Photos of Strangers on a Beach, Captured by the Subjects Themselves

Stranger Tourist Self-Portraits is an experimental photo project by photographer Benoit Paillé that consists of photos of strangers encountered on a beach in Mexico. What’s different about the series is that the photographs are captured by the subjects themselves, as evidenced by the remote shutter release cable seen approaching the camera from the strangers’ hands.

Paillé explains that he wanted to remove himself from the process and allow the strangers to determine their own “decisive moments”:

For this project, I also [used] a shutter release in order to give to the subject an apparent control over his picture where he manages himself the “decisive moment” which won’t rely into the photographer’s hands. Once the settings and composition are made, I have tried to erase myself completely from the moment to allow the stranger to face with himself.

The photographer also points out the similarities and differences between his project and Rineke Dijkstra’s photos of teens on a beach. One is gloomy, the other is sunny. One shows awkwardness, the other is still awkward, but in a slightly less self-conscious way. One is photographer-controlled, the other is subject-controlled.

You can find more photos from this project over on Flickr.

Self-Portrait Tourist Stranger [Flickr via Behance]

P.S. Paillé is the photographer behind the non-place portraits of strangers we featured last week.

Image credits: Photographs by Benoit Paillé

  • Joey Duncan

    There is some sexy older ladies there…. yaaooowwww ;-)

  • sixchain

    So who owns the images? Technically shouldn’t the subjects since they’re the ones who pressed the shutter button?

  • Nikola Milasevic

    I don’t get this. I like the girl holding a red cup though!

  • Ryan Seyeau

    What’s with all the posts on Benoit P? This is the 3rd in what seems like only a couple of weeks. Are posts to PetaPixel for sale by chance?

  • Michael Zhang

    Nope. Ask our sponsors, and they’ll confirm this :)

  • Ryan Seyeau

    Haha I’ll take your word for it. Just to be clear, not trying to diss Benoit – his stuff is brilliant!

  • ProtoWhalePig

    These are deeply boring.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    “Paillé explains that he wanted to remove himself from the process and allow the strangers to determine their own ‘decisive moments’.”

    The premise is interesting, but the result looks even duller than the average set of vacation pictures at the beach. Based on their stiff poses, perhaps the subjects did not feel comfortable enough?