The Ship's Photographer Reviews
60% would recommend to a friend
(23 total reviews)
100% approve of CEO
What are your colleagues talking about?
Top Review Highlights by Sentiment
Excerpts from user reviews, not authored by Glassdoor
- "Meet amazing people and gain lifelong friendships" (in 5 reviews)
- "teams and people you meet along the way are a great way for networking" (in 3 reviews)
- "Longer hours than you can imagine and terrible pay." (in 5 reviews)
- "Long hours, no full days off so your 6 month contract is 6 months of non stop work." (in 3 reviews)
- "I did find on one of my trips that the manager was incredibly stressed which meant that pressure was passed down to the togs." (in 3 reviews)
- "Some days can be long hours and it is hard work, you have to be prepared to work and i think some people forget its not a vacation (but thats just the nature of the cruise industry in general with other departments being worse off)" (in 3 reviews)
Found 23 of over 42 reviews
Updated 21 Apr 2023
- Most Recent
- Highest Rating
- Lowest Rating
- 5.04 Mar 2022PhotographerCurrent Employee, more than 3 yearsLondon, England
Global travel, meeting and living with new and fun people, an insight into the sales of photography
No cons really, just a strenuous thing if you can't commit to long contracts at sea
- 1.030 Jun 2016On Board PhotographerFormer Employee, more than 1 year
Get to see some amazing places Learn lots and meet great people
Work ridiculous hours for a ridiculously tiny wage for the amount of work you do. Not respected by head office and senior management at all. Very high turnover of staff because of the amount of work expected from you in relation to pay. Constantly enforcing new ways of doing things before sorting out any issues beforehand and if you don't meet targets then you get the blame, they don't look at the whole picture, just sit back in southampton leaving you to sort it all out and demanding unrealistic orders. No appreciation when we do well and meet our targets. The commission scheme is a joke. Oh and the uniform is completely impractical and actually hurts to wear because even though they're expecting you to work 12 hours a day 7 days a week the shoes they make you wear rip your feet to shreds!!4
- 4.04 May 2020PhotographerCurrent EmployeeHalifax, England
Supportive team and great opportunities to develop portrait skills, especially with flash and studio equipment. While some of the work is slightly formulaic to meet guests expectations, you are encouraged to be as creative as you can in private shoots. Also, most days in port can be spent onshore which is a massive bonus.
The schedule doesn't allow for full days off but this doesn't really matter when you can spend most of so many days exploring new places. There is a lot of emphasis on selling and targets which I wasn't really prepared for (but in the tourist industry I'm not sure what I expected)The Ship's Photographer Response4y
Thank you for the review. Thank you for pointing out about the sales and targets that are a key part of the job. We get to take a lot of photographs on board, but probably spend more time in the Photo Gallery selling the images or around the ship obtaining bookings for private photo shoots. With the information about joining a ship we know there is so much to take in. It's not just a new job, but also a completely new lifestyle in a completely different environment. It's difficult to illustrate just how different it is. There's certainly a lot of detail to pass on about everything that needs to be arranged as well. There are travel visas and documents, understanding what ship life is like and also explaining what the day to day is like with the job. We update our documentation every few years and go out to the teams on board to ask what they feel can be improved on so that we can in turn update our joining information.
- 2.016 Aug 2018Anonymous EmployeeFormer Employee
*Get to travel the world *Meet amazing people and gain lifelong friendships *The job has some fun qualities... sometimes
*The job is extremely repetative and mundane *Work hours are ridiculous (this is made obvious by the need to clock in and out to avoid working over legal hours) *Not enough time off, no days off at all (you can work a 6 month contract with less than an accumalative 1 week off) *Salary is better than it was, but still quite low *Commision is unreachable, and in most cases is replaced by an extremely useless and condescending 'points' system *The crew facilites on ships varies greatly, you can be very lucky with some ships and others can be terrible2The Ship's Photographer Response4y
We've made a lot of improvements since you have written your review. We listen to feedback and have made the following improvements - The main part of the job role is to engage with guests and to undertake private photoshoots. These are all bespoke and ensuring everyone stays creative in their work. - We recognise that working hours can be long in some circumstances, so have been working with managers to ensure smart and flexible working hours are adapted across the board. Clocking in and out is an international seafarers regulation and will take place on every ship in the world. - We have improved the commission scheme so that both team and individual performance is recognised. A team bonus is awarded if cruise targets are met and independently of this commission can be earned by individuals regardless of whether cruise targets are met. We've done this because we do listen to feedback. We care about our teams and while it may appear that some changes take time to happen, we are constantly working on how to improve the Company for everyone.
