pics are very interesting, but honestly, the pic of you steals the show. It’s the best one of you I’ve seen yet πŸ™‚

nrhatch - April 26, 2013

Thanks, Sandra. That photo was taken on Captiva Island a year or two (or three) ago. Whenever it pops up on my Screensaver, it makes me grin. :mrgreen:

3. Don - April 26, 2013

Love the one with the teeth. You both seem to be on good terms with one another.

nrhatch - April 26, 2013

Best Friends Forever! πŸ˜€

4. Patricia - April 26, 2013

I don’t like my picture taken not because I think it will steal my soul but that I someone will see it and I hate the way I look in pictures. I look better in the flesh…maybe photos do steal my soul!

nrhatch - April 26, 2013

Well . . . that explains your avatar! I guess we will have to meet in person if I want to see how you look. πŸ˜‰

5. Jim Kaszynski "THE IDEA MAN' - April 26, 2013

SOUL food….thanks!

nrhatch - April 26, 2013


6. sustainabilitea - April 26, 2013

I like your selection of photos. I prefer to think that pictures sometimes show the unseen souls, so perhaps that’s stealing them in a sense and showing them to others.


nrhatch - April 26, 2013

Interesting thought, Janet. Sometimes photos do seem to reveal a depth unseen by the naked eye.

7. Tammy - April 27, 2013

When I was little, my dad would travel to South America and that’s what he often told us when we looked at his photos.

nrhatch - April 27, 2013

Thanks, Tammy. My dad traveled around the world too. And he was an avid photographer. I bet he’s the one who told me about the aversion of some cultures to having photos taken.

8. Three Well Beings - April 27, 2013

I love to take photos of others, but I tend to shy away from the camera because sometimes the photos look like the life has been sucked out of me! LOL!

nrhatch - April 27, 2013

Let’s be thankful for our relative anonymity and obscurity ~ we can run to the grocery store without worrying about the paparazzi! :mrgreen:

9. Pix Under the Oaks - April 27, 2013

Nice to see you Nancy! I seriously have never heard that about photos stealing souls. I don’t like to have my picture taken because I always look goofy. Hmmm…..

nrhatch - April 27, 2013

You don’t “always” look goofy. I love the shot we took of you and CH in Venice last year. Say C~H~E~E~S~E! πŸ˜€

10. colonialist - April 27, 2013

‘Oh, I’ve stolen you soul? Never mind, what will you pay to buy it back?’ *evil leer*

nrhatch - April 27, 2013

You might find your camera confiscated! Bwahahaha!

11. kateshrewsday - April 27, 2013

Wow. That second one is most unsettling!

nrhatch - April 27, 2013

Isn’t it? That is one freaky creepy monkey.

Mr. Ringling, if I recall correctly, stationed him in the front hall way to collect calling cards from hob-nobbers.

12. diannegray - April 27, 2013

I love that Kodak Moment πŸ˜€ We can’t show any photos in Australia of indigenous Australians who have passed and their names cannot be mentioned either (as a mark of respect).

nrhatch - April 27, 2013

Yes! Thank you, Dianne. I remember my dad telling me that on his return from a month long stay “down under” many moons ago. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be NOT to mention my dad or share photos of him now that he is “gone.”

At his Memorial Service, we trotted out all manner of photographic memorabilia and delighted in telling “his story” to attendees.

diannegray - April 27, 2013

It is difficult (particularly for the tv and newspapers) 😯

I’m sorry to hear about your dad – we did the same for my dad a few years back. It really was a beautiful tribute…

nrhatch - April 27, 2013

Thanks, Dianne. Quite a difference in culture, eh? Here in the States, many focus on creating a “lasting legacy,” which often includes posthumous recognition and awards.

There, the indigenous “who” in history (or her story) is anonymous, “Someone died today; that’s all we can say.”

13. sufilight - April 28, 2013

I was chuckling at the cheese smiles; perhaps satisfied a soul was stolen with the camera. πŸ˜€

nrhatch - April 28, 2013

Thanks, Marie. When I wanted to get my nieces and nephews giggling before the camera, I’d give them alternate commands:

* Say . . . Mister Flapjack
* Say . . . Tiny Kangaroo Down Sport
* Say . . . Bomp Bomp a Lumba

They never knew what was coming and we got some FUN shots.

And now your comment has got me wondering ~ I think it was the image captured on the negative that gave them cause for pause, not the camera or the print. I wonder if “they” feel the same about digital shots where no negative is created?

14. Grannymar - April 29, 2013

I had heard about some cultures not liking photos being taken, but cannot remember which they are. I usually ask, if someone is the photo I am trying to capture, it has led to some very interesting conversations.

nrhatch - April 29, 2013

Asking makes sense . . . especially for anyone in the foreground of a prospective shot.

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