I know that this post may be a day late and a dollar short, but I don't think that basic advertising would do the trick. Rather word of mouth would probably be more beneficial. If you knew some families in the higher-tax bracket that you are good friends with and know that they are going on an exciting vacation, then offer your services...but on mostly your dime until you can get the credibility that people who will be willing to spend the dough deserve. I would definately have a webpage offering your services and a portfolio to show. In my opinion...If somebody were willing to pay for me to go on vacation with them...pay for my travel, lodging, meals, etc, I would not expect to get paid a salary as well. But that is me. I don't get to take a lot of vacations and would love to go to more places...so I'm more apt to do it for free. Good luck on your venture.
I know you posted this almost two years ago but I think it's a great idea. I was just thinking, what would be a great way to get to travel for free to wonderful places and do something I love, which is take pictures? Being someone's personal vacation photographer seems to be the obvious answer so I did a Google search and found this post. Hopefully your client would be wealthy enough to pay for your salary in addition to paying for your room and board. You'd also want to go through an agency that can pair up the vacationers and the photographers, and hopefully all parties involved would be professional, safe, courteous, etc. I could see how there would be apprehension on both sides: it would be odd to have a stranger tagging along; your kids might not like being shadowed, and it may all seem a bit intrusive. But the end result of the photos, both candid and posed, would be well worth it for the vacationers who want great mementos of their trips. The photographer might get bored with working and want to enjoy the scenery for themselves. But there would probably be time allotted for the photog to wander off on his own. I wonder if there are any agencies who offer the services? I'd accept a less than market salary to perform this service if it meant I got to travel for free. It really is a great idea and if it ever came to pass I'd look into it.
Wow.... I just re-visited this forum after posting it over 5 years ago... and well... I haven't done anything with it, but many of the encouraging comments I never read before are keeping my interest... I actually Googled this topic to see if anyone was doing it yet, and found my own post... and actually had to read to the bottom to realize it was MY post.... full circle... I think I had 'a moment' there..
Bryan-This isn't a new thing and it is only for the very well heeled clients. However you have to be known as an excellent photographer. It also helps if you have done some work for the client previously either a one-on-one situation or for the company that they or parents own.
In the book Yankee Nomad David Douglas Duncan tells how he received a phone call one day and was asked to go down to the Humbolt Current, off S. America, and take photos of Bill Lerner (I think that is his first name) and his wife who created the woman's store Lerner's while they were fishing for Swordfish and Giant Squid. This eventually helped him become the photographer that was selected to live with Pablo Picaso for a couple months for the book Picaso's Picaso which Pablo enjoyed so much that he sent the check that he was paid to make the book back to DDD with Void across the front and on the back had sketched an applauding fauna with Picasos name on it.
So Bryan all you have to do is hob-knob with the wealthy at an exclusive country club.
Over achievers make the rest of us look bad.
Nice thought as a photographer but as a business, it probably won't fly. I've worked in some pretty upscale places and never saw anyone, no matter how wealthy actually bring their own photographer with the exceptions of heads of state.
I think as a business plan, you might have a better shot getting hired by a cruise ship company or a resort and work for them. This also gives you the opportunity to sell your photos to thousands of people a year as compared to one family.
Good luck though; no matter what you decide.
Keep in mind that a lot of places now offer these types of services, I'll use Disney as an example. They now offer Photopass which basically lets you do this with their hired photographers. You can chronicle your whole trip and then pick out what you want online. Granted their probably no more than snapshots but that is what family vacation stuff is usually made up of.
Why are the pictures square if the lens is round? - Steven Wright
I was thinking about this a few weeks back. When I got home I ran a few different google searches looking for a Personal Vacation or Personal Travel Photographer. Not much came up except this 7 year old forum posting. Since I have a background in web design and am also a professional photographer I simply started this service. To have it up, to be one of the first and possibly the most professional looking online presences for such a service. If it takes off great, if it doesn't it literally cost me $50 and a day of my time. I guess time will tell if it's a viable idea. I'm gearing my services and pricing towards higher end clients, a family going to Disneyland most likely won't be able to afford me, a wealthy business man taking his wife to Italy may.
I guess I'm the guinea pig but so be it. We'll see.
Keep an eye on my website and wish me luck,
UPDATE July 2012
Looks like the trend is coming.
Pop Photo's own article on it
Last edited by waynerd; 07-12-2012 at 11:29 AM. Reason: update