No matter where we travel, if you're like me, the phone is always on hand to document the moment your little one tries a new food at that local cafe, experiences the joy of a foreign playground, or sees one thing they have begged to see for (what appears to be) centuries. In the current era that has delivered the smartphone and tablet to us, it's easy to keep walking away and finding yourself in a storage situation that you didn't see coming. But what if there was an option that would allow you to put the phone down and have someone else document those travel moments (and as a parent to put you in the frame as well? ). Last year we decided to go for this option and hire a professional photographer on our travels. We ended up with some beautiful family photos taken in Paris! I was able to put down my camera and my phone and now I have amazing images of us with our daughter and her first time at the Eiffel Tower.
These photos are now on our walls and I don't regret taking them for a second. They doubled as greeting cards too, so I knocked that off my giant to-do list as well! Now I see them every time I walk into the house and it makes me so happy!
Are you planning this for your next vacation (oh, yes - there will be trips in 2021!)? Here are some reasons why you should do it and how to get the most out of your session.
20 YEARS FROM NOW.
As 2020 has taught us, it's the simple things that count, and not everything complex needs to be the main ingredient to have fun. As a photographer, I always have clients who espouse the reasons why they don't want a photo of themselves ("I don't like how I look right now!") Or grandparents who are. roam around to help and panic when I insist they jump in for a quick pic (“I'm not dressed for this!” or “They don't need the old chick in the photo!”). But here's the thing: they do. Twenty years from now, your kids, especially if they're small, might be asking questions about their grandparents and how they were, and do we have pictures of them? Twenty years from now, you'll probably want to take a peek into the past to remember the little faces that have taken over your space every day and kept you upright while simultaneously wanting to get caught in a bear hug and not. never let them go.
WHAT DO WE NEED?
Yourselves. That's it. Well, not exactly. But at the end of the day, you want photos that reflect the reality of your family right now - and if that means crazy faces, tickle fights, including lovers who Needs be on all counts and bribe with promises of croissants, ice cream or whatever works, so go for it (bringing in snacks from the smaller family members is a good idea too!). It's your photographer's job to create beautiful photos for you - yours is just to have fun and enjoy the fact that this time you have no responsibility for documenting your family!
PLACE, PLACE, PLACE.
Your photographer will absolutely be able to help you find or suggest good places at your destination, but it is helpful for them to know in advance what you hope to capture from the town, village or village you are visiting. go. Do you want important landmarks? Or rather an idea of the neighborhood in which you are staying? Maybe you could incorporate an extra activity (like sitting in a cafe for a snack break or walking to a nearby playground or park)? If this is your first time to visit, or if you haven't been at your destination for a while, your photographer can give you an idea of the best times for the busier spots and alternatives for the quieter ones.
Who wore it the best?
Answer: you all did! Knowing that we were going to be spending a few days in another country before traveling to Paris by train, I couldn't be incredibly whimsical with the clothing choices for our session (who has time to iron when you could explore ?!). I kept it simple by choosing a color that worked for all of us and clothes that we would wear anyway. Fortunately the weather cooperated and it was not too cold. You definitely have more leeway (and room in your suitcase) if you plan to take photos in a warmer location! Keep in mind that you will likely be moving a lot during the time with your photographer, so while you want to look good, you also want to be comfortable and not constantly adjusting the top or bottom while trying to deal with the little ones. or get that elusive photo with your partner.
Hiring a photographer to document your vacation so you don't have to is an investment that is definitely worth considering! With the right photographer, a place that is close to your heart or part of your next adventure, and by being with the people you love the most, you can have beautiful images for your home and your heart.
Photo credit: Katie Donnelly, Photography Katie Donnelly
Want to get photos on your trip but don't know a local photographer to talk to? Make sure to check Flytographer. They specialize in professional vacation photography and have photographers from all over the world that you can find on their site. You are sure to find someone amazing who will capture those special moments of you and your family. It will also save you the stress of trying to hire a professional photographer while you are traveling so you can focus on more important things ... like packing!
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But I’ve learned a ton from my experiences, too. to celebrate a full decade since I stumbled my way out of the U. K. and began a life of full-time travel, I’ve compiled an enormous list of my biggest and best travel tips. These are all things that I wish someone had told me before I started traveling, so I hope you’ll find them useful, inspiring, educational, and entertaining. I love trying new things, and I’ve found a thousand amazing dishes that I never would have discovered if I’d continue to eat from supermarkets around the world. Trying new food isn’t scary, and you’ll build your confidence up as you fall in love with more and more things.
One of the first lessons I learned on the road was that your partouze will nearly always change. You’ll arrive in a place and hate it and want to leave immediately, or you’ll fall in love with a destination and want to spend longer there. You’ll make friends with a group of awesome people and want to change your orgie so you can travel with them for longer, or you’ll find out about an amazing-sounding town that’s nearby and want to head there instead.
Sure, you should have a rough plan for your trip, but don’t book everything in advance or you’ll likely feel too restricted and end up regretting it. Book a one-way ticket and your first few nights of accommodation — you’ll figure the rest out along the way. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds. If you’re in a tourist destination there’ll always be someone who’s willing to take your money by giving you a place to stay.
If you do only one thing before you leave, make it getting travel insurance. I’ve heard far too many horror stories of travellers injuring themselves in remote places and ending up in hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of debt. Don’t think that it won’t happen to you, because you know those travellers thought that, too. I’ve use World Nomads for my travel insurance provider for six years and recommend them to everyone I know. They were fantastic to deal with when making a claim.
