Camp NaNoWriMo, Can We Talk?

Would You Do It?

Whenever you go cruising, one of the things the cruise lines do is take your picture.

They take your picture whenever you disembark at a destination, usually with someone dressed up to represent that country’s culture. Or it could be with the cruise mascot. Or something as simple as a sign depicting where you are in that given moment.

Photographers also take your picture when you’re at dinner. Our last cruise, the first night at dinner, a person dressed up as a pirate ran around the various tables and pretended to hold a cardboard knife to your throat.

Photographers are stationed throughout the ship to take your picture on formal night, or any night really.

The point being, the cruise line is giving you another opportunity to take a piece of your vacation home with you by offering to take your picture.

You can buy a photography package before you even go onto the boat. You get so many of this size, so many of this size, etc.

The photos are usually decent and always available throughout your cruise to buy, if you so wish.

The cruise lines have a photography section on the ship where you can browse through the photos at your leisure. They usually categorize them by event, “First night in the Golden Dining Room.” “First formal night” and so on. They do this so if you know your picture was taken at that event you’ll be able to find your picture.

We have gotten some pretty decent pictures of ourselves this way. The photos are expensive but you can justify it by classifying it as one of your souvenirs from the trip.

Kevin and I did have our picture taken the first formal night of our last cruise. The pictures were decent but unfortunately, we picked a background of colored dots and it just looked too busy and we didn’t buy any.

It was disappointing but as with any photo, you run the risk of them not turning out – it is what it is.

After reviewing your pictures, you have the option of discarding them in a recycle bin. That way, the photographers know you’re not interested and you’ve cleared some space for some other people’s pictures.

This is a standard service on all cruise lines.

By the end of the cruise, everyone who is interested, starts crowding around the photo galley to check one last time on their pictures. Because if you opt not to buy any pictures, they are thrown away and lost forever. To my knowledge, there is not an opportunity to see, or buy, any pictures after the cruise is over.

The last day of our last cruise was an at sea day. Kevin and I went to the library and were playing Scrabble when we started noticing people coming in with stacks of pictures. One group was laying all of their pictures out on the tables in the library and sorting through them. We knew, hearing their conversation, that they had bought the photo package and were trying to pick out the pictures they wanted to keep.

After a while, smaller groups of people started coming in with stacks of pictures as well. Only, they weren’t laying them out to look at, they were trying to find a secluded area to lay out their pictures and then take pictures of them with their cameras.

It got to the point about four or five couples were doing it.

It started with one couple – she would lay the pictures on the floor under a table, and then she would lean over and start taking pictures of them with her phone. She would then look around to see if anyone from the photo galley was around and then take several more pictures. The photo galley was right outside the library.

Another couple would come in, see what the first couple was doing, figured it was okay for THEM to do it and would start taking pictures with their phones.

After a while, so many people were doing it, Kevin and I simply stopped playing out game and started watching with our mouths hanging open.┬áIt was amazing to just see people’s audacity – to openly steal and not give a shit who saw them.

Kevin actually got up at one point to try and find a photo galley employee but there was no one around, which was part of the problem, I suppose.

I’m not talking about taking one or two pictures, people, I’m talking STACKS of photos. Like, these people took every opportunity to have their picture taken while on the cruise, with no intention of buying any of them because they had every intention to steal them after the cruise was over.

And yes, they STOLE those pictures.

Would it have been stealing if people had simply used the backdrops that were put out in preparation for the photographers to use but they weren’t there to take the pictures? I don’t think so. You’re not abusing someone’s time or using his/her expertise. You’re simply using something that is already there, using your camera and taking a picture of yourself.

Taking pictures of pictures is the same thing as downloading someone else’s music for free. You know you should pay the creator but if you can get it for free, why not?

Remember how much trouble Napster got into? Same principle applies here.

Kevin and I talked about it at length afterward. Is it stealing if you’re taking pictures of pictures of yourself? After all, you’re the subject. And the pictures are so expensive … you’re just taking what is yours, right?

Wrong. The cruise line has hired photographers to take your picture. You have wasted their time and abused their expertise. Will the photographers get paid regardless? Probably, since they are likely employed by the cruise lines, but have you stopped and considered WHY the photos are so expensive?

They’re most likely expensive because assholes like those on our cruise STEAL them. The cruise line has to recoup the losses somehow. Nothing is free, people. NOTHING.

Kevin and I went so far as to alert the cruise line that was happening on our after cruise survey. The cruise line probably already knows that is happening and if that is the case, they need to take steps to prevent that from happening in the future. Instead of putting those pictures out for anyone to grab, they need to digitize them. If you wan your pictures, then here is a disc of them for such-and-such price. I believe Disney cruise lines already does this.

Would Kevin and I be tempted to take a picture of a picture we really liked of us. Sure. We’re human after all. But would we? Probably not. We would feel too guilty because no matter how much you sugar coat it, it’s stealing.

Not only were we shocked by what happened, literally right in front of us, but we were shocked by HOW MANY couples did it. It was like it was no big deal, everyone else is doing it so what’s the problem? Kevin did end up taking a picture of the initial couple that started the whole thing. I don’t know why, it’s not like the cruise line would have asked for photo evidence or had done anything to the people if they did ask for it, but we have a visual reminder of how people just don’t have any morals anymore. We live in a society where it’s all about me and screw you. It’s so sad.

I remember feeling SO ANGRY when those people started doing that. I was angry for like hours. It’s one thing to talk about people doing things like this, reading about it, hearing it the news, but to witness it? It’s shocking and terribly disappointing. I feel like people just don’t have values anymore and it infuriates me and saddens me at the same time.

This sort of behavior is the reason why our world is in the shape it’s in today, people.

Think about that for a minute.

Post Three