Bored Tourists shows the mundane reality of #happyholidays

Documentary photographer Laurence Stephens’ photo series of hapless holidaymakers has been turned into a book. Here he discusses the inspiration for the project, and finding beauty in the sheer boredom that holidays can inevitably bring

We’ve all been there. You’re visiting a country for the first time, wandering about aimlessly with your sun cream and camera in hand, and not a care in the world. All of a sudden you find yourself being herded along with the rest of the cattle (posing as holidaymakers) into what is commonly known as a tourist trap. You get a random person to take an out-of-focus photo of you in front of a non-descript, historical statue, and you leave with little else other than a tacky souvenir and the sour taste of disappointment in your mouth.

Documentary photographer Laurence Stephens has been highlighting the beauty in the mundanity of going on holiday since 2014 when he started his aptly named photo series Bored Tourists, which is now being published in book form by Hoxton Mini Press. The idea for the project came shortly after Stephens moved to Barcelona, when he made a day trip to the city’s famous cathedral – AKA tourist trap central.

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