We snap tons of photos with our phones when we travel. A photo of the local delicacy. A selfie in front of an ancient monument. Travel is an experience that deserves to be relished in and captured. The thing is, we all know that the travel photos on your phone are going to end up lost in the cloud never to see the light of day again. They might go on the ‘gram for a bit, but how do you get those epic photos that you want to frame or give as a gift to a loved one?

Each person and each vacation has a unique story to tell. What better way to capture your travel story than on a professional vacation photoshoot with a holiday photographer? You can finally get everyone in the same photo.

Check out our list of 200+ destinations to find your holiday photographer and see available vacation photography packages. Below are some fun tips and photoshoot ideas when hiring a personal travel photographer for your next vacation!

Will a Vacation Photoshoot be Worth It?

We’re seeing more and more folks share epic travel photos online that are drop-dead gorgeous. How do they do it? They hire a holiday photographer to capture candid travel moments on their family, solo, and couple trips! While this may seem excessive, especially with all the other travel expenses, many have decided that their vacation photos were worth investing in. Below we cover the pros and cons of booking a vacation photoshoot on your next trip.

Pros of Booking a Vacation Photoshoot

But that’s what phones are for . . . right? Let’s be honest, we all know that the vacation photos you take using your phone are going to end up lost in cloud storage, never to be enjoyed again. Sounds bleak!

You’ll Get to Meet a Local for Tips: Best Photo Spots & Hidden Gems

When you hire a vacation photographer online through Local Lens, not only are you getting a professional camera whiz but you are also gaining a set of local eyes. Our holiday photographers are based all over the world– they’re locals and they know the best spots to capture those priceless moments.

While it’s fun to take the cliché tourist photos, the real gems are taken at all the local little nooks and crannies! Plus, if you’re traveling in a foreign country where you don’t know the local language, your holiday photographer can serve as a translator too. Simply ask the vacation photographer for photoshoot ideas and suggestions depending on what you are looking for: off the beaten path photo spots, iconic views, or a combination of both! They’ll also tell you the time for the best lighting and how to beat the crowds to get those magical photos without tons of other tourists in the background.

Not just for photos, your professional holiday photographer can recommend local spots to eat, drink, and explore. You’ll get a truly local experience!

It’s a Way to Capture Authentic Travel Moments

There are only so many Instagram filters you can use to make your photos appear interesting; photographers, on the other hand, need no filter! Local Lens holiday photographers are skilled in capturing raw, genuine, candid moments, and then editing them to perfection – no filters necessary!

And while you may be struggling to fit a selfie stick into your carry-on, personal travel photographers can bring all the gear that most travelers wouldn’t dream of bringing on their own– from light modifiers and external flashes to various lenses and props!

What Can You Do With Your Professional Vacation Photos

Imagine a framed photo of the entire family on the wall. Or your holiday cards! You can use the photos in gifts for an anniversary or birthday. You can also give a photoshoot as a gift too! There’s a ton of possibilities for your vacation photos.

If you are proposing on vacation or engagement photos, you can use them for your save-the-dates, invites, and wedding decorations.

The Cost of A Vacation Photographer

Moments, especially travel moments, go by so fast and are worth investing in and capturing beautifully. Hiring a holiday photographer for a vacation photoshoot is an expense that will forever be worth the cost. We understand that after the flight, the hotel, and tours your travel budget is limited. We think that your travel photos are the best souvenir to invest in, instead of a mug or a T-shirt.

Don’t be scared – hiring your own personal photographer isn’t as expensive as you may think. Packages range from 30-minute ‘mini-sessions’ to 2-hour destination photoshoots that include multiple locations all around town. Prices also vary by city, ensuring you the best photoshoot rates possible. If you want to see some examples for vacation photoshoot prices, see pricing for your destination here.

After Your Vacation Ends, Memories are All That Remain

When planning and booking a vacation, the cost of a vacation photoshoot could end up being one of the most valuable and least expensive things done on a trip. After the tours have been taken, the food has been enjoyed, you check out of your hotel, and the return flight has landed, the memories you made will be all that remains. It is our mission to ensure that your cherished vacation moments are remembered beautifully.

