Hilton hotels now employ 'Waitographers' to shoot your dinner selfies for you

Hilton. hotels employ Waitographer training for staff to take photos for guests
(Image credit: Hilton)

If you find yourself out for a meal with the family for a special occasion, of course you'll want to grab a group photo while everyone is together, and it's no secret that some people really can't take a clear photo, even when using a basic smartphone. This is where Hilton's newly trained Waitographers can come in useful. 

Group selfies can actually be a tricky thing to organize in most settings, deciding who will take the photo, who has the best camera phone or the one with the widest lens… and more often than not, there'll still be a thumb in the bottom corner of the image, and maybe a little blur from holding the phone at an absurd angle. 

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Hilton Hotels has identified this group selfie problem, and has decided to certify its team of waiters and staff as smartphone photographers, providing extensive and official training by renowned photographer, Roger Moukerzal, to ensure that its guests have an exceptional dining experience.

These staff are now being referred to as what Hilton is calling Waitographers, and will be around to offer smartphone photography assistance at all times during your evening meal, at participating Hilton hotels. 

"We want to make sure that every memory at Hilton lives on forever and so we’re launching a new first – the Waitographer," says Hilton. "New, unforgettable memories are waiting for you at Hilton, and so are our certified Waitographers… When you want to capture the moment perfectly, it matters where you stay!" 

While the Hilton chain of hotels are certainly known for being very high class and fancy (and expensive!), this latest advertising campaign oozes privilege, whether intentionally or not, and is portraying through subtleties in its promotion that only a certain type of higher class individual could be a guest at the Hilton. 

The video (above) almost makes you feel sorry for the waiter dealing with unpleasant and entitled diners, and many have pointed out that the overall marketing of the recent Waitographers initiative could be sending the wrong message by implying that only those who can afford to dine at the Hilton deserve great images.

It's pretty admirable that Hilton employed the help of a professional photographer such as Roger Moukarzel to train staff on phone photography practice, as opposed to just expecting them to improve their skills via their own methods as a job requirement. We suspect other restaurant chains may eventually follow in the footsteps of this approach, and expect their waiters to be able to snap decent phone photographs as a way to promote better customer service.

But, isn't it a little entitled for someone to expect an on-demand photographer at the snap of a finger to capture their evening? Surely waiters and service staff have enough on their plate (pun intended) as it is doing other elements of their jobs without having to please influencers, when really it should be the person's own responsibility to snap group and solo selfies? 

This certainly says a lot about the reliance society has put on quality photography required at a moment's notice, that it is now even being considered as a requirement for service hosts to be able to supply smartphone photography to guests on top of having to do their usual jobs.

Everyday photography, including self-portraiture, can now be captured accurately with smartphones, though this may have the alternate effect of reinforcing the need for clients to pay professional photographers for their services, if people and influencers are desiring the top quality standards that a smartphone can't achieve. 

What do you think as a photographer? Is this idea from Hilton great for business, or in poor taste? Let us know!

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.