How to ruin tourist photos: A Step by Step Guide


A woman faces the sea and cheers.
Literally just trying to photograph the view.


Everybody has, at some point in their lives, ruined a tourist photo. Sometimes by mistake, sometimes because you're in a rush, and sometimes because you just don't give a... 

So maybe you don't think you've ever done this, but want to give it a try, or maybe you just want to brush up on the skills before an upcoming trip. Whatever reason you're here, follow these 10 tips with real-world examples to make sure you always cause maximum irritation in public spaces.

**Pro tip: bonus annoyance points if you manage to do any of these things whilst brandishing a selfie stick like a medieval jousting lance.**


1. If you're in a large public space, with lots of places to walk and avoid anyone documenting the view, ALWAYS find the one person with a camera and walk straight past the lens.

Woman walks alongside ancient city ruins
Lisbon, Portugal, August 2017.


2. Double kudos if you actually stop in the middle of the shot. 

Woman standing in centre of image of Brussels Grand Place
Grand Place, Brussels, April 2016


 3. If you feel the need to stop in the middle of the street/pavement/18th Century courtyard to check your phone, DO IT.

Man on phone in courtyard.
Bucharest, Romania, February 2017

4. If you should notice you have walked into a tourist photo, immediately stop dead on the spot and stare directly down the camera (an especially good trick if you're an unaccompanied minor).

Boy walking along marina.

Boy stops walking along marina and stares at the camera.
Praia De Rocha, Portugal, August 2017

5. Get as many photos of yourself into the world as possible by taking a selfie in someone else's photo. Especially at a site they have specifically gone to to take a picture.

People posing in front of the iamsterdam sign
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, April 2017
  6. If you're wanting to take a good photo, but someone is already there, grab a friend, and approach in an attack formation, thus kicking them out of their vantage point, and guaranteeing you and your bestie the perfect shot!  
Porto bridge landscape
Porto, Portugal, August 2017
  7. Speaking of which, a photo bomb is always better with friends - group shot!   
A group of people in Grand Place Brussels
Brussels, Belgium, August 2016

8. A much rarer, but old favourite way to ruin someone's precious memories, is to wave your hands wildly in the air on a ride you just queued for 3 hours to get on, when you're not sitting on the back row.


Big Thunder Mountain ride in Disneyland Paris
Pirates of the Caribbean ride in Disneyland ParisDisneyland Paris, France, December 2017


9. If you realise you've walked in on someone's priceless holiday shot, but feel too awkward about apologising, a guaranteed deflection is to either stare off into space and pretend it's not happening, or else concentrate on your own camera to, you know, admire all your un-ruined memories.

Man stares at the ground in a monastery courtyard
Bucharest, Romania, February 2017
Man stares at camera whilst walking into shot
Sintra, Portugal, 2017

10. Finally, if you really want to do this well, and really stand out in photo bomb legend, there's only one way: you must be a child veering wildly into the photographer out of nowhere, before slipping on the Romanian snow and falling off your unicyle.


Child unicycles across a snowy town square
Brașov, Romania, February 2017

(Thanks for this one kid, it's the one photo invasion I'll never resent).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *