Did You Remember To Book Your Vacation Photographer?

File this under “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Apparently the economic downturn isn’t hurting everyone. Some people have so much money to burn that they bring photographers along on their vacations.

A few weeks ago, an old classmate of mine had posted new pictures of her family’s vacation to a beach resort. I will be totally honest and say that my classmates new breasts, presented with barely any coverage, caught my eye. They were those gloriously in-your-face fake breasts, the kind that say “Heck yeah I bought these. Do you have a problem with that?” Anyway, I was clicking through her “we had an awesome vacation” photo album, as you do when Facebook stalking people, and noticed that several of her shots were done by a professional photographer. Some of her Facebook friends then engaged her in a discussion about hiring a photographer to do professional shots while on the beach.

My husband and I are currently in Mexico visiting his folks. And since we’re in the adoption process and will need to put together a book that showcases our family to prospective birth mothers, we took the big step of getting a super nice camera. We thought we could give the impression, by taking pictures at exotic locales, that we are totally awesome, hip, global travelers. And yet unless we rely on my in-laws or strangers, we can’t get any shots of our entire family together. Perhaps there’s something to be said for hiring someone to help you out.

And yet, faked pictures of an already luxurious vacation seem a bit much to me:

For summer vacation, the flight is booked, the hotel is reserved, the bags are packed, but what about the professional photographer to take snapshots and make you look supernaturally gorgeous?

A growing number of hotels and resorts are offering sessions with photographers to chronicle guests’ vacations. Travelers want to record memorable moments without ruining them stressing about focus and flash. They want more sophisticated shots to share on social media. And vacationers realize that an iPhone may not catch that perfect surfing or skiing triumph.

One resort offers a package that includes a two-hour shoot with a professional photographer. Another offers a family photo shoot and a YouTube video of the session.

Apparently there’s a surge in multi-generational travel, where grandparents, kids and grandkids all go to a resort together. My husband was born in Hawaii and last time we went over for a family wedding, I wish we’d gotten a big picture of all of us together.

Honeymooning couples are also big on the photographer thing. They have a photographer tag along as they snorkel. Another couple had photos of them on bicycles, lounging in a hammock and on a dock at sunset.

That reminds me that shortly after my husband and I returned from our Mexico honeymoon, our camera was stolen out of our Washington, D.C. apartment (yay, crime!) and so we have a grand total of zero photos of our honeymoon. But we have our memories, for now.

It’s not just beach locales that offer this service. You can hire a photographer in Bend, Oregon, to snowboard down a hill with you and snap shots along the way. OK, that one sounds kind of awesome.

Prices range from about $100 an hour at some resorts to $3,200 for a half-day shoot. The best, though, is the full-time photographer:

Abercrombie & Kent, the luxury-travel outfitter, occasionally has clients who hire photographers for their entire vacations. “They just want to enjoy the destination without anyone [in the family] being responsible and having to worry about missing a shot or a memorable experience,” says Rob Veden, manager of private travel at A&K. Mr. Veden says many clients hire a photographer for hours or a day.

We also learn that one pregnant mother asked for her thighs to be digitally altered so that they didn’t look that big.

(Photo: Yuri Arcurs/Shutterstock)

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