Some psychologists say that about every 7 years, or so, our perspectives change. I rather thank that they’re changing all the while, but we notice quite a difference between the way that we thought 7 years ago and today, if we look back.
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from the group that I will be traveling with to Cuba. In the attached PDF, they mentioned that it was usual, and expected, to give the people who posed for your pictures, one or two CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso, worth about $1.00 USD, but incurs a 10% surcharge to exchange, so, about $1.10). I expect that we will probably be doing lots of posed pictures, interacting with the locals, etc.
Anyway, before, my thinking was: I’m not going to pay to take pictures, but as I’ve gotten older and thought more about it, I think: What does it hurt? In fact, it actually might help someone out. I remember that when I was in Mexico, that was rather the norm. People expected to be paid because you took their picture, candid or not. I remember offering a “propina”, or tip, to some people. Some accepted. Some didn’t want their pictures taken. No harm. No foul.
So, looks like I’ll be in the streets taking photos of various Cubanos, with some CUCs in my pocket for tips, and if that helps to get closer, builds good will, helps someone out, and I get a good story, it’s certainly worth the small investment.