Family travel trend: hiring a professional photographer

New trends in travel appear every year. The destination wedding gave birth to the babymoon and, once kids were in the mix, families decided they needed to travel with grandma (multi-generational vacations) for her babysitting services.

Now that the entire clan is jetting off to Maui or the Bahamas every winter, well-heeled (or, ahem, flip-flopped) travellers have realized they need to hire a professional photographer while on holiday, to capture the magic of every sunset moment on a memory card, with the lighting, outfits and facial expressions just right. They want to guarantee they’ll look good for the annual Christmas card or the Facebook photo album that shares their posed beach frolics with the world. This trend is so hot, some resorts are offering sessions with a pro as part of a vacation package.

Now, I’m all for hiring a professional photographer for certain occasions. Weddings, the newborn photo shoot, and the session every several years to capture your kids getting bigger, come to mind. In fact, we hired Jessica Harcombe Fleming Photography to take some snaps of us last fall.

We hired a professional to get pictures of us with our kids (then aged four and six).

But shelling out for those perfect moments miles from home seems a bit over the top. Shouldn’t holidays be spontaneous? You’ve left your structured days back home and you should be able to throw on a sloppy sundress, go without makeup and not worry about everything being just so. Isn’t part of the fun of family holidays the ridiculous photos that come out of it? As one blogger lamented, this trend will put an end to those awkward, kitschy “Griswold” moments typically captured on film.

The “Griswolds” go hiking. Forced nature commune on Canada Day in Fernie.

Proponents of the trend say it takes the pressure off Mom or Dad to be the on-call photographer; that way, they can enjoy the holiday with both eyes instead of worrying about viewing highlights through a lens. A small price to pay, they say. Also, this way they don’t have to rely on random strangers to capture an image of everyone together. (Maybe it’s just me, but I think this random stranger did a pretty good job.)

A “random stranger” does a pretty good job capturing a sunset beach moment of our family in Ixtapa, Mexico. Cost? Priceless.

What do you think? Would you hire a holiday cameraman, or are you content to tote your own point-and-shoot and hope for the best?

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2 responses to “Family travel trend: hiring a professional photographer

  1. Maybe I am bit biased but the best family trip photos I have we shot by vacation photographer, who’s now listed on http://www.pinpic.com. A photographer can not replace the “fun of family holidays the ridiculous photos that come out of it?”, however, that’s not the intention either. The idea is to have a local show you around, take photo’s that you can take home and frame, especially for special occasions like a honeymoon, anniversaries, or family trips when the kids are still young.

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