Waitographer: From amateur to Semi-Professional Photographers!

Hilton has partnered with Fred Sirieix to launch 'Waitographer' to help team members capture high-quality photos of guests at its restaurants and bars. Currently, the initiative has seen nearly 200 team members across the UK, and 500 across the globe, trained by professional photographer Roger Moukarzel. 

Initially launched in the UAE and Saudi Arabia at the start of this year, 'Waitographer' invites renowned photographer Roger Moukarzel to train Hilton's waiters and waitresses, from amateur to semi-professional photographers! After completion, team members receive a certificate and a badge so guests can easily identify Waitographers whilst in a Hilton property and request their expert hand to take a photo and capture their special moments. 

'Waitographer' comes as 1.72 trillion photographs are taken annually worldwide, with 50 percent of British people looking to seal their memories with friends and family in a photo. However, nearly two-fifths (38 percent) of pictures captured of loved ones by waiters and waitresses are considered 'bad'.

Hilton's research revealed for nearly a quarter of British people, restaurants were voted the most likely setting to ask someone to help take a group photo (22 percent). The most common photography faux pas included:

  • 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)
  • Taking one picture rather than several to choose from (27 percent).

British people are picture-perfectionists, retaking photos an average of three times to capture the winning shot. However, almost six in ten (59 percent) are still dissatisfied with the final results. A third of the photos filling up their camera rolls are considered sub-standard (28 percent), equating to a massive 140 billion substandard pictures nationwide.

"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!" said Fred Sirieix, TV presenter and former general manager at Galvin at Windows, London Hilton on Park Lane. "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."

"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," added Emma Banks, vice president of F&B strategy & development, Hilton, EMEA. "We look forward to expanding this initiative 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's top photography tips are: 

  1. Get closer instead of zooming in
  2. Catch the right expressions
  3. Clean the lens
  4. Shoot in Burst Mode