Is one parent missing from all of your family vacation photos? One of the challenges of family travel is capturing your memories. Unless you ask strangers to take your picture, it's nearly impossible to get the whole family in a shot. And if you are looking for professional-quality portraits, it can be time consuming to find a local photographer.
The photographer-for-hire site Flytographer just might be the ticket to getting beautiful keepsake portraits away from home.
The site hooks up travelers with local professional photographers in more than 160 destinations around the world.
In North America, Flytographer is available in 40 US and 19 Canadian destinations coast to coast, mainly cities and top tourist areas. It is also available in 10 popular Mexican destinations, six countries in the Caribbean, and a dozen destinations in Central and South America.
In Europe, Flytographer is available in 72 destinations, from Paris, London and Rome to Zagreb and Krakow. The service is available in 19 destinations in Asia, seven destinations in the Pacific Rim countries, and four destinations in Africa.
How Flytographer Works
Step one is to simply choose your destination. Next, flip through the profiles of local photographers and choose one you like.
Finally, arrange a time and place to meet up during your trip. Photo sessions can be as short as 30 minutes long or as long as you like.
On the day of the shoot, you'll meet your photographer 10 minutes before shooting begins to review your goals. Expect the shoot to be fun and informal. Your photographer can suggest photogenic locations and you will just meander the streets together, and casually capture organic, natural, unposed memories.
If you prefer posed portraits, that can also be arranged.
Packages start at $250 for a half-hour shoot and 15 photos or $350 for an hour-long session and 30 photos. Packages with longer shoots and more photos are also available. You'll receive your photos within five days of the shoot.
What to Wear for Great Vacation Portraits
While there are no hard-and-fast rules about shooting great family vacation portraits, Flytographer offers these tips:
- Consider what to wear. Try to strike a balance between comfort and style. While you want to be comfortable, you also want to look your best, which means feeling confident in a considered outfit.
- Coordinate palettes. Complementary tones work best. Find a way to accent your outfit with the primary color of your family members. For example, iff one of you will be wearing bright, vivid colors, while another has more muted tones, find a way to accent the neutral outfit with one of the vivid colors. Avoid being overly matched; complementing each other's outfits is great, but being too "matchy" can look silly. If the weather allows for it, layering items such as scarves, sweaters, jackets, and hats are great ways to add texture and visual interest to your photos. Just be careful not to overdo it.
- Avoid certain looks. Large logos or graphic t-shirts are distracting and pull the focus away from your family. All white or all black outfits can be difficult to photograph without losing detail in shadows or highlights.
- Travel light. Try not to carry anything with you that you wouldn't want in the photos. Your photographer will do their best to help hold anything that you might not want in the shot, but they'll have plenty of equipment to carry as well, so it's best to leave whatever you don't need back at the hotel. Likewise, avoid keeping too many things in your pockets, because anything too bulky will show through your clothing and be distracting.
Flytographer Family Shoots
Flytographer can connect families with photographers anywhere in the world, but the quality is always very high. The following are examples of family shoots in:
- Paris, France
- Palm Springs, California
- Amsterdam, the Netherlands
- New York City
- Lake Como, Italy
- Paris, France
- Playa del Carmen, Mexico
- Maui, Hawaii
Flytographer Partnerships With Hotel Chains
The luxury chain Fairmont Hotels has partnered with Flytographer. Families staying at over 35 participating Fairmont locations can hire a skilled photographer to capture a special birthday celebration or family reunion or simply to document a nice day touring the city. Guests can choose between 30, 60 and 90-minute photography sessions that are specially designed for them. Guests will receive an extended library of photos and be able to access beautiful settings within Fairmont hotels.
Other hotel partners include the Four Seasons New York, Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, and the U.S. Grant in San Francisco.