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Tacky Tourist Photos

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Feb '12

Sticky Fingers: The World’s Largest Football

Not-So-Super Originality -- Before the Patriots-Giants showdown, there was no shame in copying your neighbor's photo-op!

SUBMITTED BY: Jason Feifer    LOCATION: Indianapolis, Indiana (2012)

Unlike in the real Super Bowl XLVI, there were no dropped footballs outside Lucas Oil Stadium.

This classic pose essentially is a variation of the one we recently captured with the World’s Largest Potato on Prince Edward Island.

An ongoing scene in the parking lot of Canada's Potato Museum in O'Leary, PEI.

(Jason Feifer is a Fast Company senior editor, a Miami Heat fan, and a die-hard air conditioning enthusiast.)

Feb '12

Family Bonding With Boulders

Bubble Rock in Acadia National Park in Maine

SUBMITTED BY: Jerry Monkman  LOCATION: Acadia National Park, Maine (2011)

It’s so true: Families who push boulders off cliffs together, stay together.

This Road Runner-Wile E. Coyote photo-op is on the Bubble Rock hiking trail near Jordan Pond.

(Nature photographer Jerry Monkman is the author of “The AMC Guide to Outdoor Digital Photography.”)


Feb '12

Look, Don’t Touch

Just another naked day in Times Square....

SUBMITTED BY: Erik Paulsen   LOCATION: Times Square, New York City (2012)

When posing for a Tacky Tourist Photo, it is usually customary to embrace the quirky statue or mascot as if you are best friends.

Yet, there is something rather skeevy about getting intimate with a Naked Cowboy you just met.

Enter the brilliance of Erik, who pensively looks to the heavens, so immersed in thought that he almost doesn’t even notice the scantily-clad gent in front of the Marriott.  There’s now a proven method to pose with people when getting too close would be embarrassing or downright unhygienic.

On a side note, TTP has been at the forefront of insightful Naked Cowboy coverage rivaling the New York Post, the NY Daily News and Gawker. We’ve faithfully covered the Naked Cowboy for President campaign, the legal battle with the Naked Cowgirl and her common bond with Lady Gaga.

We’re depending on Erik to covertly capture the next chapter.

(Erik Paulsen, not to be confused with the Minnesota Congressman, is a sports video editor and photojournalist who has covered the Stanley Cup and the Tour de France. He also is a militant vegan.)

Jan '12

The Meanest Teacher in History

Channeling an old fashioned school teacher at the Hillsborough Historical Society's Living History Event.

SUBMITTED BY: Kathie Fife   LOCATION: Hillsborough, NH (2011)

Remember when educators carried rulers and would crack your wrists for chewing gum or misspelling a word?

Well, in addition to shining the silverware of President Franklin Pierce, the Hillsborough Historical Society loves to romanticize mean old school teachers.

(Kathie Fife is a nature photographer and greeting card designer who specializes in New Hampshire scenes.)

Jan '12

Red Rocks Puppet

The Red Rocks of Sedona is a wonderful place to find a pet.

SUBMITTED BY: Debra Furlong, Mike and Christine     LOCATION: Sedona, Arizona (2011)

Dance for me, puppet!

In the mystical New Age paradise of Sedona, Arizona, where crystals and “positive energy” is sold at every gas station, there’s a small prancing tribe of gnomes who will perform on command.

Jan '12

I dare you to bite my finger!

The Jurassic Park ride at the Universal Orlando Resort.

SUBMITTED BY: Allison Scott    LOCATION: Orlando, Florida (2012)

Allison’s father, David, looks more like he is mocking the facial expressions of the T-Rex than he is acting terrified.

(David Meerman Scott is the author of “The New Rules of Marketing & PR.”)

Dec '11

Radioactive Cake

Yum, Yum: The Atomic Cake Under Glass

Yum, Yum: The Atomic Cake Under Glass

SUBMITTED BY: Debby Greenberg  LOCATION: Los Alamos, New Mexico (2011)

So uranium yellowcake is a key ingredient for developing nuclear weapons, but you’re not supposed to eat it.

