Cruise Ship Photographer Review – Here’s What Really It’s Like! – VID #49

I thought that this information may be a bit helpful to those who are currently looking at becoming a cruise ship photographer.

Please refrain from asking me in-depth questions about how to become a photographer, what you have to do to apply, how to get the job…etc…
Please take this video as-is. I wanted to let people know that the position isn’t ‘roses and puppies’. It’s rather aggressive, long, hard work. That’s it.

I don’t have the time to respond to the same questions over and over. Feel free to contact a cruse-ship company directly. Speak with their Human Resources department…they will know more than me.

Sorry. Thanks in advance! 🙂

I, too, fell in love with the idea of cruising around the world via cruise ships and casually photographing the passenger as they enjoy their luxurious vacation.

Well – it’s a whole lot different than I expected. Coming from someone who has 6-months experience; here is my summed up Job Description:

– The hours were longer
– The management was aggressive
– The work wasn’t simply ‘photographing’
– and many more

To be honest, the job title should have read “Cruise Ship Photo Salesman – Little Photography Skill Required”

Yeah, that’s a bit harsh – but it’s the truth.

About 15% of my overall job-role in my 6-month contract was actually taking photographs.

I made this video to make you aware of the position before committing many months of your life to this position – It’s not meant to be negative – it’s made to be straight-forward and honest.

The pros:
Well obviously, there were pros; or I would have walked off the ship and flew myself back home. Traveling was amazing. Seriously. With the little time I had off – I was able to spent it exploring some amazing places in some amazing foreign countries. And for that reason alone is what kept me going. It was the only reason that brought me on to a cruise ship in the 1st place.

You simply have to weight your options – if you, like me, are able to deal with the craziness in order to travel and see the world – then apply! 🙂

I hope this helps someone, somewhere.



Melissa Sanchez says:

wow, bummer

AJamii Wade says:

I’m not sure what cruise ship you were on but I’ve been on 8 with two diff cruise lines and I’ve never been forced to buy any photos. I’ve never been forced or harassed to take any photos! I’ve had opportunities to take pics my way and if they were jacked up we were able to retake along with several other poses! I hate that your situation was rough!! Do you think that’s how it is on all cruise lines or possibly certain cruise lines or even certain ships?? I’ve talked to many workers on ships just not many photographers

9Fifty4Girl says:

It’s a bummer you had such a bad experience.. I’m about to work on a cruise ship in a couple months but I’m in entertainment and I know people who’ve worked in my area and it’s a lot more fun.. Good luck with whatever you do now..

jjuuuhhh says:

Ah man, this wasn’t what I wanted to hear.. I hope to see some more positive video’s about this subject, sad face..

marakima says:

I’ve done 6 contracts as a musician, and agree that the photographers in general don’t look happy… in fact, the only reasonable jobs on ships for non-officers seem to be in entertainment. But, as you note, whether ships are worthwhile depends also on where you are from, as most crew are from countries with difficult economies. Most photographers seem to be from eastern European countries.

Suge212 says:

After watching many videos about cruise ships, I don’t think I could go on a cruise knowing that I’m being catered to by modern day slaves.

Teller Smoke says:

Great video, full of information. You are charismatic personable fellow. My question to you is, why would a photographer of your aptitude work on a cruise ship? But seriously, I’ve watched your video a few times. You are super passionate about what you do. It kinda seems like you sold your soul for just a few hours at a new destination… Is that really traveling? I am a financially poor musician myself. Though when I travel to a new country, I live there for 3 to 4 months. This is just about as long as your contract at sea. So I guess the only thing I have to say is (since the youtubes eventually led me to your video 😉 Is that you should advocate the photography that you are passionate about. Not the follies of a cruise ship photographer. Let them make their own mistakes such as you have. I enjoyed your video, though it does sound like it should be left to the “point and click” want to be photographers that we both know are out there. All the best to you!

Josh Woodcock says:

I worked as a photog on ships about 5 years ago, it sounds much the same…… im much happier now in entertainment

muzammil shaikh says:

hi Brock.
muzammil Shaikh here.
so happy to get a handful information and perfect insight about the Life of Photographer on Cruise Lines. A-Z . am bit scared now. lol.
I am About to join as Image Creator in Photography dep for Holland America Line by 13th May. Ms Koningsdam.
it’s going to be first time on cruise.
where can I get your email ID or fb link to get more details help assistance from you.
Please it will of great help n kind.
do let me know.
I M preparing hard.
regards. my insta ID is un_known_errorr do ping me.

Frank Yang says:

Hi,guys. Thank you for the video. there’re lots of questions want to ask. Now I’m preparing to attend the Image interview…. but not very clean about this position. Such as salary,work time,abilities requirements and the life of career of ship photographer….. may I add you on Facebook ?

