There’s something pretty remarkable about beach holidays and their incredible ability to make us whack out those swimming trunks or indeed that skimpy bikini and boldly parade the beach as if we were David Hasselhoff’s/Pamela Anderson’s body double like there was no tomorrow. Inhibitions and body hang-ups out the window, beach holidays are just great! And so when photographer Benoit Paillé set about wandering the beaches of Mexico and capturing tourists in all their beach finery, the results could only be brilliant.
Entitled ‘Tourist Stranger Self Portraits’, what makes Paillé’s project really interesting is that whilst he takes control of the composition and the beach setting, the actual timing of each photograph and the pose of each of the subjects is put entirely in the hands of the tourists themselves (hence the self-portraiture title). Armed with a remote trigger, each tourist Paillé photographs are able to control when exactly each photograph is taken therefore allowing each portrait to differ wonderfully in the ways in which each subject presents themselves, not to mention exposing the mild vanity that lurks in us all.
From bronzed to pale skin, beer bellies to toned and tattooed and young to weathered and old, Paillé’s series of photographs showcase the beautiful diversity found in a group of strangers all sharing a similar appreciation for the environment in which they share and with the portraits’ beautiful blue- skied back-drops (apart from reminding us all too much of the summer that has far too quickly slipped through our fingers), we think they are just lovely.