You N E V E R take photos of soldiers in any country. I know that lesson. It is usually a guaranteed way to get yourself in some kind of trouble. And, in my travels, I find enough trouble without doing anything thatís guaranteed.
Yet, here is a portrait of a Chinese soldier.
Of course, there is a story to go with it. This was taken in Beijing at the Forbidden City. It might have been forbidden to take a photo of any Chinese soldier on duty protecting the city. However, this soldier was his friends, touring the grounds. He wanted to take a group picture of his friends in the Forbidden City. I indicated with some hand gestures that I would willingly take a photo with his camera. That would allow him to join his friends. They all liked the idea.
I have learned over my years of traveling that if you first take a photo of someone with their camera, it is usually very easy to ask if you can also take one with yours. Nobody ever says no after a thoughtful gesture. Never! It just doesn't happen.
Continue on to Asia Image 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 or back to the Portraits Home Page.