Are you tired of coming home with the usual smartphone pics and selfies or about having to ask passers-by to take photos of you? Have you experienced that moment when someone asks you for a photo, you take the most perfect shot with the Colosseum in the background but when it comes to your turn, all you get is a blurry close up of your face and cropped out Colosseum? That used to be me, until I started to use Vacation Photographers – the perfect alternative to the selfie!
What is a Vacation Photographer?
A Vacation Photographer is a hired photographer who will take professional photos for an agreed cost for an agreed amount of time. When you book your vacation photographer, there is also a set amount of photos included in the package that you can expect. Sometimes you’ll get the exact amount, sometimes you’ll get more which is a bonus!
Everyone from solo travelers, to families, friends traveling together, and couples can benefit from hiring a vacation photographer while abroad and when you take away the stress of having to take that perfect holiday photo by yourself, and allow a professional to take them for you, it opens up a world of opportunities for fun and creativity. Hiring a vacation photographer for your next holiday destination is the new trend and one I can’t recommend enough having hired one several times this year alone.
Why hire a Vacation Photographer on our next trip?
Long gone are the days when you’d return home from your holidays and create projector slides of the fun pictures you took. These days, vacation pics are uploaded immediately to social media websites such as Facebook and Instagram, Flickr, and Trover to inspire our friends and family (and let’s face it to make them a little jealous too!).
Holidays are supposed to be fun, with time spent with your family, partner or friends. You spend a lot of money on it, spend hours researching the best spots for photographs and all the hidden non-touristy spots only to have one of your family members missing because they are behind the camera, or you reluctantly pass the camera to a passer by and end up with blurry photos or cropped out landmarks.
Most of us are under immense pressure to take high quality photos and capture those special memories, but often the stress of doing so takes away from the vacation spirit. That is why hiring a personal vacation photographer solves this holiday dilemma.
There are a number of reasons why having a professional photographer follow you around and capture those special moments is worth spending the bucks. I’ve ditched the selfie stick and hired holiday photographers numerous times on my trips and I love the experience. So why would you pay for a vacation photographer to take photos of you?
10 Reasons to book a vacation photographer for your next holiday abroad!
1. They are super easy to book
Booking a vacation photographer couldn’t be easier. There are a number of online websites who offer these services (see section below ) and the process couldn’t be easier.
2. Vacation Photographers are affordable
Hiring your own private photographer isn’t as expensive as you may think. Each company offers a number of different packages to suit all budgets with the cheapest package offered by Wanderzoom for 1 hour including 35 photos . Of course, the cheapest package offers the least amount of photos and the shortest photoshoot period.
3. Local photographers know all the best spots!
You’ll save yourself hours of research searching for those off the beaten path spots and iconic views when you hire a professional holiday photographer. As locals they have all the insider knowledge, including the best spots, when the best light will be and how to beat the crowds to create those magical photos without one hundred other tourists in the background.
4. They also speak the local language
Speaking the local lingo can come in very handy when taking photographs. Perhaps they can politely ask people to move aside, provide you with spontaneous props or ask to access spots and places that are closed to the public so you’ll end up with completely unique photos!
5. They make awesome souvenirs!
Having the perfect photograph of your holiday can sometimes be the best souvenir you can ask for. There are no amounts of magnets, shot glasses or postcards that can make up for a photo that can be proudly placed on your coffee table or put on the wall.
6. They are memories that last for a lifetime.
Treasure those special moments such as a surprise engagement, honeymoon, anniversary or annual family holidays. Photos speak a thousand words, so let a professional capture those perfect shots for you so all you have to do is enjoy the moment and look forward to a collection of wonderful photographic memories to look back on.
7. Photoshoots are heaps of fun!
With every photoshoot I’ve booked, I’ve always had a lot of fun. When you ditch the stress of taking the perfect picture and let someone else do the work for you, you can finally enjoy the time and the place your visiting. Not only do you get to hang out with a local (and perhaps gain some great insider tips) but the photos you receive will show the joy and fun you were having instead of the frustration and awkward smiles you have to put on when you have to stand and pose in front of a stranger.