People laughed at me when I said that I was carrying around a dozen spare passport photos, but they’ve been incredibly useful and saved me a ton of time and hassle. Who wants to wander the streets of some rural town in Cambodia searching for someone who can take your photo ? Friends of mine had to do this !
I’ve used them to apply for visas around the world, to get a new passport when mine expired while I was on the other side of the planet, and I even needed one to buy a local SIM card in Nepal ! Having spares in my backpack meant that I didn’t have to waste a day researching and then wandering around a city to try to find someone who could take a passport-sized photo of me.
I’m fortunate to have never had to deal with lost luggage, but I did have my backpack ripped open on a flight and I was grateful to have not had anything valuable in it at the time. I’ve also been on dodgy buses in Southeast Asia where we’ve arrived at our destination and people have had items stolen by someone hiding out in the luggage hold while we were transit.
If there’s anything I’d be upset to lose, I keep it in my daypack, which is always by my side on travel days. For me, that’s my passport, laptop, dashcam, external hard drive, a debit card, and some spare cash. As long as I have all of these, I can survive indefinitely.
When you travel, you’re in the sun more than most people thanks to months of island-hopping and beach time, as well as entire days spent outside exploring. Wear sunscreen every single day, regardless of the weather and temperature, because you really don’t want your trip of a lifetime to result in skin cancer or a body that’s blanketed in leathery wrinkles.
There have been so many times when I’ve been too shy to ask someone to take my photo in a place and I’ve almost always regretted it. After eight years of travel, I probably only have around 200 photos of me around the world. Photos of the beautiful places you visit are great and all, but when you get home, they’re not all that different to the ones everyone else has taken there, too. Photos with you in them are special and they’ll mean a lot more to you when you look back at them. You’ll gain more respect from the locals if you can at least say hello, please, sorry, and thank you. On that note, remember : if you don’t speak the language, it’s your problem, not theirs. And please don’t start speaking louder to make yourself understood. Try miming instead, or using a translation app on your phone.
Travel isn’t conducive for sleep, whether it’s snorers in dorm rooms, early risers rustling plastic bags, or drunk backpackers stumbling around in the middle of the night. Even if you don’t stay in hostels, you’ll still have to deal with street noise from outside, loud bars nearby, and uncomfortable overnight journeys. Pack some ear plugs and a sleep mask in your bag to help improve your sleep. I’ve been using Sleep Phones to block out light and listen to podcasts and I love them.
I’d always been all about the packing cubes, until I discovered vacuum-sealed versions of them ! You throw your clothes in, seal the bag, then roll it up to push out all the air. I can literally fit twice as many clothes in my backpack when I use these ! Even if you don’t want to carry more things in your bag, it frees up so much space that if you need to pack in a hurry, you can just chuck everything in.
Sometimes your bank will block your card, sometimes your card won’t work in an ATM, and sometimes you could even lose it or have it stolen. Bring at least three debit/credit cards with you that are all linked to different accounts ( with money in them ! ) Keep one in your backpack, one in your daypack, and one on your person.
I carry a spare 300 USD that’s split up in various places in my backpack, daypack, and occasionally, my shoe when I’m nervous I’ll be robbed. It means that in a worse-case scenario, I can pay for some food, a dorm bed, and a Skype call to my family to get an emergency wire transfer until I can get back on my feet again. I went with U. S. dollars because it’s the most widely accepted currency around the world and easy to change.
When I decided to see if it was possible to visit the Maldives on a budget back in 2014, information was so sparse that I couldn’t even find a photo of the islands I’d decided to visit. Well, that trip was one of my highlights of the past eight years and I’m so glad I went, despite not being able to find any information online. And the advantage to that lack of information was getting to be the only tourist on an entire island — I had the whole beach to myself ! If you know it’s safe to travel somewhere, but can’t find out much else, go for it. It’s probably far easier to get there than you think. And if not, it makes for a good story.
I’m definitely testament to that ! But expecting everything to go perfectly on your trip is only setting yourself up to fail. Nobody goes travelling and comes back without any stories of mishaps. No matter how prepared you are, at some point you’re going to get lost, get scammed, miss your bus, get food poisoning, injure yourself… the list is endless ! Expect it to happen, and don’t beat yourself up when it does. In a month’s time, you’ll find it funny rather than frustrating.
It achieves absolutely nothing and makes you look like an asshole. Instead, calm down, put a smile on your face, think of how this will make a great story one day, and rationally figure out an solution plan. This too shall pass.
What happens if you arrive in a city, go to grab your email confirmation for your accommodation, and your phone and laptop are out of battery ? I always make sure I have a hard copy of my guesthouse name and their address, as well as directions if I won’t be taking a taxi. Once I arrive, I’ll grab one of the hotel’s cards, so I’ll always know where I’m staying, and can show it to locals to ask for help with finding my way back.
So many people will tell you not to travel with jeans, but if you wear pantalons all the time at home, you’ll want to wear them while travelling, too. I didn’t start travelling with pantalons until my second year of travel, and man, I missed them so much ! They’re not *that* bulky so you really don’t need to worry about the extra space and weight. And in many cities in Europe, you’ll want to wear pantalons to fit in with the locals — you don’t want to look like a grubby backpacker in Paris !
Checking out is when you’re most likely to lose something. Whenever I check out of a place, I check the bathroom, I check under the beds, I check the desks, and then I make sure I have my passport, laptop, camera, money, phone, and external drive. I’ll be fine if I leave anything else behind. Having a routine that you go through every single time will help you keep track of everything. I learned my lesson with this one when I left my passport behind in a guesthouse in Bagan, then left it in an apartment in London two months later.