Our fading memories: The life of a selfie stick seller.

The ego rules, and it’s good for business. People want to look good on their selfie, and I even know a former photographer who made a living out of professional selfie trainings.

Tourism vs. traveling

On many dense tourist locations it isn’t the tourist attraction being the main attraction… No, often our attention will be focused on standing in line, buying a ticket, other tourists, the heat, souvenir sellers, making that picture, etcetera.

No wonder many tourists try looking beyond that main tourist attraction, and go ‘off the beaten track’.

But even then, these travellers (who don’t like the word ‘tourist’) will see other ‘off the beaten track’ travellers, with the same travel guide as they have, in that same ‘authentic’ restaurant. And what do they do?

The tourist as a subject

So I started photographing tourists.

Tourists who are photographing each other, in strange posing interactions with…the thing..

Or just themselves…in that selfie, together with that main tourist attraction, but always far away in the background..

Some tourists buy the selfie stick on the spot.

A welcome moneymaker for these young guys trying to make a living. The place where I was it’s mainly Africans who do this kind of work.

One problem. They are illegals, and the work they do is too.

African man selling Eiffel tower

So the real hero in this story is this young gentleman. He hides from the police, passing by on patrol. For a few seconds he holds his souvenirs and selfie stick beside and in front of his body. The colors of his backpack, sweater and underwear carefully match each other. When the police had passed by he walked on as nothing happened.