Hiring a Photographer on Vacation

hiring a photographer on vacation

How many times have you been on vacation, handed your camera or cell phone to a kind stranger, asking them to take your photo? And how many times has that photo turned out to be just as perfect, flattering, and magical as you hoped? Sure, it happens sometimes, and we get lucky. However, most of the time, the photos turn out less than stellar.

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This was a constant battle for me. I planned trips, saved and spent money, picked out my favorite outfits that made me feel confident, and then had basically awful photos as momentos. That is, until I discovered the ultimate solution to this problem. Read on to see how I transformed my travel photos.

This post, as always, may contain affiliate or referral links. These do not affect your price should you choose to use them.

How I started hiring a photographer on vacation: A little over a year ago, I was headed to the Caribbean on a cruise and knew I wanted to make sure I had some great photos to use for my blog AND to remember my trip! Luckily for me, my mom was my plus one. Unluckily, she cannot use an iphone or a digital camera.

That’s when I discovered Sweet Escape. Like some other platforms out there, Sweet Escape links you up with local professional photographers when you are travelling. All you do is search the app for the date and where you will be on vacation. They pair you with a photographer, you schedule a time, get a set number of hours, and a set number of edited photo downloads. I have also hired photographers outside of Sweet Escape and I will share those experiences also!

Gone are the days of blurry, crooked, and dark photos. I love having an hour or two set aside for photos, so that I don’t have to spend the entire trip focused on capturing the perfect photo. Do I still snap pictures along the way? Of course! But if they aren’t exceptional, I don’t worry. I know I have a session where I can get some great memories on ‘film’ and move on.

This is especially key when you are traveling to celebrate a special occasion, or when you want to capture an important experience. Traveling with children, engagements, honeymoons, solo trips and more would all be great events to document with professional photos.

I’m going to share with you some of my favorites, the locations, and more about my experiences!

Cancun, Mexico

Booked through Sweet Escape

I loved using Sweeet Escape in Mexico because quite frankly, I had no clue where to go to get great shots. We were staying at an all-inclusive resort for my brother’s wedding. While it was fabulous, there wasn’t a lot of occasion for me to leave the ‘compound’ during the short time we were there. I loved that my Sweet Escape photographer had ideas, spoke the language, and was efficient in a way I never could have been on my own.

 

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New York, NY, USA

Booked through Sweet Escape

New York was the only time I have ever had any issue with the service. My original photographer was so late she ended up cancelling the session the day of, actually AFTER it should have started. I was able to reschedule and got an AMAZING photographer for later in my trip, but I ended up being super sick the day of the shoot. It turned out to be exhaustion, but I didn’t know it at the time. I went anyways, not sure if I just needed to eat, or what. I told my photographer I wouldn’t need to use all two hours of my session because I didn’t feel great. She was still awesome, really really efficient, and definitely professional. I ended up getting some of my favorite photos ever from this shoot.

 

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Cozumel, Mexico

Booked through Sweet Escape 

This was my first ever Sweet Escape shoot and actually the first time I even thought of hiring a photographer while on vacation. I was so please overall and this experience definitely propelled me to use the service again. Like in Cancun, the photographer spoke the language, knew where to go to get the shots, and made every effort to make me comfortable. I think that’s a real gift because they are shooting real people on vacation, not models. We aren’t all super comfortable in front of the camera, and I have had great guidance from every one of them.

 

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Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Booked directly through local photographer ( Tylynn B. Photography)

We actually ended up booking directly with a photographer for this shoot because of the time of day and that the shoot was in the middle of the week. We found her on Facebook and we were not disappointed. While this was not booked through Sweet Escape, I do recommend her as a photographer if you are ever in the area. She found really cool spots for me and my friends to get some girls’ trip photos.

This is another way you can go if you’re interested in hiring a photographer on location. Facebook and Instagram often has lots of information, as well as examples of their work and sometimes reviews from past clients.

 

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Paris, France

Booked through Sweet Escape

This was a really interesting booking for me because although it was overseas, I actually used to live in Paris, so unlike other destinations where I may need a guide or a translator, I know the city well, and I also speak French. However, I was travelling with my aunt, and knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time for days filled with photo-finding excursions. I wanted to be able to capture some of my favorite parts of the city for blog posts in a concentrated time frame. This allowed me to relax and not worry about photos for the rest of the trip.

My photographer was honestly one of my favorites I’ve ever had. I would absolutely hire Tim again if I go to Paris and need photos. Since I knew the city and had some ideas about the places/types of photos I wanted to get, I shared that with him and he was able to suggest some new and interesting perspectives which was wonderful.

 

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Venice Beach, CA, USA

Booked directly through local photographer (London Light Photography)

Syd and Dana were actually my brother’s wedding photographers when we were in Cancun, and that is how I originally met them. When my friends came to California from out-of-state, I wanted to take them around LA and explore some places they hadn’t been. We decided on Venice for the day since it was new and if you’ve been, you know its certainly interesting.

Hiring a photographer for the three of us was equal parts business and pleasure. I wanted to capture quality images I could use when sharing tips about some of my favorite places in Venice, and also  have some visual souvenirs of an awesome day with two of my friends. The photos turned out even better than expected. Syd and Dana are literally visual geniuses and I can’t recommend them enough. If you’re in SoCal (or really anywhere, since they do travel), you should definitely look at their work.

 

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San Juan, Puerto Rico

Booked directly through local photographer (Shuttermarketeer)

This was a tricky one! We had a hard time finding photographers at all when we started to look for pros in San Juan. We took a cruise this year that left from Puerto Rico, and flew in a few days early to explore the city. It was my first time there and I knew I wanted to have photos taken. While we were looking into hiring a photographer, it proved more challenging than other destinations.

Finally, I stumbled across an amazing photo on Instagram, and the photo credit was William. I sent him a DM on Instagram and the rest was history. The photo shoot was for four of us total, and I was so impressed. He brought a second shooter and two female assistants who we nicknamed our ‘hype girls’ because they really did a great job at making sure everything looked good. When you’re out and about without a mirror, it can be tough, but they had our backs. They fixed our hair, gave posing tips and more.

 

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Would you consider hiring a photographer on vacation? I would love to hear any stories, questions, or tips you all have about photography while traveling! Share them with me in the comments!

Callie Richards

I'm Callie, a Southern California based body-positive fashion and travel blogger who helps women discover style and travel that FITS their bodies and their lifestyles so they can live their best, most authentic lives! I test and then share the products and experiences that respect diversity and inclusiveness so that you can shop and travel with confidence without all the research!

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