As someone who tries to avoid wasteful consumption, finding meaningful travel souvenirs can be challenging—so many souvenirs are just mass-produced plastic memorabilia that does not capture the magic and beauty of travel. So you can imagine how excited I was to find Flytographer, which makes bringing home special travel momentos easy! Flytographer has officially become one of my new travel traditions with my husband.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable travel momento, Flytographer is the company for you and here are all the reasons why I love working with them.
What is Flytographer?
Flytographer is a community of local photographers ready to capture your memories in 300+ cities around the world. Like many other share economy companies out there, Flytographer connects travelers with local photographers in order to create candid moments, iconic memories, and personal mementos of your experience abroad.
I first heard about Flytographer from my coworker Sara, an accomplished and social media savvy traveler. Once she showed the company to me, I was hooked. What a great and unique way to capture some treasured moments from your vacation! I immediately started looking at the portfolios of their photographers and following Flytographer’s instagram. Every time I looked at their photos, I felt inspired to travel with my partner. I first used their service during a getaway to Tulum, Mexico in 2015 and then again in Porto, Portugal in 2016 on my honeymoon and I’ve even done a shoot with my mom during a girls trip to London.
How the Flytographer process work?
According to Flytographer’s website, here are the 6 steps to the process of working with them. I have found in my experience that it runs very close to this process. We opted for a 2 hour shoot in Tulum and a 1.5 hour shoot in Porto, which I think were both great! I liked that with the 2 hour shoot we could change locations and outfits, but I also didn’t feel limited by the shorter 1.5 hour shoot. I only did a half hour shoot with my mom in London, and that felt a little bit rushed.
- Select your destination.
- Choose your photographer.
- Submit an inquiry.
- Finalize details with our Shoot Concierge.
- Capture beautiful memories while chatting with a fun local.
- Receive your photos in 5 business days.
The one thing that I think isn’t exactly as advertised is choosing the photographer. You are asked to submit preferences of who you would like to be matched with (based on their portfolios), but in both of my trips, they were not available on the day we scheduled the photoshoot so we got paired with a different photographer.
From my first interaction with my shoot manager, I was impressed with the level of service Flytographer provided. For all of my shoots, they have been prompt, professional and helpful. I asked a few questions the first time and got detailed responses. I submitted my initial deposit, and heard back right away with the next steps for submitting a shot request form. This form basically asks questions about my preferred photo style, what we want the day to feel like, more about us as a couple, what we’re hoping to capture, etc. This way, we could get matched up with one of the photographers who would be a good fit for us.
Meeting Our Photographer
A few weeks before the shoot, my shoot manager sent me all the details of our experience, like the times, location for meeting our photographer and what to plan for. The shoot breakdown was really detailed so we were able to easily plan around the timeframe with the rest of our day’s activities. We also got the photographer’s WhatsApp contact information so we could communicate directly about any weather conditions or issues finding the meeting point.
In Tulum, our photographer Monica met us at our hotel right on time and we briefly introduced ourselves. We got started with photos on the beach which was just outside of our front door. In Porto, we met our photographer Luis along the waterfront in the central downtown area where we would spend the day shooting while wandering around. In London, we met our photographer in a tube station and then walked to famous monuments like Big Ben and the London Eye which were nearby.
Experiencing the Photo Shoot
Sam and I had never done a professional photo shoot before our first Flytographer experience in Tulum, so we didn’t really know how to pose or what to expect. Thankfully, Monica made us feel super comfortable in front of the camera and gave us friendly direction. I was surprised by how much fun we had together! I think Sam felt pretty awkward about the whole thing, but he did a great job making me laugh and giggle as we posed. We started to warm up to the process as the day went along.
By the time we did out shoot in Porto, we were experts—wedding photography will do that to you! Personally, I preferred the shoot in Porto because there was a lot more natural posing and interesting backdrops to make use of, such as the skyline, the waterfront and cityscapes. In Tulum, we were mainly along the beach so a lot of the photos look posed or repetitive. Plus, it felt like we were still experiencing Porto and seeing the sights.
Receiving Our Photos
Only a few days after our photo shoot, we got a preview email with a sneak peek of our photos. Only a few days after that, we had the all photos sent to us via email from our shoot manager. I was impressed with how quickly they arrived! You get an online link to a viewing gallery that you can share with other people (or your spouse) as well as a download link so you can bulk download the photos all at once to your computer or an external hard drive.
All the photos you see in this blog post are the results of my various Flytographer shoots so you can get an idea of what the quality is like!
Paging through the stills with Sam and my mom, we were so happy with the results of our shoots! The photographers did an amazing job and we were so excited to share our favorites with family and friends. They look amazing! After we got back from our honeymoon, we printed off our favorite ones to include as thank you gifts to everyone who contributed to our honeymoon registry.
I have been very happy with my three experiences using Flytographer and I definitely plan to use their services at another destination I travel to with my husband or family! I love that they pair you with local people to create a memorable experience and at the end of it all, you get to take home beautiful photos. The photos I’ve received thanks to Flytographer are some of my favorites 🙂
This post was originally published in December 2016 and updated in July 2018 and January 2020.
What are your favorite momentos to bring home from your travels? Comment below!