As a guide and someone who teaches underwater photography within the tourist industry I have found the idea of a photoguide invaluable. If I am guiding a group with photographers included I have found that generally the photographers are happy to poodle along at their own pace. I would still feel it was appropriate that the guide checks out the divers on their first dive or so to ensure safety and respect to the environment. I have found that guides that insist that people in their group follow two by two in an orderly fashion are simply not confident in their own abilities to assess whether someone can dive independently of the group. The guides inability to do their job properly should not dictate whether someone has an enjoyable experience or not. As for the centre operators that have endorsed this follow my leader style of guiding, I say to you, employ good instructors and guides. Encourage adequate site briefings and responsible practices and offer photo guides at reasonable rates to those who need them. Remember that your customers will return if they are treated well and enjoy their underwater experience. I hate being herded around like cattle.
My tip to photographers is simple. Show the guide and operator that you are a responsible diver, willing to take care of yourself, your buddy and the environment and they should be quite happy to let you do your own thing and move at your own pace. This is the secret of achieving the ideal shot and the perfect dive holiday. Or pay a little extra to an operation that uses photoguides and understands that we do not all need to be treated like cattle!