Money Mayhem: Private Vacation Photographers?


LearnVest always seeks to educate and inform, but every once in a while, a financial matter hits the headlines and makes us go, “Huh.”

Sometimes it even provides us a lens to learn about ourselves. In that spirit, from bad money decisions to financial lessons worth millions, consider our Money Mayhem series your source of financial edu-tainment.

Picture this: It’s day three of your long-awaited and well-deserved beach vacation. You and your beau are lounging on the sand. A calm breeze blows by and you’re sipping a tropical drink.

If only you had a photographer on hand to snap some high-definition shots of this picture-perfect moment. Dream big.

Well, you don’t have to dream that big.

The Wall Street Journal reports on a new trend among vacationers, which we’re calling BYOP—Bring Your Own Photographer.

Believe it or not, some vacationers are hiring photographers at their vacation destinations to be sure that they preserve their vacation memories in top-quality photos. For trendsetters like these, photographers are a necessary vacation expense, much like the must-have beach bag of the season.

Resorts are catching on to the money-generating power of vacation photography all across the country.

At one of the Four Seasons hotels in Hawaii, hotel guests can hire a photographer by the hour to snap family beach walks or romantic meals for two. The going rate? $800 per hour.

Similarly, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida offers families a ticket package that includes a professional photographer and early access tickets to Epcot, one of Disney’s theme parks … for $350 an hour.

Private vacation photography companies are popping up, too. Tricia & Co. Photography, a top family vacation photography company, offers professional photography services in multiple destinations—you can search for a photographer in both summer destinations (like Los Angeles or Paris) and winter destinations (like Vail, Colorado).

And while you may be wondering how this photography fad can be so popular given the steep price tags, Andrea Peterson from The Wall Street Journal has a few explanations.

For example, Peterson believes that social media may play a key role in the rise of vacation photography. Vacationers may feel pressure to post crisp, well-documented photos of their vacations on social media sites for friends and relatives. Additionally, vacationers simply may not want to deal with stresses like keeping a camera charged and close by. And “self-take” photographs—ones that require a reversal of your camera and a hyper-extended arm—never turn out quite right.

So, if you’ve got the cash and the scenic backdrop to boot, is a photographer a necessary vacation extra?

  • Brittany M

    Hahaha. No. All you need is a GorillaPod.

  • Tricia K

    Thank you for the mention Emily. Much appreciated. It actually been a southern tradition for a long time in the Destin Florida area. We just called it beach portraits. However, we catered mainly to the visitors to the area. Its exciting to see other people being interested in this fun activity. Tricia Keffer

    • Dan phillips

      I live in Aspen Colorado and I have been a expedition guide and outdoor guide for many many years shooting pics. of clients…  I read this and my dream job would be to do this on adventure vactions full time…  I have a great new camera, and take great recreational pictures.
      WHAT MORE DO I NEED TO DO!!!  I’m IN!!!  This is brilliant!!!!     


    I have also experienced this one when I’m on a vacation and I don’t know anyone that can take a good picture of mine. I guess hiring a vacation photographer is such of a great help.

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  • hopy

    dream big, I think everyone has this in their thinking. Not only a profession or a field in life.

  • Yepi

    I store beautiful memories in my vacation,can the photographer ensure the picture for pictures of them?

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  • Stephen Elliot

    Never have I met someone who regrets having good pictures of the people they love. Vacation is a perfect time to do it.

    I’ve been fortunate to photograph several vacations, and it’s always a win-win opportunity. Check it out:

  • BetterPhotos

    You can cook at home, but it’s nice to go out to a good restaurant.

    You can do your own tax return, but it’s not a bad idea to hire a reliable accountant.

    You can rub your own shoulders, but it’s very enjoyable to get a professional massage.

    So…why not hiring a professional photographer while on vacation?

  • Haley

    We launched this year, vacation photography with a twist!

  • Phyllis Samuels

    When in NYC, the Personal Vacation Photographer to hire is Marc Samuels, who runs PhotoTrek Tours. His record speaks for itself. To date, Marc has almost 1,200 ( one thousand, two hundred ) reviews on various websites with a 4.9 out of 5 star rating. Other Awards and Accolades include Winner 2014 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, 99% Approval Rating on Trip Advisor, featured in The Good Morning America Show on ABC and Fodor’s Travel Magazine.
    The website for PhotoTrek Tours is

  • Diane

    You can also check out another great vacation photography service called

  • Diane

    I would. Especially when I travel a lot and by myself. It seems also to be a coming trend. I hate every photo is selfie with limited background. So I tried Picvoyage. They are new vacation photography company. Great service and great photographer. I got amazing photos! I think it is great investment especially when you want everyone in the pictures and have great ones to hang up on the wall when you are home!