- 1.020 Aug 2017PhotographerFormer Employee, more than 1 yearSouthampton, England
Travel and see the world Meet good people that work on board.
Pay is ridiculously low. Commission is promised but you never see any commission. Instead of commission they give you a different incentive that is very degrading you get points to buy things in shop such as crew shirts or jackets. The company is not professional they can't afford to get better equipment , they over work their employees and expect the employees to be happy all the time. The passengers treat you like you are a nothing. management is a joke The manager doesn't fight for the team. Manager throws you right underneath bus. To be honest they're trying to polish a turd. No Growth No Good experience No Hope for this company I highly recommend not for working for this company4The Ship's Photographer Response4y
Thank you for the review and I'm sorry to hear you feel so negatively about the company. I'd contest that passengers 'treat you like nothing'. Yes there are many guests that don't choose to use our services or purchase our products. That is the same for any business. However, there are many guests that write such nice comments as part of the ship wide recognition scheme and photography is over represented here for a relatively small department. So often I hear comments back that one of the team has made a guests holiday so much more special and that is over and above the comments we receive back from the many wedding couples we have the honour to photograph and be part of their special day. We've spent a lot of time investing time and effort into improving our HR processes so that on board management have the training and resources needed to support their teams better. We've also spent the necessary time to look at internal communications and staff rewards to improve the company culture. A business that operates a head office ashore and ships out at sea will always have it's unique challenges around communications and we are always looking at ways to improve this, to avoid anyone else feeling they were just an employee rather than the individual we know you are.
- 5.020 Apr 2020Senior PhotographerCurrent Employee, less than 1 year
Learn everyday Meet new people Make new friends Travel Free accommodation Free meals What's not to love If you have a good team it makes life a whole lot better onboard. As long as you have a good team this jobs a dream. Because remember you will be working with these people like 10 hours a day and then after work if you want nat a social life.
Room sharing Can be long hours Management onboard can be confusing as they change frequently. Being away so long from homeThe Ship's Photographer Response4y
Thank you for the review. Yes, there are many great pros in working on a cruise ship. There is a big cultural melting pot where you live and work alongside people that you wouldn't have necessarily encountered in other lines of work. It's the diversity of nationalities, cultures and personalities that ensures life long friends are made from across the globe while working on board. It's true that sharing a small cabin with someone you've never met before can be a challenge for some people. However, there's not much time spent in the cabin as ship's are social environments with great facilities and when in port it's better to be out and about exploring and photographing the amazing destinations visited. I think we can all appreciate that even more during this period of lock down and restricted travel. One of the unique aspects of working on board is the Tour of Duty, where you live and work on board for six to eight months and then take all your weekends at once as a period of leave off the ship. This means our rotations planning has to be constantly looking at who will cover or replace the incumbent manager on board. Naturally this does lead to changes. We try and standardise as best we can but different managers will always have different personalities and ways of working. I'm concerned that your advice to management is about how to treat others and give respect. It's important to me that these two core attributes are something that goes without saying across the company. If you have any specific comments you would like to raise, please use the contact details in our open door policy to speak to either the HR manager or the appropriate line manager.
