Have you packed a vacation photographer for your next holiday?


Photo of Have you packed a vacation photographer for your next holiday? 1/7 by Diksha Sahni Ghosh

Credit: Tom for Flytographer in Bangkok

Tickets? Check

Passport? Check

Hotel reservation? Check

Personal photographer? ....

Did I say your very own personal photographer? For a vacation? Yes, you read that right. More and more people today are choosing to hire a vacation photographer for their holidays. Once seen as a luxury, it is now becoming a new trend for holiday-makers across the world. And travelers are happy to jump on this trend, lapping up the opportunity to document their best moments while exploring a new city.

Recognizing this trend, many start-ups and photographers have started offering services where you can hire a local photographer in the city where you are holidaying and choose a photo session depending on the budget and time at hand.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider hiring a vacation photographer:

Photo of Have you packed a vacation photographer for your next holiday? 2/7 by Diksha Sahni Ghosh

Credit: Photographers Elena Pasca and Radu Voinea for Tripshooter

Because it’s your vacation 

How many times has it happened that you have returned from an awesome holiday, which you can’t wait to show off to your friends? You’ve got it all – the beach, the mountains, even the fancy meal ready to be Instagrammed. But there’s one thing missing in most of them – you!

A vacation photographer allows you to enjoy your holiday, without the stress of capturing photos so that you don’t have to be the missing from your pictures. “We believe people (particularly couples, and families) are hiring photographers while travelling to capture the genuine excitement of their adventure, without having one member of the group stuck behind the lens,” says Brooke Genn, one half of The Nomadic Newlyweds, a travel blog chronicling the adventures of newly married couple Wilhelm and Brooke.

For couples, or even families, travelling together, it can be quite awkward to interrupt someone on the street to take a picture for you. And when you do manage to ask someone to take your pictures, it would be blurry, or worse, your head cut off! Not to forget the awkward poses you end up with when you ask a stranger to take your picture!

This need for having natural photos prompted Jade Riviére to start Tripshooter, a premium vacation photography specialist in Europe. “We are both avid photographers and love to take lots of photos wherever we go. We were travelling in Brazil a few years ago, all our equipment in tow, when we realized that for all our love of photography, we were going to come home with no natural photos of the two of us! When we realized that even photographers could miss out on having photos of themselves while travelling, we wanted to make it possible for anyone to come home with beautiful photos of themselves”, says Jade.

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Credit: Roland for Flytographer in Vienna 

Because selfies just don’t make the cut!

Call me old fashioned, or what, but a selfie for me just doesn’t make the cut. I can’t remember the times when I have forgotten my camera and ended up annoyed because I have had to manage with a selfie. The poses are awkward, you look unflattering, you can’t get a good frame... my complaints against selfie are too many.

And this is where vacation photographers step in.

“People realize that some trips deserve more than selfies. It's hard to get beautiful photos together when travelling. You have to take turns being in the photo, ask a stranger, take selfies, or lug a tripod. The results can be images that are blurry, awkward and not worthy of how special the moment is. Often, we return from these special trips in amazing places with no decent photos together or worse, missing entirely from all the shots,” says Nicole Smith, founder of Flytographer, a popular vacation photography company with photographers in over 100 cities.

Another reason to choose a professional photographer over selfies is because of the quality of pictures. “Selfies are really quite limited when it comes down to it - they're very disposable. Often they're not very good quality, the poses you can do in a selfie are restricted, and they're not very authentic. Even if you get a good one, and you did want to blow it up and put them on your wall, you'd hit quality restrictions after a while,” says Jade from Tripshooter.

Photo of Have you packed a vacation photographer for your next holiday? 4/7 by Diksha Sahni Ghosh

Credit: Nerijus from [K] Photography/Shannon Falzon

Because it’s all about the memories

Special moments such as wedding jubilees, milestone birthdays, proposals etc., are cherished for a long time, and a vacation photographer on these occasions make sure that a special vacation for these events leave an imprint forever.