Ken Emils says:

i was ship photographer for 2 contract its like a slave factory ,what i hate the most is gangway photo in the morning begging guest to get there picture even if it rain you have to shoot till you get your have to paid $400 for the uniforme which honestly cost like $100 you thing its a good job beacause you travel the world hahahaha in 2 week you start crying.

Edward Cameron says:

Royal Caribbean?

Paula Dew says:

hello, which one software did you need on the work? Photoshop?

Taras Onyshchuk says:

Thank you for posting this video! Your experience and opinion are matching with mine. I’ve worked 6 months in a resort in Mexico and so many things you said are so true. I’ve promised myself I won’t come back to this job ever but actually I need money so I was thinking about joining the cruise. You actually made live again the negative emotions I had by working in that photo company. As you I had some great moments, met cool people and had fun. In my case I had more space to express my creativity and a flexible manager who decided to eliminate restaurant shots cause we were making enough money with photobooks and other shots. As you said it’s up to anyone’s expectations: it might be a good or bad job – it depends the way you see it!

Bradly C says:

I am in med school and am interested in taking a job with a cruise ship. Do doctors get berated too? I cannot imagine that doctors would get yelled at very much. I calculated the difference….and I would get paid only 33% of what a doc on land makes….So I could literally work 2 months and take a 4 month vacation and make the same thing. Please let me know. Thanks

Julia Nufer says:

thank you, I enjoyed your video, i spent 6 years like that, not missing all aspects you mentioned))

Alin Marin says:

Your video is interesting. It is true on some parts! Now it depends on the company, the size of the ship (on smaller ships they work more), the manager (if he is acting manager he has to prove himself), the home port (NY, LA is really hard for photographers). On my first contract on a small ship on CCL was bad at the beginning, but it gets easier. You work 70h a week, mostly 10h a day with a lot of brakes (depending on the day). You create the product and you sell the product! It depends on the manager if you will have a good experience or a bad one! But leaving o a ship for 6-8 months means you will have a lot of training on safety, emergency drills, tests… I guess it depends on the country you live in, on yourself as a person… The experience will change you! But the money you get (not that much), you don’t have to pay for rent or food (not even uniform on CCL)…

Ivanna Mauricio says:

Why I didn’t listen to you before I first embark! 3 contracts already almost quitting…..Is not photography….is Chinese factory. Restaurant shots are the worst!!!!!! And after a while, once you go home is really hard to go back to your style….Drama and crazy hahaha like that part so true. Thanks for your video.

Amber says:

I agree. it is a modern SLAVERY!!! the crew works like dogs…I never been exhausted, humiliated,harassed, starved in my was only when I worked on cruise ship!!!

Aschwin Prein says:

I’ve been working as a cruise ship photog for just over 10 years and I just loved it. Hard work for 12 months before taking 2-3 weeks vacation. Often starting at 5am and finishing around 2:30am. Best job ever! But it is what you make of it!

Ernesto Rodriguez says:

Ship job is not for everybody.

Holman Mesa says:

I really appreciate your honesty… Your experience made me change my mind about application for that kind of job

kieran baldwin says:

what about videographer role does the same apply?

materialkid says:

I used to work for MSC and it’s exaclty how you describe plus the bullshit that came from being an Italian company….

BOKAH says:

SO…I’m a fine art photographer. What you’re basically saying is im going to hate my life. Is it possible for me to carry my second camera (personal) to grab candid shots of my own for my own personal portfolio?

Chris B says:

I only made it 5 months, this was exactly my experience. I hated every second of the job, but I miss the people I worked with.

spiielz lazy says:

hello! may i ask you some question? before you get this job, are you a photographer or the one who like taking photo?

BryanGterrazas says:

hi! Im joining a cruise for the position of videographer. I can’t find anywhere references for this job. Did you know if the treatment is the same? I heard that is not as hard as the photographer position, but Im not sure about that. I like your video, I hope you can answer my question 🙂

saludos desde Perú! 🙂

Suraj Bavda says:

hey thank you soo muchfor your honest review, i just wanted to know if i can do cruise photographer job as a profession for living?

6211albert says:

Hi there

If you do not mind my asking you – what is the photographer salary on a cruise ship ???  Is it a commission ???
If you meet manager expectations (in a sense of number of photos taken and sold) and if you do not meet manager`s requirements ??  What would be a salary for a guy that shoots video  ???  Does he does both shooting and editing or editing is done by the manager ???   Does a videographer deals with photos too or video of the cruise is his only responsibility ??? Thanks in advance

Paula Dew says:

Hello again, which one company did you work?

Giuliano Pieve says:

Thanks for the video, I’m from Brazil and I’m applying to this job on a cruise company… now I’m a bit more nervous about really taking the job, but I guess I’m glad to hear these opinions beforehand.
I have a question though, and I don’t feel like asking the employer lol:
Is is possible to get fired before the end of the contract? What happens if you don’t fulfill their expectations? I mean… would they drop you on the next stop and you take a plane home? hahahah

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