Lately, I’ve noticed a huge surge in the number of emails I’ve received inquiring about my interest in partnering up with a website or app that claims to be shaping the next generation of holiday photo. One email even introduced its company’s services with a tagline of “the app that’s replacing selfie sticks.”
The principal idea is this: instead of trying to take your holiday pictures yourself, you can book a photographer on short notice to shadow your family holiday and take professional-standard photos. Most of the companies running with this concept are assembling a directory of photographers in cities across the globe, so that no matter where it is you’re venturing to, there’s likely someone on hand. When referring to the process of booking a photographer, one particular site I encountered is using words like "summon," making it sound reminiscent of Uber, like some kind of dial-a-photographer service. You know, so if you stumble across something rather scenic on holiday and decide that, actually, you want a "professional" picture, you can just call someone out. I know the creative industry is often last-minute, but this is certainly taking it up a notch.
It’s not an entirely new concept, and in many senses, it is similar in nature to engagement portraits. Everybody wants the option to revisit good memories, and in the digital era, there's an increasing demand for photos in the highest possible resolution.
There’s certainly been a rise in the number of companies specializing in holiday photographer services. Many launching the service are even using Kickstarter campaigns to get things off the ground, offering pledgers a photoshoot any place in the world that their company has a photographer based.
What are your thoughts? Is this a cheap gimmick to capitalize on the self-indulgent selfie stick generation, or is it a smart business venture that will soon become an essential part of any holiday? From a photographer’s point of view, are you interested in working as a professional tourist photographer? Should we be grateful for more potential work opportunities at a time when cameraphones are improving in quality, or is this just trivializing our work?