That wasn’t the case with this celebratory mushroom cloud cake enjoyed by U.S. military generals after the 1946 nuclear tests at the Bikini Atoll.  A replica of the cake now sits at the Los Alamos Historical Museum in New Mexico, home of the famed Manhattan Project.  

Frosting Fallout: This Pentagon PR stunt was meant to showcase America as a nuclear superpower. No word if the cake was actually served.

Our favorite element of this surreal pop culture moment is the cake decorations, which look like the plastic parts from the Battleship board game.

Museum exhibits like this exist so we can chuckle at the dessert disasters of the past and pledge not to repeat them.

Apparently, the more appropriate way to trivialize nuclear weapons is through alcoholic beverages. Check out this atomic bomb wine stopper currently for sale at the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History gift shop:


(Debby Greenberg is a health care professional who appreciates the roadside attractions that come with business travel).


Dec '11

Show us your Great Wall dance moves

We’ve previously showcased some great improvisational acting on the Great Wall of China, such as TTP star correspondent Brian Henderson’s “Where Can I Find a Decent Chinese Restaurant?” pose.  But YouTube dance star Nonstop really kicks things up a notch!




Dec '11

Jumpshot #1: Stonefaced Audience

Jumping Norman gets a tepid reaction from the residents of Easter Island.

SUBMITTED BY: Jumping Norman  LOCATION: Easter Island, Chile

From the same kooks who probably think the 1969 NASA Moon Landing was created in a secret CIA movie studio, we’ve been accused of creating some of our more surreal Tacky Tourist Photos in Adobe Photoshop.  The “Egyptian Cheerleading Tryouts” shot in particular has a few conspiracy theorists wondering if the picture is “real.”

All it takes these days to capture your friends and family in orbit these days is a half-decent point-and-shoot camera with a sports setting — and the perfect angle.

Similar to planking and leisure diving, jumping shots have a global fanbase that keeps trying to top each other. Our friend “Jumping Norman” meticulously collects these images and catalogues them on Facebook, punctuating the year with the Jumping Norman Awards.

In honor of Jumping Norman’s contributions to the Tacky genre, we will be featuring his Award winners sporadically throughout the rest of the year.

Do you have any classic Jumpshots taken at a tourist attraction around the world?  Drop us a line at tackytouristphotos@gmail.com for a chance at dual immortality — with us and with Norman!

Dec '11

Cactus Jumpers

Just another leisurely airborne Sunday drive through the desert...

SUBMITTED BY: Lisa and John Sarick   LOCATION: Joshua Tree, California (2008)

This airborne antique convertible will never be confused with the Dukes of Hazzard‘s General Lee, but it’s where Lisa and John fell in love: Spin and Margie’s Desert Hideaway, “part boutique Inn, part Mexican hacienda and part artist’s palette.”

Not sure any of those yuppie adjectives are even necessary. Owners Mindy Kaufman and Drew Reese had us at “hello” with their snazzy graphics.

Click on the pic to take a spin with Spin & Margie at the entrance of Joshua Tree National Park.

Yes, graphic design and font choice is our number one criteria in choosing lodging.  But back to Lisa.

“I have been meaning to email this to you for-EVER!” she writes. “This is my husband John and me before we were married back when I would do silly things like this for him. He likes this stuff. He hasn’t gotten me into an Old Tyme Photo yet though!”

Hey Lisa, thanks for thinking of us, and please don’t stop humoring your husband. Tacky Tourist poses are the secret to a long marriage!

(Lisa Sarick is a minister-mom-teacher-counselor from upstate New York who shares her adventures on her Harmony blog)

Dec '11

“Tacky Tourist Photos LIVE!” delights the critics

Snapping the Mommy Lisa: Librarian Noelle Boc shares an artistic moment with her daughter Isabelle at Tewksbury Tacky Tourist Photos Night.

If the hushed chatter in the hallowed halls of Tewksbury Public Library is any indication, it looks like “Tacky Tourist Photos Live” is a bona fide smash sensation!

If you happen to live within 300 miles of the Greater Tewksbury area, load your family up in the station wagon for a photography exhibition that will create lasting memories for a lifetime!

As the Lowell Sun eloquently puts it, “secret admirers of roadside kitsch, wacky road signs, and offbeat travel photo ops will revel in the newest exhibit” at the TPL!”

