Sri Lankans love to get their photo taken, possibly more than any other country that I’ve ever visited.
Unlike many other countries, Sri Lankans will even ask you to take their photo – without ever thinking about a monetary tip.
All the photos below were taken around the island of Sri Lanka of people that asked me to take their photo
1. Market Vendor in Kandy, Sri Lanka (above)
Though this guy’s solemn look appeared serious, in reality he was an excited yet expressionless market vendor holding an umbrella. As I passed he called me out and gestured that he wanted his photo taken!
I took his photo as he sat on the side of the road, keeping the same exact position and barely even moving his face.
2. Fish Market Vendor in Kandy, Sri Lanka
When this guy saw my camera, he was eager to spread the wings of this fish and get his portrait taken.
The market in Kandy was not quite as chaotic as the Dar Es Salaam fish market, but all the salesmen were friendly and happy to see foreigners.
3. Fruit Man in Kandy, Sri Lanka
I was just walking around Kandy Central Market when this guy invited me into his fruit stall and started giving me samples of his glorious ripe selection of fruit. It’s not the first time I’ve been lured into a taste testing frenzy.
4. Kids Playing at Negombo Beach, Negombo, Sri Lanka
While moseying around Negombo Beach one day, this group of youth started smiling in my direction. After exchanging a few “hallos,” they expressed their interest in having me take their photo – as they giggled away.
5. Coconut Vendor, Kandy, Sri Lanka
I drank a King Coconut from this guy and he was obliged to have me take his portrait along with a coconut.
6. Baby on the Bus, Pusselawa, Sri Lanka
It was her grandmother that asked me to take her photo (or is it a boy…I’m still not fully sure? Any guesses? Leave a comment).
7. Catholic Shrine, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
While aimlessly walking around Jaffna near the beach, this lady called me out from the street and hollered for me to take her photo. She was in the midst of putting together a shrine that included a cross and a number of statues.
8. Fish Market, Kandy, Sri Lanka
While browsing the market, this man invited me over for a quick cup of ginger tea and then wanted a photo of his catch. This guy really reminded me of that guy in Cairo that stuck a cigarette in a lamb’s mouth.
9. Bus Ride in Pusselawa, Sri Lanka
This boy on a bus ride in Pusselawa was an observer. He sat quietly just staring at us, studying our moves, but too nervous to open his mouth.
10. Kids in Jaffna, Sri Lanka
On Beach Road in Jaffna, these kids stopped in their tracks to see 2 white guys. When they saw my camera they immediately wanted to pose for a shot.
11. Tea Man, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
At first I though this guy was a pirate.
He was a little bit of a crazy guy, but as he made his special ginger tea, he asked that I take a shot of him. When he saw the picture on the screen, he lit up with excitement and started beaming with joy.
12. Hole in the Wall Tea Stall, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Escaping a rain downpour, we stepped into a tiny little tea stall adjacent to Pettah Market in downtown Colombo. These guys asked me to take their photo.
On the wall poster behind them is one of the most famous cricket players in Sri Lanka.
13. Sri Lankan Snake Charmer, Colombo, Sri Lanka
While cruising around Colombo one day, a number of Sri Lankan snake charmers appeared out of nowhere. After taming the snake with his fist and flute, I got a shot of his face.
14. Young Football Players, Jaffna, Sri Lanka
These kids couldn’t have been happier.
It was only 6 am in Jaffna, but they were all out on the field running around and kicking the ball around. As I walked past, their attention was distracted from the game and they all came running over to see 2 random (out of place) foreigners in Jaffna.
We juggled the ball for a few minutes, but the kids were much more interested in posing for photos.
15. Elderly Woman on a Bus, Pusselawa, Sri Lanka
This Sri Lankan Tamil woman was wordless, but wanted me to take a photo of herself and her family while waiting for the bus to depart.
Her facial structure, the deep ingrained lines, and her kind expression reminded me of the woman in the ancient Chinese village.
16. Girl Munching on a Mango, Colombo, Sri Lanka
This is one of my favorite photos from Sri Lanka.
It was actually her father that instructed me to take a photo of his daughter. She on the other hand was nervous in front of the lens and didn’t quite know how to act.
Her thick ebony-black hair and her wide gleaming eyes are what made this girl so cool looking!
While it’s hard to take pictures of people in many countries, Sri Lanka is an extremely photogenic country where people love to have their photo taken!