Something People Actually Do: Hiring A “Vacation Photographer”

Image courtesy of Nick Kimmons

For all the advances that have made photography more affordable, user-friendly, and accessible, no selfie stick in the world is going to give you that perfectly posed vacation photo that will inspire jealousy and “likes” from the followers and friends you don’t really know on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. That’s why hiring a “vacation photographer” is something that real people actually do.

Condé Nast Traveler — better known as the “Places You Probably Can’t Afford To Visit” magazine — has a peek under the hood of this field, which is apparently burgeoning in spite of the fact that just about anyone with a phone can now take a decent looking photo.

One NYC photog tells CN Traveler that she stumbled into the work when she spotted the trend of European couples visiting the city for a special occasion — honeymoon, anniversary, Arbor Day… we guess — and hiring photographers to document their holiday.

She now has a business with three other photographers and a marketing executive who “makes every photo tour smooth,” and charges anywhere from $250 for a one-hour shoot, resulting in 25 digital pics shot at one or two locations, to $600 for three hours (90 photos at upwards of four locations).

Another Florida-based vacation photographer offers her services — minimum package price $350 — in resort towns from the state’s panhandle all the way down to Key West, but she also travels to Paris and Hawaii to shoot those pics that your friends will briefly glance at while skimming through their newsfeeds before uploading their own photos of whatever happens to be on their plate at the moment.

CN Traveler also recently profiled a company with a network of photographers in six continents willing to be paid to take photos that make you look like a vacationing globetrotting celebrity. The reporter for that story noted he did indeed look good in all the photos he got from his experiment with the service, but balked at the price tag of $350 for 30 digital pics, “particularly considering that the photos are just of me hanging around Lisbon.” He did acknowledge that someone celebrating a truly special occasion might find it worth the money.