Dream Job or Too Good to Be True? Wealthy Family Looking for Tag-Along Lifestyle Vacation Photographer

Dream Job or Too Good to Be True? Wealthy Family Looking for Tag-Along Lifestyle Vacation Photographer

It’s something that seems almost too good to be true: a wealthy family in the UK is apparently searching for a photographer to tag along and document their vacations for £80,000 with all expenses paid. What’s the catch?

A few people I know tagged me on Facebook on a local news outlet’s post sharing a story about a family looking for a photographer to shoot their vacations. While I was flattered, of course, it seems a little odd to me.  Whenever I see something like this, I think to myself: “Come on. Can this be real?”

According to the London-based photographer booking service Perfocal, here’s what the family is looking for: someone to go on trips with them, for up to three months at a time, working up to 10 hours a day with full sick pay and 30 days vacation time. They need to be able to leave home at short notice, be content with traveling the world for most of the year, and be alright with their travel expenses being paid, on top of an £80,000 salary (about $100,700).

Sounds dreamy, right?

I hope it’s true. It would be a grand opportunity for someone, to be sure. That is, if the family is pleasant to be around.

It could, however, be a marketing ploy for the website that posted the request. If so, it’s a pretty good one. They got my email address, and I have a feeling they might be getting yours, too.

Stephen Ironside's picture

Stephen Ironside is a commercial photographer with an outdoor twist based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. While attempting to specialize in adventure and travel photography, you can usually find him in the woods, in another country, or oftentimes stuffing his face at an Indian buffet.

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Don't worry, they'll accept the bid for 13k + Exposure. #Photography

Here's my take on this. It is probably more of a thing than most of us realise. There are many thousands of people in the world with more than enough money to be able to hire a photographer to be on their staff. I worked as crew on yachts for about a dozen years. On one of those boats I was a part of a crew of 12, the owner didn't lend the boat to friends or charter it to strangers and he and his family used it a maximum of three weeks a year. So that's 12 people on standby, on full salary, all expenses paid, tickets home once a year, for 49 weeks of that year. Not to mention the cost of running and maintaining the boat itself. All up at least a million US a year. And that yacht is small potatoes in the yachting scene as it is now. It's just that most of the time the people that have that sort of money don't have to advertise in public for their staff. They have people that can find people. I'm just using yachting as an example because I have experience there but some of the bigger yachts can have dozens of crew, laundry workers that seldom see the light of day, engineers, deck hands, stewards, chefs and sometimes specialists like helicopter pilots and divers, so why not a photographer.
I've already thought this could be a new business opportunity in photography. When everyone seems to be documenting their lives with photographs to an ever increasing level and if you had the sort of money where you expect to have professional quality service in every other aspect of your life then it seems a natural extension of that to have a photographer on the pay roll.

I think that it would be a great experience and I’d jump at the opportunity. It sounds like they know what they want and it’s just a matter of whether you’re a good fit.

For as much as you’ll be working, editing, and traveling... the gig should be paying 250-500k dollars.

This setup by them is an absolute steal on their part BUT as any photographer knows, money isn’t everything and a steady paycheck never really exists.

I’d jump at the opportunity if I could actually do it.

I just did something similar last month: accompanied a client on a 15 day trip to Greece. It was amazing! The rate is a little low but maybe I’ll apply for this one and see if they’ll negotiate.

The gig would be okay as long as they allow you to continue doing other work when not required,. That you are given enough notice to properly prepare with vaccinations, passports, visas, given a photography budget for equipment and outsourced work like post processing, information to plan location shoots, a makeup artist, costuming, and an assistant or two. Probably need to shoot both stills and motion. Gotta make the family look better than the Kardashians!

I've done this before. i would be a perfect candidate.

