Markets in everything

Hawkins’ clients are part of a growing trend: people paying to have their vacations professionally photographed.

Her clients say the results – clean, crisp, blur-free images ideal for holiday cards and brag books – are worth it.

Ugh says I, and the link is here, via Courtney Knapp.


I think there is a big difference between professional photography in a professional setting and what the "Ugh" refers to.

It would be horrible to have excess people on holiday with me. Ugh says I also.

But if they could photoshop me in...

Virtually every weekend, there are families at the neighborhood playground with professional photographers. This is a completely logical extension. And there are no "excess people on holiday." I am sure the photographers are local and hang out with you for one or two sessions, each of which probably last on hour or so while you engage in some typical vacation activity.

What neighborhood is your playground in?

Something tells me the 'S.' is for Schmidt.

I think photos are vastly overrated.

That's nothing. I'm hiring a couple of Guatemalans to take my vacation for me this year. Going out and doing touristy stuff is a job that I, as an American, will not do.

Two things. First, this isn't nearly as frivolous as David and Victoria paying someone money to open their family's Christmas presents in front of them. (Yes, for at least one year, that actually happened.) Second, isn't this an indication that, despite the widespread availability of cameras and the ease with which someone can retake a picture, there's still a premium for professional skill, one that might not be replaced by automation?

Citation for David/Victoria quip?

Well, this seems related to the 'memories as durable goods' concept. So, I guess this could make more sense to me than traditional professional photographs of people who are engaged in the memorable activity of...posing for a professional photographer (which includes most wedding photographs, photographs in portrait studios, etc). So are these professionals unobtrusively taking candid shots of a memorable family activity? Or is the photographer arranging, scripting, and posing? The first seems OK to me, while the second does tend to trigger the 'Ugh' reflex. But I don't want to be too harsh. Some families really are full of people with zero talent for photography and whose vacation photos are always dull and disappointing.

My wife and I have TONS of pictures of one or the other of us in various vacation spots. Thanks to long arms being able to snap endless digital shots we've also ended up with a fair number of ok shots of us together, taken by me. There's also some taken by fellow vacationers - you take one of us, we take one of you. Despite the three inch digital screen on the back of my camera there are a suprising number of shots that feature me from the neck down.

Although we've never paid for a photo session while on vacation, we do have some great shots taken by hotel/resort/location photographers. One in particular from Jamaica of us on a Hobiecat. The clarity and vivid colors just wouldn't be there with an unfiltered digital. It was well worth the $10 or so I paid for the file, plus the printing and framing after we got home. Memories and snapshots are great, but that picture is a piece of art that we just happen to be in. I definately wouldn't rule out spending an hour running around a favorite vacation spot for an hour with a skilled photographer.

I can't ever decide if Tyler believes in the wisdom of repugnance.

Nobody that is involved in donation funded institutions as part of their responsibilities is allowed the luxury of repugnance.

Which explains an awful lot about the tax free non-profit world of the DC area, I might add.

Taking pictures yourself is fine if you're just walking around some city and calling that a vacation, but if you're doing something it might make a lot of sense to have somebody else _not_ do that activity and instead take pictures of it. Skiing, climbing, surfing, and diving all come to mind.

Even if you're just walking around a city, think of how distracting it is to have to compose shots and operate a camera. Think of the stereotypical tourist who is so immersed in his camera that he's missing what is going on around him, not paying attention to his family, etc.

I call BS. You can't blog about the hot dog you bought at such-and-such a stand and then say "ugh" about other people being less vain.

No, I believe the 'ugh' was directed to paying for it personally - pros always have someone else pay.

In the near future, Google Vacation will stitch together a selection of photographs taken by other people that might have you in the shot, based on when and where you took your vacation and what you look like. >90% of the photos will actually have you in the picture, and the other 10% will have you scratching your head thinking "Is that me?" and "Are those my shoes?".

Google Vacation - good idea.
I am planning to take my next vacation pictures as video clips. In a Youtube world why have a static picture of Big Ben when you can have a video of the whole scene - cars going by, the river, the statue. So Google could take my couple snap shots and add in some video to put them in context based on my GPS coordinates. When someone writes an app for this I claim 10%.

I was going to write how I thought this was a simply smashing idea, but I'm too busy tweeting the fact that I'm posting to Professor Cowen's site about the fact that I'm thinking of paying a professional photographer to photograph me vacationing while I'm on vacation. But then I thought and said in my second, third, and fourth tweets that to do it properly, I should pay a photographer to photograph the photographer photographing me while I'm on vacation. ;)

Meta professional vacation photos for the Win!

This is absolutely the worst kind of trolling.

Great example of jobs appearing as others disappear. This is why we will never have the automation jobs armageddon predicted by the gloomsters.

Ugh? What odds do you give that in the next 10 years no GMU econ. professor will use this service?

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