Today, Hilton (NYSE: HLT) launches ‘Waitographer’, to help team members capture great photography of guests at its restaurants and bars. Almost 200 team members from hotels across the country, and 500 across the globe, have now been trained by renowned photographer, Roger Moukarzel.
The initiative, which launched in the UAE and Saudi Arabia at the beginning of this year, sees highly acclaimed photographer, Roger Moukarzel, train Hilton’s waiters and waitresses, taking them from amateur to semi-professional photographers! After completion, team members receive a certificate and a badge so that hotel guests can easily identify Waitographers whilst in a Hilton property and can ask for their expert hand to take a photo and ensure special memories are captured perfectly.
‘Waitographer’ comes just in time, as 1.72 trillion* photographs are taken per year across the world, but half of Brits (50%) are looking to take even more snaps to capture special moments with friends and family. However, nearly two fifths (38%) of pictures captured of loved ones by waiters and waitresses are deemed ‘bad’.
The research from Hilton reveals for nearly a quarter of Brits, a restaurant was voted the most likely setting to ask someone to capture a group photo (22%). The most common photography faux pas include cutting people’s heads off (33%), not getting everyone in the picture (32%), poor focus (31%), fingers on the lens (28%) and only taking one snap rather than several so you can pick the best one (27%).
Picture-perfectionist Brits retake photographs an average of three times in an attempt to capture the winning shot, yet nearly six in ten Brits (59%) are still unhappy with the final results. In fact, a third of the photos filling up their camera rolls are sub-standard (28%), equating to an enormous 140 billion** substandard snaps nationwide.
Fred Sirieix, TV presenter and former general manager at Galvin at Windows, London Hilton on Park Lane, said, “Hospitality is all about creating incredible experiences for guests. What a fabulous idea to not only deliver that experience but also help capture it so that it can be cherished forever and shared with your social media followers! I’m thrilled to be working with my old friends at Hilton on ‘Waitographer’ and have seen first-hand the great results from the training. I have no doubt that Waitographers will be a huge hit with guests.”
Emma Banks, vice president of F&B strategy & development, Hilton, EMEA, said, “We have all felt that disappointment of seeing what could have been an amazing picture ruined by bad photography skills, so we’re pleased to provide the answer! Whether you are visiting our hotels for a stay or just a meal, we want the great memories to last beyond just that moment and stay with our guests forever, and we know a great photo can create that lasting memory. After a successful launch in the Middle East earlier this year, we are delighted to debut ‘Waitographer’ in the UK. We look forward to expanding this initiative even further to help combat badly taken photos on a global scale, so that diners and guests can rest assured that their memories will be perfectly captured at Hilton!”
Photographer Roger Moukarzel shares some of his top tips that he used to train Hilton team members to capture picture perfect photos:
- Get closer instead of zooming in: Avoid blurry or pixelated images by stepping away from the zoom button and stepping towards the people you’re taking a picture of
- Catch the right expressions: It is your job to capture the perfect moment – chat with the people you’re photographing, make them smile or laugh
- Clean the lens: Even the tiniest spec of dirt can impact the quality of the final picture. Use a soft fabric or cloth, rough fabrics will impact the picture quality
- Shoot in Burst Mode: If you don’t want to miss a moment, why not take multiple shots at once? Simply touch and hold the shutter button down, to stop, just release – it’s a great way to ensure there is at least one picture everyone loves
To find out more about ‘Waitographer’ join the conversation at @tasteofhilton