I've got photos of me back in my teens with a bunch of actors, from before they started doing these pay-for-them things.
Me, too. And free autographs! I can remember my feelings when they started charging for those!
I think photo ops could be see as expoitative, certainly bloody expensive. But then pretty much everything connected with Trek and fandom costs over the odds. I'm glad I was active in fandom in the old days when things weren't so bad.