8. Professionals can offer invaluable advice
I will admit, I do not think I am very photogenic and as soon as the camera is pointed at me, I turn into a wobbly awkward mess, pulling strange ugly faces and sticking my butt out in unnatural poses. A professional photographer can offer invaluable advice on how to pose, stand or which direction to look in to get your best side so you end up with natural, candid and beautiful photographs.
9. They have all the professional gear
If you’re like me, you travel with a medicorce camera and your mobile phone which despite being good quality will never offer you the same quality of photos as a professional camera. Vacation photographers often have a backpack full of different lenses, fancy flashes, reflectors and timers that when used correctly can make you look amazing and create some very unique and dramatic photos.
10. Professional, edited (touched up) photographs.
You may have the perfect location, light and moment, but the key to a perfect photo is often the post editing process. Professional photographers not only have the skills to take an awesome photo, but they also have the skills to spend some time editing them after your photoshoot to make sure you look amazing. If you have any body concerns or worries, it can be beneficial to let your photographer know in advance, perhaps they can edit out some of your imperfections (although don’t ask if they can make your butt smaller and your boobs bigger – they can’t and won’t!). Once they have finished editing them, you’ll receive an email with access to an online gallery full of amazing profession photographs!
Which vacation photography company should I use?
There are a number of websites that where you can book a vacation photographer, however every website services different destinations. You’ll find most of the reputable and well known websites feature all the top destinations and cities and come very highly recommended on review sites and social media. Below I have listed a few of my favourites including the ones I have worked with myself over the past year.
1. Localgrapher - My number one choice!
Localgrapher was the first vacation/local photography company I worked with and that is because the company was created by a good friend, Matej Slezak who I met here in Prague. This is my go to vacation photography company whenever I travel. In fact, it was Matej himself who took our engagement and wedding photos!
Matej is a photographer himself and he came up with the idea of localgrapher when he got approached by a group of foreign travelers who wanted to book him for a photo session in Prague, Czech Republic.
Since then the company has grown massively since 2015, and it now offers vacation photography across every continent (except Antarctica) and features many of the most popular cities to visit, with numerous photographers available to choose from.
Packages range from $250 for 30 minutes to $500 for a full 100 minutes. You can also create your own package and tailor make it to suit your requirements.
I have used Wanderzoom twice, both in Rome and in Florence. I loved the simple booking process and the range of photographers available in each destination. This company was recommended to me by a friend and both photoshoot were very fun!
Packages range in price depending on the location. For example in Rome you can expect to pay $225 for an hour, while in Warsaw you pay around $100 for an hour. For this reason, I’d say check the prices first!
Flytographer is another very popular vacation photography service covering many destinations worldwide. They have been featured in the New York Times, Elle, and Condenast Brides for the ultimate honeymoon souvenir.
Packages start at $350 for a 1 hour photoshoot which includes 30 photos (industry standard) and 1-2 photo locations.
4. Shoot My Travel
With over 300 destinations on offer, Shoot My Travel is becoming another highly recommended vacation photography company. They have a specialised proposal package and they promise to deliver the photos within 24-48 hours.
Shoot My travel offer a 1 hour photo package but they offer the least amount of photos (only 15). Prices also vary from destination to destination with packages beginning at $195 for a 1 hour photoshoot.
last on the list but in no way less of a service, Local Lens have been around for a few years and their list of available destinations where you can hire a personal vacation photographer continues to grow.
Again, their packages are dependant on the location (with an average price for a 1 hour photo shoot approx. $200-250).
Other Personal Vacation Photography Services
I would also recommend searching for location specific photographers as well which can often offer a better experience and package. When I returned to Rome for the 3rd time this year in June, I reached out to Rome Vacation Photographers since none of the photography services were available last minute. We had a blast walking around Rome at 6am with Flavi and Oshry, and we got some great photos taken minus the tourists! My favourite photo is below!
I did the same in St Lucia this year in May. Only this time I searched for vacation photographers in St Lucia on Instagram. I found Jelani who is a wedding photographer in St Lucia and I got around 80 photos for $300. So sometimes looking outside of the services mentioned above pays off 😉