Shannon Falzon, founder at The Traveling Scholar, shared why she chose a vacation photographer recently: “I recently visited Ireland with my family to celebrate a milestone birthday for my father. While I travel frequently, this was the first international family trip that we had ever been on together and I knew that I wanted to commemorate it in a special way. I've hired a vacation photographer in the past (for my first wedding anniversary in St. John, USVI), and thought vacation photography may be a great way to capture some special experiences as a family.” She hired a photographer based in Killarney in Ireland who captured some shots of the family on a horseback ride. “For special getaways, I think vacation photographers add an incredibly special layer and provide the ultimate souvenirs for families, couples or friends. Yes, I can take photos on my own, and sure, I can snap a selfie and post it, but having professional quality photos to capture a special vacation or bucket list trip is something that can't be replicated and never goes out of style...To be able to leave a destination with frame-worthy images that you can always look back on is the ultimate souvenir,” Shannon adds.

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Credit: Serena for Flytographer in Venice 

Nicole from Flytographer says, “People have always taken professional family and couple photos. This is just moving the location from your backyard/local park or studio to an incredible vacation destination with iconic backdrops. Also, I think people are really wanting to bring less ‘stuff’ home and would rather bring home stunning photos that turn into priceless family heirlooms over the years to come.” 

Vacation photography also seems to have got a push with the need to share pictures online on social networks. “Yes, people love to share their great images online…but the truth is, as people, we’ve loved capturing life’s great moments since well before the invention of social media! Think about your grandmother’s wedding… There was no Facebook and no Instagram, but she so prioritized and appreciated the art of photography that you have surely seen her sparkling smile as she and your grandfather exited that church, hand-in-hand through a shower of rice, on their wedding day! Those pieces of paper may have faded but those memories live on, and are passed on, through the generations thanks to the magic of photography. Is it silly to liken a wedding day to a vacation? Maybe. But, we truly believe life’s seemingly small moments are often the big ones in disguise,” adds Brooke.

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Credit: Photographers Elena Pasca and Radu Voinea for Tripshooter

Because it doesn’t has to cost a bomb

Driven by awareness in travelling and photography styles, more people are opening up to the idea of having a professional photographer on their special holiday. This coupled with increase in disposable incomes, mean that families don’t shy away from spending money on hiring a vacation photographer. “In today's times, families want to look beautiful and they want to capture their travel moments so that they can share and frame. This can only be done by professionals and families don't hesitate to spend the money to use professional to do this,” says traveler and photographer Neeraj Narayan. He says that while the prevalence to use a vacation photographer is higher among the mid-high income group of Americans, the trend is also catching up among Asian countries such as India and China as disposable income grows.

The segment of vacation photography is slowly moving from being seen as a luxury to include travelers from all age and income groups. Nicole says at Flytographer, for instance, customers include affluent travellers to middle class families and even backpackers.

Travelers have the option of choosing from a number of companies offering such service depending on their budget. Often, a package won’t cost you more than a night’s stay at a hotel. And for many travelers it’s all about prioritizing. “To me, the expense is totally justified considering how much we typically spend on activities, dining out, and gifts,” says Shannon.

Photo of Have you packed a vacation photographer for your next holiday? 7/7 by Diksha Sahni Ghosh

Credit: Nerijus from [K] Photography/Shannon Falzon

Because you gain a local friend

Hiring a local photographer in a city that you are visiting not only gives you an opportunity for memorable pictures, it also adds to the travelling experience.

Jade from Tripshooter says that they select photographers on their “great people skills.” “They are there to help every step of the way - to give our clients directions if they need it, or to be flexible around the requirements...Some ask for guidance about what looks good in the images, and some have a few poses packed up their sleeve in advance! We've found that even the most shy of travelers usually end up having a great time - in the end, we are not just giving them great photos, but a unique and fun experience with a local in an exotic city,” she adds. 

 Local photographers know the city well and can often help you with best restaurants, or a must-see spot away from the crowd. “In addition to wanting a beautiful keepsake from their trip, our customers really love connecting with a local. They enjoy hearing their insider tips and strolling around together. Many grab a beer together after! We often hear this connection was a highlight of their trip,” says Nicole.