Once you are back home, you won’t be wearing souvenir t-shirts or showing off magnets & keychains. Instead, you’ll be showing off a gorgeous set of photos to friends and family which will surely be accompanied by stories of your adventure. The warm feeling of reminiscing makes one realize that these captured memories add richness to our lives which is priceless.

Of all the souvenirs you can get when you travel, photos are the ones you will treasure the most later on. They capture the moment so that you can look back and remember your amazing trip together in the best way possible. Think about it –  souvenir t-shirts you’ll never wear or professional photos? Easy choice for us!

Cons of Booking a Vacation Photoshoot

So, what are the downsides? There are tons of reasons you may be thinking that you shouldn’t do a vacation photoshoot.

Sticker Shock

Did you know that the average photographer charges $500 per hour? Photoshoots, no matter what the occasion, have an element of sticker shock. Plus, after you’ve booked the flights and hotels, another expense like a photographer might not be in the budget. Quality photography is not cheap, and it is definitely a product in which you get what you pay for.

What is great for you is that Local Lens actually helps you save money on photography, because we have exclusive agreements with our photographers for doing vacation photography at special rates. We also offer discounts and sales across our site so that you can save!

Instead of an overpriced dinner, souvenirs that will collect dust, or tours that you can do on your own, opt for capturing memories that will last forever.

There’s No Time

Between managing the family and organized tours, or just an overwhelming number of things you want to see on your trip, you might feel like you don’t have the time for a photoshoot.

30 minutes, that’s all you need to capture amazing vacation memories. A one hour shoot is only a small fee more, and you get double photos, so it is a great value. If you can find 2 hours, you’ll get a grand tour with a local, so its a tour and photoshoot in one! Score.

The Kids Won’t Cooperate

Everyone knows photos with toddlers or teens are not always perfect, and that’s ok! Our approach to capturing families is letting the kids be kids, and giving them a moment to get the photo that they want, instead of the stiff smiled pose. Dance, run, jump, skip! We love candid moments of genuine family happiness, and our photographers are experts in exactly this.

The Weather is Too Unpredictable

You’d be surprised how great photos under umbrellas or in the rain can be! Our photographers shoot rain or shine. If it is too cold out or there’s a hurricane, we can reschedule or refund on a case by case basis, no problem.

You Hate Getting Photos of Yourself Taken

We get it – not everyone is a fan of getting photos taken. The key is to work with a professional who can make you feel comfortable. We’ve teamed up with pro photographers that can help you relax and feel confident so that your photos turn out awesome.

Planning a Vacation Photoshoot is Too Much Work

There are three steps to planning a vacation photoshoot. Pick your photographer, book your date, and then confirm the time and location. Local Lens makes it easy through a straightforward platform to book your vacation photographer and plan your holiday photoshoot.

Tips For Your Vacation Photoshoot

So you booked a vacation photoshoot for your next trip. Awesome! Since it can take a few hours to receive photographer date availability, we’d like to take the chance to share our tips and tricks that we’ve seen works best for shoots.

Keep It Casual

Tell them that the photos aren’t a huge production – it’s casual. No need to dress up or worry about posing correctly. The shoots we offer are relaxed and fun. Meander through the streets and enjoy the beauty of the place you are in with someone you love, while a holiday photographer is capturing those genuine, candid moments

For the most part, vacations are all about getting away from it all. Many folks assume that hiring a personal photographer means they’ll have to dress up and look a certain part. That doesn’t have to be the case! The shoots we offer through Local Lens are relaxed and fun. Feel free to meander through the streets and enjoy the beauty of the place you are in – you won’t even notice the photographer who is capturing all of your most genuine and candid moments!

Be Spontaneous

This goes along the lines of our last point. Don’t think you have to act a certain way in front of your personal travel photographer. Feel like grabbing an ice cream cone? Do it! Fancy a ride on the trolley? Hop on! Your holiday photographer can capture real moments every step of the way.

Short & Sweet

Hiring a holiday photographer for a vacation photoshoot doesn’t have to be an all-day affair. In fact, we find one hour to be the perfect amount of time to capture some incredible photos! In the time it takes to grab a bite to eat, you can have beautiful photos taken that will last a lifetime.