I have done this :)
but not for a year month was longest

I used to teach scuba (did it for 15 years) mainly to get into underwater photography full time
way back in the start I also taught snowboarding for 8 years (PSIA)
I had friends that would get hired the whole winter to hang with wealthy families and basically be their personal ski friends and instructors good money and a new SUV every season as a tip
I never did the ski thing as I liked working with families that were daily weekly hire

but being a personal dive partner I have done :) teaching for 15 years and about 15k dives under me you can see why someone would say yeah I will bring you along on our dive trip OR hire at the location when they land

I lived on Maui mostly but also Lanai (worked in caribbean and south pacific also)
a lot of high end folks used to come to the islands
got to work with some cool people

one of them I got to do a private trip with he and his wife and do things that money cant buy like dive on the USS Arizona memorial and take photos :)

it does happen and there are nice gracious wealthy folks out there :) BUT from having been there done that at least the ones I know and have done are all word of mouth all done in private and none of them seek out general lets see who applies !!!
its more they seek you out so that wealthy couple would have known someone you worked with etc. none of this everyone send in emails !!!!

IMHO a fake way to get into grab headlines and build a list and offer a service and so on so the publicity and grab is real but not really :) ahhahahahahah
and sure it could end up being real in the end but was done for publicity stunt but the 3 months at a time ? hard to say if this is real or not :)

It would be great for someone with the right personality and no real ongoing responsibilities in their own life. Finding such a person could prove difficult, but they have enough publicity that they'll have a lot of applications to sift through now!

Yeah, one minute you are taking of photos of them to post on Instagram and the next you are fetching them drinks...Ah No thanks....

If they've gotten down the list of potential staff to Photographer then they've likely passed butler, maid, chef chauffeur and person who fetches the drinks.

I feel like this is one of those gigs that seems like it would be a dream job until you really start thinking about it. Sure, tons of photographers would love to travel the world like this, but I would imagine that most of us would like to do it on our terms taking the photos that we want. You're essentially signing a year of your life away to taking photos of this couple. The novelty will probably wear off pretty quickly.

I'm not going to comment on the pay as I'm sure there is no shortage of photographers out there (myself included) that deal with all sorts of garbage for a year for less than this.

I keep getting asked to do stuff like this since I moved to Japan. People find me somehow, I guess from my blog and want me to come shoot a day or two with them on vacation. I don’t take the gigs though. Sounds like trouble.

OK. 10 hours a day, so at 365 days a year less the 30 you have off, that is 336 days a year. If you are living with the family you may be getting one day a week off. So that is 287 days a year wotking or 2870 hours at £80,000 or £27.87 an hour.

Pete Souza more or less did the same thing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_Souza) in the White House. But he got a book out of it.

Nightmare city.

I used to own a tennis shop, so I was a pretty good racquet stringer. I was a stringer for a few ATP/WTA events as well. There were touring pros that had personal stringers that went with them to every tournament. They were paid very well, but it was a LOT of time away from home and some pretty miserable hours. I know one stringer that lasted for one season and quit because of the demands.

I don't think this photo gig would be as bad, but it would certainly mean that you'd have to have a very flexible personality and lifestyle. As long as they aren't traveling into a war zone, it would probably be alright.

I've had numerous private clients hire me to go on vacation with them. Thats why it's a good idea to keep in touch with your Wedding clients after they get married.

I've seen pics by this Polynesian woman who posts pictures of her and her BF, some dude who had friended me years back on fb after meeting at a social event locally (who she tags in all the pics so they show up on my wall), and her entire set of fb photo albums are shot by what appears to be a local event photog. All the shots are staged, and show how "happy" they are together and showing off all these posh events they attend, and locations they hang out at. Recently they took a trip over to Japan, and once again I'm seeing all these staged pics of them running around Japan, showing what a great time they're supposedly having together. I thought all this rather weird, and now that I'm seeing this article I'm wondering if this is a "thing" with wealthy Polynesians.

As a part time photographer I have clients that pay people full time to care for their cars. Yea, its a thing. This sounds both reasonable (100K US) for a great experience, and also grueling for the schedule. I know people that have taken jobs that take them away for long stints for good pay. This is not enough pay to get me to quit my day job, but it is tempting. This is ideal for a single photographer. Unfortunately, I have two sons (almost adults) and a full time job (not photography), so I would be a poor fit. However, I would love the chance. Maybe they will advertise it again after my kids live on their own.