I’m interested in the exact moment when the tourist takes the photo; why do they choose to point the camera at what they’re photographing? With this project, I am interested in dissecting tourist photography and using it as a vehicle to explore the idea of keepsake and the function of memory.

 

I have noticed while visiting famous tourist destinations, the first thing people would do coming out of the parking lot of tour buses was to take out their cameras and start taking photographs of themselves in the area. They would parade around the destination looking for the perfect background to stand infront of. In these moments, there is a certain disconnect between the tourist and the attraction. It was like an innate reaction to experiencing new, unfamiliar territory—photographing was intrinsic to experiencing. The tourists were so caught up with obtaining some sort of physical record that they were in this area that they weren’t truly experiencing the moment of being there. They were physically present in the space but they were mentally absent, seeing everything through the screens of their cameras. You can show and tell all the people that you went to this place, or that place, but what good is it if you can’t remember the smell of the air or the overwhelming chatter of foreign tongue?

MILK STUDIOS, MAY 2017