From our experience, 1 hour seems to be the perfect amount to get some great photos around the town. Anything less, and you’ll feel extremely rushed. 1 hour is totally stress-free and easy to fit into your travel itinerary.

Wanna go for 2 hours? You won’t regret it! You’ll get TONS of great shots and get to explore more of the city with a local.

Grab a Local Brew

Grab a beer beforehand (or maybe if you’re traveling to Mexico, a tequila). A drink can relax any nerves about getting your photo taken, and is proven to relax the facial muscles so that your smiles are not too overworked. It’s a chance to try any local brews or specialties from the city you are visiting, have a good time, and have a relaxed and fun shoot. Another great idea is to stop for a beer or a coffee along the way during your photoshoot.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Give yourself ample time to get to the meeting point for the shoot. If you are rushed to get to the shoot and rushed to leave, that feeling will come through in the photos. Take an hour before the shoot and get a nice snack or cocktail to loosen up a little (it works!) near the meeting point so that when you are in front of the camera you can take it easy, have fun, and enjoy capturing your travel story with the ones you love.

Best Time to Do a Vacation Photoshoot

Looking to fill up your personalized photo albums with incredible photos from your next vacation? The first step is to hire a holiday photographer– but then what? Then, it’s time to figure out what time you’d like to have your photographer shoot photos of you and your loved ones!

Theoretically, you could choose any time of day (or night!), but there are better times of the day than others to capture extraordinary photos. Below are some tips for choosing the best times of day for your next vacation photoshoot.

Pick a Fresh Moment

Think about the moment when you and your group will look and feel the best. For families, this could be after breakfast or before dinner when everyone is ready for the day to follow or cleaned up for dinner after your photoshoot.

Best Times to Avoid Crowds

Early mornings are the way to go if you want to steer clear of any crowded areas. While it may be tough to wake up early, your photos will have that magical look of just you in your photos, and no one else. Plus, you’ve got your whole day ahead of you!

All Hail The Golden Hour

If you know anything about holiday photography services, you may have heard about this elusive “golden hour.” Also called the “magic hour,” it is the first hour of light after sunrise and the last hour of light before sunset.

But what’s so great about the Golden Hour? The sun is low in the sky at these times, producing a soft, diffused light that is much more flattering than the harsh rays of the midday sun. This time is within 1-2 hours after the sun has risen in the morning or 1-2 hours before it sets in the evening. Avoid scheduling mid-day shoots as the sun can create harsh shadows and squinted eyes. You can select time times of day you would like on the booking form, then your holiday photographer will help pick on the best time to shoot within your preferred time of day.

Check out our handy Golden Hour calculator so you’ll always know when’s the perfect time for your travel photoshoot!

Don’t Forget Blue Hour

The Blue Hour typically happens right before the Golden Hour during sunrise and about 15 minutes after Golden Hour at sunset. Some of you may know this time of day as dawn or dusk! During this time of day, the clouds and the sky are typically extra blue. With this soft lighting in place thanks to Mother Nature, it’s hard not to capture beautiful photos!

Worst Time of Day to Take Photos

We’ve told you the best times of day for your vacation photoshoot, but what about the worst? Midday between 11 am and 2 pm is generally the worst time of day to shoot. Photos were taken outside during these hours typically produce harsh shadows under a person’s eyes; any other flaws become easier to spot as well. This certainly isn’t ideal when you’re hiring a holiday photographer to capture memories of a lifetime!

Sometimes Clouds are Your Friends

Clouds will offer soft filtered light. If it’s your shoot week and clouds or a shower is in the forecast, fear not! We love taking photos with clouds and under umbrellas (which make for great props!)

As long as you’re aware of the best times of day to hire a photographer, your vacation photos are sure to come out lovely! And don’t fret if it turns out to be a cloudy or even a rainy day– our photographers at Local Lens are equipped for any situation and know how to capture the best photos no matter what Mother Nature has in store!

How Much is it to Hire a Holiday Photographer?

Local Lens offers travel photoshoots in over 100 destinations around the world. In order to see pricing, compare portfolios, and check availability, simply enter your destination below to find your photographer. We offer vacation photoshoot packages that range from 30 minutes to 2 hours. If you are looking for a custom package, or maybe even want to hire a personal photographer for a day, contact us and we’ll make it happen!

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