Job Description

Your first initial duties will include:

– Setting up studios
– Shooting gangway as guests leave the ship in ports of call.
– Shooting embarkation when new guests board ship on first day of the cruise.
– Most likely dressing up as a pirate (ships in the Caribbean) and posing with guests (loads of fun but hard work!). Different locations will have different costume shoots. I guarantee that this is so much fun that I wanted to do it even when I was a senior!
– Assist ‘smudging’ on gangway (smudging will be explained and trained, basically a firm but polite way to get guests to take photos)
– Shooting dining room tables on formal nights (twice a week)
– Retail sales position in the photo gallery selling albums, frames, folios, cameras etc(you earn individual commission on all sales)
– POS, ringing up all photo sales.

– Earn a minimum US$700 salary as a Junior Photographer 1, plus commission. (increases on promotion and commission)
– Commission is earned by achieving realistic pre determined targets and selling of retail items AND once you complete competencies as a junior photographer.
– Weddings on ships also provides additional income once you get promoted to seniorphotographer.

Selling ability is essential. The better salesman you are the higher your commission will be at the end of the cruise. Do not fret if you think you are not good at it, you will develop as the months go. The hours are generally long, this not your average 9 – 5 job! You could work a couple of hours in the morning, but you always on average work everyday from 5pm – 11pm. This fluctuates from ship to ship. Which ship you start on will all depend on your performance, your motives for doing this job and your profile. It is imperative you understand this is hard work, but its hard work which gets rewarded.


Ship lifestyle is not for everyone. It is an adjustment that not everyone can handle. You need to be prepared for change. You must remember you are living where you work so extra hours should be expected, not very often but when necessary. You will also share a cabin with a colleague. Please look at the video clip showing you how a cabin looks.

Quick tour of a typical cruise ship cabin

You get no day off, but time off. You surprisingly get used to this as the show never stops on a cruise ship. There are facilities and activities for crew when you are not working, or you could visit the port you are visiting which is what most staff do.

After a month though and once you have settled in, its hard not too enjoy your time on ships. You will meet friends from around the world and explore ports you only dream of. You will have enough time off to explore the ports. The most important aspect here is the hunger and desire to work, have the right attitude and you will go far.