Hilton introduces ‘Waitographer,’ a tool to assist team members (waiters and waitresses) in capturing great photography of guests at its restaurants and bars. Roger Moukarzel, a renowned photographer, has now trained nearly 200 team members from hotels across the country and 500 from around the world.
The initiative, which began in the UAE and Saudi Arabia earlier this year, sees highly acclaimed photographer Roger Moukarzel train Hilton’s waiters and waitresses, progressing them from amateur to semi-professional photographers! Following completion, team members are given a certificate and a badge, which allows hotel guests to identify Waitographers. So, while staying at a Hilton property, they can ask their expert photographer to take a photo to ensure that special memories are perfectly captured.
Why we need waitographers?
‘Waitographer’ arrives just in time, as 1.72 trillion* photographs are taken worldwide each year, but half of British people (50 percent) want to take even more photos to capture special moments with friends and family. However, nearly two-fifths (38%) of photographs taken of loved ones by waiters and waitresses are deemed ‘bad.’
According to Hilton research, a restaurant is the most likely location for nearly a quarter of British people to ask someone to take a group photo (22 percent ). Cutting people’s heads off (33 percent), not getting everyone in the picture (32 percent), poor focus (31 percent), fingers on the lens (28 percent), and only taking one shot rather than several so you can pick the best one are the most common photography faux pas (27 percent ).
Picture-perfectionist Brits retake photographs an average of three times in order to capture the winning shot, but nearly six in ten (59%) are still dissatisfied with the final results. In fact, one-third of the photos on their camera rolls are subpar (28%), amounting to an enormous 140 billion** subpar snaps.
“Hospitality is all about creating incredible experiences for guests,” said Fred Sirieix, TV presenter and former general manager at Galvin at Windows, London Hilton on Park Lane. What a brilliant idea to not only provide that experience, but also to assist in capturing it so that it can be cherished forever and shared with your social media followers! I’m excited to be working with my old friends at Hilton on ‘Waitographer,’ and I’ve seen firsthand how effective the training has been. Waitographers will undoubtedly be a big hit with the guests.”
“We’ve all felt the disappointment of seeing what could have been an amazing picture ruined by bad photography skills,” said Emma Banks, vice president of F&B strategy & development, Hilton, EMEA. We want great memories to last beyond just that moment and stay with our guests forever, and we know a great photo can help create that lasting memory. After a successful launch in the Middle East earlier this year, we are thrilled to bring ‘Waitographer’ to 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!”
Tips for Waitographers on Getting the Perfect Shot
Photographer Roger Moukarzel shares some of his best tips for training Hilton team members to take picture-perfect photos:
1) Move closer instead of zooming in: Avoid blurry or pixelated images by moving away from the zoom button and closer to the people you’re photographing.
2) Capture the right expressions: It is your responsibility to capture the perfect moment – interact with the people you are photographing, make them smile or laugh.
3) Clean the lens: Even the smallest spec of dirt can have an impact on the final image quality. Use a soft fabric or cloth; rough fabrics will degrade image quality.
4) Use Burst Mode: If you don’t want to miss a shot, why not take several at once? Simply press and hold the shutter button down; to stop, simply release – it’s a great way to ensure that everyone likes at least one picture.