We have had both good and bad experiences with photographers. Most of our formal pictures have been taken on cruises -- we never dress up at home like we have for formal nights, so those pictures are special to us. I rarely like any pictures of myself, but we have found patient photographers on some cruises who are very good at what they do, and thus produce a good result. We also have photos of tablemates that have become fast friends during the cruise that were taken by cruise photographers. The only way to get everyone in the same picture at the same time is to have a staff photographer take the picture.
But those pictures at embarkation and disembarkation are usually a waste. Once we have explained to folks in front of us that we don't want a photo, we have found that they have no problem letting us get by. In fact, there is often a chain reaction as others realize they are not obliged to wait and they join us in bypassing the photo.
By the way, have you ever noticed how truly awful many embarkation pictures are? Many, if not most, passengers have just completed a tiring trip -- sometimes cross-country or even transoceanic -- in the hands of our airline friends. And then after checking in their luggage and themselves, they've been searched one more time to get on the ship. To top it all off, a photographer at the top of a long ramp tells them to drop everything and Smile! When they are displayed, take a good look at those first pictures on your next cruise and compare them with pictures of the same people after 1 or 2 days at sea, and you will see why we all love to cruise.
Back to the gripe at hand, as long as there is not much of a delay and/or we can bypass the photographer with a quick "No thanks," I don't have much of a problem. But holding up the line more than 5 or 10 minutes is uncalled for. Staff photographers, be warned!!