Yes, there’s a photographer on most cruise ships.
In fact, there’s usually a number of photographers.
I don’t mean people taking “holiday snaps”, of course. There are lots of us doing that.
These are professional photographers.
Do I have to let the ship’s photographer take my photo?
There’s absolutely no obligation to stand and smile for every photograph.
But on the other hand – there’s no reason not to.
I’ll tell you why…
Do I have to buy the ship’s photographs?
No, you don’t.
Unless you’ve specifically commissioned a photographer to take exclusive photographs for you, of course. But that’s different from how the ship’s photographers usually work.
Here’s what to do:
Near to the end of your cruise, take a look at all the photographs you appear in, select those pictures which you adore, and purchase just those.
But if you don’t like any of them, you don’t need to buy any at all.
On some cruises, we’ve bought photographs. On other cruises, we’ve bought none at all.
What sort of photographs do the ship’s photographers take?
They’ll do all sorts of pictures of you.
Err, no… not those sort, Madam! [blushes]
Often you’ll see the ship’s photographers…
- When you’re arriving at the start of your cruise
- At the quayside as you leave the ship on each port of call
- Taking photos of individuals and couples at the dining tables
- On formal nights
Maybe they’ll take pictures of you…
- With the Captain
- After Dinner – or at a show
- In your posh black & white outfit
- Against a stunning Caribbean sunset background prop
Where can I find the photographs that I’m in?
On many ships, there’ll be a viewing station or two, where you can find all the pictures in which you appear. You can order prints from there if you like.
Often they’ll also display stunning prints of a particular event – such as of a formal-dress evening – on a display board. That’ll usually be situated somewhere along a main walkway so you’ll notice it.
How much do the ship’s photographs cost?
Be warned. They aren’t cheap.
Of course, prices will vary from ship to ship, cruise line to cruise line.
But this is a business. And like any business, they need to make a profit.
But if the ship’s photographers are good at their job – and most of them are – usually passengers are willing to part with their hard-earned cash in exchange for some great memories of the cruise.
So how much did you pay, David?
Well, in 2016, we bought a 8″ x 10″ print (which was, in fact, an 8″ x 6” photo plus three mini 4″ x 2.5″ photos along its edge. You know… the sort you used to get in those school-photo-packs for your parents to buy at the end of term) – and that cost us £11.80.
Can I take my own photographs on a cruise?
Yes, you certainly can.
And thanks to digital photography, it’s quite cheap to do so.
Anyone remember the days of 35mm film? Or even, going further back, a roll of 120 or 127 film?
36 prints from that film, sir. That’ll cost you an arm and a leg. Would you like to buy a replacement film too, sir?
Thankfully, it’s no longer expensive and limiting.
So we always take lots of photographs.
Oh, and some video too.
Memories to last a lifetime.
What would you recommend?
I’d recommend letting the photographer take as many photographs as he wants – at every opportunity.
But won’t that be a waste of his time and money, David?
Nope. Digital photography is cheap to do. And it’ll take only a moment of the ship’s photographer’s time before he quickly moves on to the next person.
You don’t have to buy any of the photographs.
But if you fall in love with one, or two, or more of his pictures..
- The photographer makes a sale
- You get a professional photographic record of your cruise of a lifetime
- There’s another great picture for the family album
Everyone’s happy – and it’s a win-win.
Become a ship’s photographer
If you’re good at photography, it will always work out much cheaper to take all your own photographs.
But if you’re really good, why not become a ship’s photographer?
It might be hard work. But you’ll travel the world, get to meet lots of nice people – including celebrities – and make a living at the same time.
Here are a couple of helpful resources to whet your appetite.
What about you?
What do you do? Do you buy the ship’s photographs?
Or do you only ever take your own pictures?
What would you recommend for someone going on their first cruise?
Share your tips and ideas in the comments box below, and let’s keep the conversation going.
Want more cruise tips?
You can join the 266 other readers of our weekly Cruise-Chat emails, for more cruise tips, ideas and stories.
We’ll also send you our own compact cruise-guide to say welcome.