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A Smile and a Please Open More Doors Than All the Keys to the World

A smile and a please open more doors than all the keys to the world and let you to take nice pictures, as well.

The world famous photographer Robert Capa said, “If your pictures are not good enough, you are not close enough.” I admit this might be true, but I humbly add, if you could not get that picture it is because surely it was not accompanied by a smile and a please! So, my lomotip for your analogue life is so simple: always carry your camera with a smile and one please, before you start shooting.

If you are a Lomographer, you have already felt that the unique charm of your Lomography Camera opens many doors, but sometimes it happens that in some places it is simply forbidden to take pictures or the person you want to shoot is completely unwilling. All this could change dramatically if you use my lomotip, Do you need evidence? Read this story…

While in Barcelona with my girlfriend, walking around the Born (small village in the city) , in a charming street, very close to the old Lomography shop, there is a “modern laundry”, which is a very interesting place to shoot. When we saw it, we didn’t hesitate to enter with all our cameras, but we never noted the sign stuck on the store window that read “forbidden to take pictures.”

This laundry is one of those almost extinct wonderful places where time seems to stay still, everything is the same since the day its current owner bought it over 50 years ago. After the surprise effect, we felt the gaze of the lady inquiring about our cameras, but a quick smile and a please immediately did the job, leaving us to take as many photos as we wanted. Interestingly, minutes later, the owner’s son entered the store, pretty upset, and told us in a threatening tone, “can’t you read? It is forbidden to take pictures!” and pointed at the sign, to which his mother said, “Let them! I have given them permission”. Her son grumbled, turned away and got lost in a ridge of white sheets.

Later she explained that they are a bit fed up with the number of photographers who enter to the store to take pictures without even saying good morning, hello, or please. They just stand there, with their stuff, and that is kind of rude, because as she said this their home.

We left the store with a happy feeling , and one other tip for stain removal, but that I save for my laundry time!

I hope this will be useful a lomotip, and you enjoy the pictures.

written by horaciorv and translated by horaciorv


  1. nfxfsx


    Great photos.

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  2. panelomo


    love ur black and whites - good stuff!

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  3. wuxiong


    “有礼走遍天下”(you li zou bian tian xia ) , This is an old Chinese saying, something like: Be polite and you are able to go anywhere without much trouble..... Love your B/W shots. <:)

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  4. fafascinado


    yo paso por delante cada vez que voy a la tienda lomo de barcelona! jeje
    que gracia me ha hecho! :)
    Imagino que le debe pasar lo mismo con todos los lomógrafos que vamos por allí, por eso habrán puesto el cartelito. Pero como dices, con un por favor y una sonrisa se puede ir a (casi) cualquier lado :)

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  5. susielomovitz


    i love this article and these amazing photos! that was a great lomo-expirience.

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  6. dooby


    manners cost nothing but a little effort :o) great article

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  7. gelibee


    Agree with @dooby! Beautiful article and photos!

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The original version of this article is written in: Spanish.