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Chris Smith is a professional photographer in Charleston, SC. A photographer for almost 30 years, Chris offers a superior knowledge of creating perfect images. For many years, Chris has been the official photographer of the Family Circle Cup, a professional tennis tournament held annually in Daniel Island's tennis stadium

Adventures in Belize – Beach Photo Shoot

“So tell me a little bit about Hinduism” I asked my new friend, Taira. Perfect strangers are often the easiest people to talk to! They have no pre-conceived notions of who you are or where you’re coming from. You have no agenda to push on them. And neither of you has any cause to be judgemental!

“I’d be happy to, Chris…except that I’m a Muslim!” My cheeks flushed with embarrassment. It was a simple slip. But my international up-bringing, along with my college courses on world religions, should have kept me straight. Taira wasn’t offended at all. We laughed about it. My relief at her ability to shrug off the faux-pas must have been self-evident. “It’s OK…really” she followed.

Taira was an attractive young lady from London, traveling with a group from G-Adventures. Her dark features and bronze skin, however, did not scream “British”. Further digging revealed that her parents hailed from Pakistan. I’d had many friends from Pakistan at the American School of Kinshasa in the Congo (DRC), where I grew up. Having no idea if that factored into the equation or not, Taira and I became instant friends!

Since getting the locals to pose for me along my travels had been like selling ice to Eskimos, I was elated to find out Taira was not camera shy. She also had two dresses she’d brought (thinking there might be an opportunity on the trip to “go out”) but hadn’t been able to wear. So when I bumped into her group sunning on a beach in Caye Caulker, we arranged to meet for a fun beach photo shoot.

We had a great time! Getting local rasta-boys to help hold off-camera lights for a an exotic model in a fashion shoot was no trouble at all…especially when I’d jokingly tell them she was one of the stars in Slumdog Millionaire.  At dinner later, we were finally able to continue our discussion of religion…including the Islamic faith this time.

  • whitecanoe

    That’s what you call an occupational hazard Chris!? Beautiful…..
    BW