Don’t think that the show is worth all those exclamation points?  Think again!!!

What if Leonardo Da Vinci had more canvas?

Library visitors can pose as the Mona Lisa for the month of December without the laborious effort of visiting the Louvre and all the annoying crowds that it entails. Pretty eerie how perfectly the outfits above match, huh? It’s almost as if the Tacky Tourist Photos exhibition was sponsored by “Project Runway.”

Hair's to You, Mona -- Lining up the hair parts isn't always easy.

The Katie Lisa is really a blonde with dark roots.

Aside from the fun-spirited photo sessions and potentially award-winning presentation, many believe that the highlight of the evening was a candid “Inside the Actor’s Studio” chat with Tacky Tourist Photos model Brian Henderson.

You might know him as the brains and the handsome mug behind such TTP classics as “Golden Gate Appetizer,” “Uganda Tourist Trap,” “Dr. Seuss Chorus Line” and “Where Can I Find a Decent Chinese Restaurant?”

Brian wowed the audience with live DVD-style commentary of what was going on his mind before, during and after each pose.

If you’d like to explore bringing the Tacky Tourist Photos exhibition to your museum, school, public library, birthday party, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, luxury resort or cruise ship, please drop us a line at tackytouristphotos@gmail.com.

Dec '11

Killer Rabbit

You can find the Pink Skull Bunny and his gallery of admirers on San Francisco's infamous Haight Street.

SUBMITTED BY: Whitney Matheson    LOCATION: San Francisco, California (2011)

Cute pink rabbit or rodent with a deathwish?   There’s lots of Freudian subtext in what may be the World’s Largest Skull Bunny, the brainchild of artist Jeremy Fish.

What is it about pink rabbits that make us contemplate our own mortality?  Discuss amongst yourselves.

(Whitney Matheson is the Pop Candy columnist for USA Today. You can follow her on Twitter at @popcandy).

Dec '11

Save the Date (Dec. 7) — Come enjoy Tewksbury Tacky Tourist Night!

The Tewksbury Public Library does not attract as many visitors as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, but it nonetheless offers memories of a lifetime!

Sorry to go all regional on you, but if you happen to live in New England (or are vacationing there), come on out and meet the Tacky Tourist founders, curators, and administrative staff!

6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 7
Tewksbury Public Library
300 Chandler Street
Tewksbury, MA 01876

Join founding curator Darren Garnick as he guides you through the Do’s and Don’ts of silly travel photography and offers exclusive tips for the best vacation photo-ops within reasonable driving distance of Tewksbury. The presentation will kick off a month-long gallery exhibition of some of the world’s Tackiest snapshots.

Visitors are encouraged to bring contributions from their childhood vacation albums and their latest creative cell phone pics for group discussion and possible inclusion in an offbeat coffee table book.

Bring your cameras for bonus “Tacky Tourist” photo-ops throughout the evening.  Can’t make it?  No worries: Check out our Submission Guidelines and be there in spirit!

This event is held in the Meeting Room.  Doors open at 6:15pm.  Talks begin at 6:30pm.  The room is handicap accessible.  Light refreshments will be provided.  A door prize will be awarded.  Pre-registration is strongly recommended.  Register by stopping by the Reference Desk; calling 978-640-4490 ext. 205; or by clicking “register” below.  Talk is FREE thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Tewksbury Public Library.

Nov '11

Mermaid Romance

Savoring the moment....

SUBMITTED BY: Noelle Boc   LOCATION: Charlestown, Mass. (2011)

When you kiss a fish, it is better with your eyes closed?

Rumor has it that smooching with this Fish Sentinel, the official guard of City Square Park near Boston Harbor, will make you grow fins.

(Noelle Boc is a hip children’s librarian and movie reviewer with a passion for bronze.)

Oct '11

Battle of the Bunny

The Praying Mantis subsists on a rich diet of plush animal toys high in fiber and antioxidants.

SUBMITTED BY: George Scully  LOCATION: Winchester, Virginia (2011)

At Dinosaur Land, the most fearsome place in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, no one is safe. Not even pink little bunnies.

(Fascinated by giant mutant insects?  Check out the Tough Guy Butterfly).