- 5.019 Jul 2020PhotographerCurrent Employee, more than 1 yearSouthampton, England
- Get to see the world, i was lucky enough to get on a world cruise and a South America cruise and the office are very fair in accommodating your needs. If you have a specific ship or itinerary then Nadine tries her best to get you were you want to be. - Have the most amazing experiences with everyday being different. - You don't need to be the best photographer to do this job as training is carried out on bored regularly. In my case the manager did regular training sessions which are quite laid back and interactive. - You get a fair salary with the added bonus of private shoots and commission and cruise target commission (the more effort you put in the more you make). You don't pay for accommodation or food on board so thats good. - You get most ports off to be able to explore ... depending on the manager (most photo managers in the company are very fair and nice though) - The people you meet on ships are friends for life, i've met so many amazing people in the cruise industry - The company listen to things you have to say, you do regular feedback on your managers and you are made to feel important in the company, rather than just a number. I've been to meetings at the office with shoreside managers and they ask all employees on what can be done to improve life onboard and the business in general.
- Some days can be long hours and it is hard work, you have to be prepared to work and i think some people forget its not a vacation (but thats just the nature of the cruise industry in general with other departments being worse off) - Ship life in general can be a little difficult, its not everyones cup of tea ... i however love it, can't wait to get back to work and love the ship life experience - The job can be quite sales orientated which a few other photographers complain about, quite long hours can be spent in the gallery trying to sell things/up sell which for me in fine as i don't mind the gallery time - Most of these comments are about ships in general rather than the company itself, also all ships are different with different rules and officers enforcing different rules.1
- 4.023 Dec 2018PhotographerFormer Employee, more than 1 yearSouthampton, England
You get to travel the world, on a 4-5 Star cruise ship. Being delivered to beautiful places around the world. You get to mix with a diverse range of people which helps build character and self awareness. If you enjoy landscape photography, portraits and weddings then its a great way to improve on your skills ,however port time will of course vary depending on the needs of the business. Food onboard if your on P&O is great - Cunard you have to eat in the mess (unless your a manager) in which case you get access to the wardroom and can get a better menu selection. Seeing the world opens up so many doors and makes you appreciate every opportunity. Great to see the other roles within the ships environment (could lead to a career in a different department) Electro, Chef, Bridge Officer, Hotel department, Entertainment, shops etc.. Giving presentations is often a party of the job which I was very nervous about at the time, but thinking back this played its part in helping to make me a better public speaker (tons of character building)
Costs involved for the US visa C1/D, equipment (flash), Suits and smart clothing. Diversity can sometimes work against you if you've got a very mixed team, cultures languages can clash and its important that people get on as you work so closely and for such long periods. I did find on one of my trips that the manager was incredibly stressed which meant that pressure was passed down to the togs. The office put a fair bit of pressure on managers when sales aren't going particularly well. The margin TSP get is low so don't expect to be paid a great deal. Cabins on Cunard were incredible small and cramped but enough that you don't want to be in there for longer than needed. If you have dietary requirements or are sensitive to certain foods its not always easy to get a great selection of food in a quick time frame.The Ship's Photographer Response4y
Thank you for the detailed review. We've changed a couple of things since you have been on board to improve the Company. On P&O Cruises we supply all the uniform and there is now no requirement to purchase the flash or smart clothing. We work in a retail environment so there are targets that are set in conjunction with the cruise lines to grow the business. These targets are based on the investment and new initiatives we introduce each year to improve the products and services we offer on board. We've also introduced a different bonus system to help reward teams and individuals who do reach the various targets set. Our approach with the on board Managers is to support them in their work in order to meet and exceed the targets in place. This should not come across as pressure as the discussions are around the measuring of performance to see where successes are and to share that with team members.
The Ship's Photographer Reviews FAQs
The Ship's Photographer has an overall rating of 3.9 out of 5, based on over 42 reviews left anonymously by employees. 60% of employees would recommend working at The Ship's Photographer to a friend and 65% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has decreased by -7% over the last 12 months.
60% of The Ship's Photographer employees would recommend working there to a friend based on Glassdoor reviews. Employees also rated The Ship's Photographer 3.3 out of 5 for work life balance, 4.1 for culture and values and 4.0 for career opportunities.