Transforming ordinary landmark photos one paper cutout at a time

31 Mar

Rich McCor’s clever paper cutout photography

Getting a fresh shot of a thoroughly-photographed landmark is tough. So Rich McCor takes a different approach: his clever paper cutouts add an unexpected element of humor to what would otherwise be just your average photo. Take a look at some of his work here and find out more about his process in our Q&A.

Follow him on Instagram to keep up with his latest work. What are you tricks for getting unique photos of often-photographed subjects? Let us know in the comments.

What inspired you to start making your paper cutout images?

It began when I realised that after four years of living in London I wasn’t really appreciating the landmarks, the sights and all the things that people fly thousands of miles to see. So I used photography as an excuse to go and explore my city a little more, and through doing so I joined Instagram. However I realised that all the photos I was taking were the same as everyone elses’, so that’s when I decided to add a twist to my images with paper cutouts.

What’s the process like creating one of these images?

It used to be that I’d wander around and wait for ideas and then cut them out on the spot. I’m a bit more strategic now in that I research destinations before I visit them, and I hunt down the best vantage points through various photo websites and image libraries. That said, I still take my paper cutting equipment and black card with me in case I see something that sparks an idea.

How long have you been making these images?

My first paper transformation was in June 2015, but I’ve been into paper cutting since my early twenties when I used to make stop motion music videos for my friend’s band.

Is there anywhere you haven’t been yet that you’re itching to go to and photograph?

Tokyo. It’s full of quirky architecture, bold skyscrapers and colourful scenery. It’s the perfect playground for what I do.

Do you have any suggestions or advice for your average photographer trying to take a picture of a famous landmark?

I’d suggest walking around it 360, just to see if there’s an interesting vantage point that might not be obvious. I remember walking behind the Statue of Liberty when the sun was in front of her and it creating a perfect silhouette which was an image of the statue I hadn’t seen that often. I think, as any photographer will tell you, patience is the key. Patience for the light to do something interesting, patience for tourists to get out of the way, patience for experimenting with your style. Most of all of course, have fun and experiment with your own style of photography.

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

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