If the major photography awards had a “service to mankind” category, the front-runner at this point would have to be #noshittyphotos, an inventive new project that aims to eliminate lousy vacation photos by telling tourists exactly where to stand to get a good shot of major attractions.
Art director Mimi Chan and copywriter Utsavi Jhaveri had seen one too many Instagram tragedies from popular tourist spots, so they created a stencil with two footprints and the legend: “Place feet, Point and Click.” Since then, they’ve gone around to various tourist spots in New York and San Francisco (Times Square, the Golden Gate Bridge) and painted the design on the optimum vantage point for that sight.
The recent graduates of Miami Ad School acknowledge that one person’s public service is another’s vandalism, and note that a number of stencils have already been covered over by New York anti-graffiti squads. But they advance a convincing greater-good argument on the project’s home page: “On the plus side, many tourists loved this idea. Hopefully we wake up to better Instagram feeds, no more fumbling tourists and #noshittyphotos.”
An Instagram search of the projects hashtag reveals one potential problem, however: More people seem to be taking photos of the stencils themselves than the sights they point to.