Can I Use My Own Photographer?


From time to time, we receive requests from gondola clients to bring their own photographers to take photos of their special occasion from the shore.  Sometimes these photographers are friends or family members, and sometimes they are professional companies.  This is often followed by numerous calls and/or emails from the clients, friends, family members, or the photographers asking us to pinpoint the specific time and location when a bottle drop will happen, when a proposal will happen, or when the gondola will pass by a landmark or bridge.

Unfortunately, this information is very difficult for us to provide, for several reasons:

  • Not all clients arrive on time
  • Not all gondolas travel at the same speed
  • Our cruises vary from one hour to two hours, depending on cruise type
  • Wind and current impact not only speed, but also routing and bottle message location
  • Other factors can impact routing and bottle message location, such as the other gondolas, pedal boats, and SUP traffic on the waterway, weed and other growth under the water, special events on the lake, etc.
  • If the cruise included food service, we can't always predict the serving time from the restaurant

All of these factors combine to make it nearly impossible for us to provide detailed information to independent photographers about how best to capture images of special occasions.  Furthermore, our phone and sales staff are not equipped to answer such questions.

We do offer professional photography services in our Irving location.  The photographers have been trained and regularly interface with the gondoliers to capture special moments.  However, we don’t have the time or ability to replicate this training with friends, family and outside photographers who will only be doing one photo shoot for one customer.

Clients are always welcome to have someone along the canals to attempt to capture photos, but not only can we not guarantee a time and location where specific events will happen, but we cannot even give a 100% guarantee that the gondolier will enter the canals (sometimes the wind and weather prohibit canal cruising).  Most importantly, our focus is to provide a gondola cruise, and we must emphasize to guests providing their own photography that we cannot be responsible for any outside photographer’s inability to capture great images.

The only suggestion we can make is to have your friends or photographers be at the dock location from which you sail (hiding somehow), and follow the boat.  Our typical route is a one-way loop though the canals and the lake.  Perhaps you can communicate with your land-based photographer via text during the cruise to advise them of important happenings.

Thank you for your understanding.