Holiday snaps. Snippets of experience. Souvenirs. Keepsakes. Momentos.
Making an album. A record. Telling a story. A story of a place and my experience in it.
All around us, wherever we go, people are snapping and whirring. Catching the moment. Seizing the (holiday) day. Those of us who work in cultural tourism or visitor experience at heritage and natural sites have got to be interested.
Watching photographers tells us what they are interested in. What they notice. What they want to take home with them. Maybe it does it better than the answers to our carefully constructed questions when we accost them with a clipboard.
A common question when I am talking about visitor segments and what different types of people want from a visit to a heritage or wildlife site is “What about photographers? They seem like a special group.’. And so they do. The correct, i.e. straight from the market researchers’ mouths, answer to the question is that no, they are not a segment because they have different motivations for taking pictures. Interesting.
I have spent the summer watching people taking photos and I think that’s true. I can spot different groups. Social photographers, intellectual/specialist photographers, seizing the moment photographers, artistic/aesthetic photographers.
Watching visitors in the places they visit is never time wasted.