Get Amazing Family Vacation Photos with Flytographer
Our family loves to travel and I love planning and organizing our travel adventures.
I also love taking travel photos as a way to preserve the memorable moments we enjoy on our journeys. While I happen to be a pretty decent (and definitely eager) photographer, it is often much easier to capture beautiful scenery or landmarks than to snap a perfect family picture with all four of our family members looking great. “Selfies” with four people in them are tough especially for people with short arms (like us), and pictures taken by a friendly-looking stranger whom we asked to shoot a photo for us in return for taking theirs (“Say cheese, family!”) have no guarantees.
And then one day last year, on Facebook, I saw gorgeous, spontaneous-looking vacation pictures of a friend and her family. Apparently, they were taken by a company whose motto is that beautiful vacation photos are some of the best souvenirs one can bring home from a vacation. Totally agree! A quick visit to their website to learn more about the company and a few email exchanges later, and I booked Flytographer for our family’s next vacation trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Who is Flytographer?
Flytographer is a young, but rapidly growing Canadian company that is passionate about capturing beautiful vacation moments in order to help preserve their clients’ travel memories. With a network of over 300 excellent local vacation photographers in 160 cities worldwide, the company fulfills booking requests from all types of travelers: couples who want to document a surprise marriage proposal or their special anniversary trip, single travelers who simply want pictures from their worldly adventures, and families who want to preserve memories of their vacations and good times together.
How does it work?
The whole experience is super easy and fun:
1. Start by going to Flytographer.com to check if they have a local photographer at your future vacation destination. Chances are they do, unless you are going to Guayaquil. Wait! I was wrong… they DO have a one in Guayaquil!
2. Click on the destination of your interest to see the photographers available for that area. There is often more than one. By clicking on photographer profiles you can learn more about them, see their styles and approaches, as well as view their portfolios.
3. After you find your match, send an inquiry to the company by filling out a short form online.
4. You will receive a prompt reply. Should you decide to book your shoot, you’ll begin corresponding with a Shoot Concierge who will arrange every single detail of your photo shoot (more on this in just a moment).
5. Pack up your bags, enjoy your vacation! When it’s convenient for you, take a break from lounging on the beach or touring a city, put on some cute clothes, and show up for you photo shoot. Have a blast!
6. About five days later, you can expect to squeal with delight when your awesome photos appear in digital form in your inbox.
Why Consider Hiring a Personal Vacation Photographer?
1. The whole family is in the photo and everybody is looking great. Finally!
For many families, just like ours, Mom is usually the one taking vacation photos. Which means she is mostly NOT in them. And while, as I already mentioned, we are actually pretty good at asking passers-by to take pictures of our family, most of the time they are likely not professionals or even somewhat skilled at taking photos. We have some great examples to prove this point. Though we know these kind-hearted people are generally trying their best, and we are ALWAYS very thankful for their attempts.
2. Photos taken by professionals are…well, professional.
While I’m getting better at making our pictures look good by simply cropping, color enhancing and using filters (assuming here that ALL four of us are in them and we are ALL smiling), most of the time they are not something I would print to display in picture frames, enlarge to put on a wall or use for our family’s holiday cards. However, those taken by Flytographer, I guarantee you, are!
3. They have done all the pre-work for you.
Obviously, it takes quite some work to find and book a great photographer at home, let alone in another city, not to mention another country. Flytographer has worked hard to find locals who are great vacation photographers and also easy to work with. In addition to photography, these individuals share a passion for experiencing different cultures and are great at connecting with people, which is key for taking great pictures with somebody who was a stranger just minutes ago and especially important when shooting with kids.
4. Their Shoot Concierge will handle every detail.
They are called a “concierge” for a reason and will handle everything for you from beginning to end. They will work with you to organize the shoot exactly the way you want it, making sure they are aware of your date, time and location preferences. Often, usually with the help of your local photographer, they will suggest a certain time of the day when the lighting might be best, or they will come up with interesting locations, be it off the beaten path or a new angle on a famous landmark. They will make sure they have a thorough understanding of what kind of “vibe” you are looking for in your pictures and even offer wardrobe suggestions or any props. Finally, they will put you in touch with your personal family vacation photographer and, if there is anything left to be addressed, arrange any other element of your shoot.
5. Meeting a local photographer can enhance your vacation.
Yes, you can absolutely count on great pictures, but here is a bonus: be prepared to have a seriously great time and a unique cultural experience. While your photographer will probably take you to some cool location you would have never discovered on your own, she or he will also likely tell you things you did not know about the city or country. Also be prepared that you will likely want to hang out after the shoot is over. In our family’s case, I was dying to have a round of margaritas with Diana and her boyfriend, who acted as her assistant (yes, giant light reflectors and all). I loved being able to practice my Spanish and learn more about her father’s camera repair shop where she first fell in love with photography, her hometown of Todos Santos, and her plans to grow her photography business.
6. Highly customized to your needs.
Flytographer’s service does not come exactly cheap (packages start at $250), but the company offers a nice range of different options from a 30-minute to a three-hour session and several options in between. You can also create a custom shoot if you feel that none of these options are quite perfect for you.
7. Some trips are more special than others.
Having a few great pictures of our kids at their current ages and our family together on one of our adventures was good enough of a reason for me to book our shoot; however, certain trips are just extra special. It would be a shame, for example, not to capture an extended family vacation to celebrate your parents’ 50 years of marriage or your family’s trip together before the oldest child heads off to college. Those are the kind of occasions that are extra worthy of documenting in pictures and making sure you have somebody who excels in doing just that.
Our Family’s Experience With Flytographer
Our experience in Cabo San Lucas with Flytographer was great, all around. For starters, I loved working with Tedi, one of Flytographer’s Shoot Concierges. She was always very prompt with her replies to any of my questions and showed great attention to detail. I should mention that we decided to book our 60-minute shoot at the last moment, and while the company normally requires more lead time, Tedi embraced the challenge and pulled it off for us. You know, like any great concierge would.
Sometimes the best way to really test a company is when things don’t go exactly as planned. After a super smooth start, our shoot had a tiny hiccup when we found out, shortly before our appointment in downtown San Jose, that the original photographer we booked, Luis, could not make it due to an unexpected emergency. But he and the Flytographer concierge promptly arranged for a replacement, Diana.
Diana did a wonderful job of selecting an amazing location at a local restaurant, bursting with colors, energy and local vibe — EXACTLY what we were looking for — and then captured some great photos of the four of us. Some were a bit posed and others more candid, which made for a great mix.
I loved the fact that she shot the four of us together, and then, without us asking, suggested taking a few shots of only our kids and then my husband and me, as a couple. We even added a few “holiday card” shots at the end. Because it was November, we needed a great family holiday photo pronto, and I happened to bring (yes, pure coincidence!) four Santa hats with us.
Since we’ve returned from our trip, our pictures by Flytographer make me smile every time I look at them. I love the fact that we were able to document the preteen ages of our kids as well as capture our family in an environment where we are always very comfortable and happy…during our travels.
I am already looking forward to booking Flytographer for another one of our family travel adventures. If you’re interested in scheduling your own family’s vacation photo shoot, here’s a tip: use the code #FLYFAN when you book to receive a $25 discount similar to the offer I received from my friend whose Facebook photos inspired me to get in touch with Flytographer. I’m so glad I did.
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