I love to capture memories of my experiences when I travel. You probably do too, right? We do this so we can share our experience with others, have something to look back on and bring to mind the incredible time we had, and to create keepsakes of our most precious moments.
Oftentimes, those photos, while important, miss an important component— the people having the experience in those places. They don't feel personal.
So then of course we’ll turn the camera around from time to time and try to capture our big, cheesing smile in front of the beautiful things we are seeing. Or we pass your camera over to the tourist from Germany, and hope they don’t cut off the top of our head, or accidentally start recording a video.
It’s always a gamble, isn’t it?
That’s why I’m such an advocate for investing in photoshoots while on vacation. They give you the opportunity to come home with beautiful moments from your vacation that are more than selfies and photos taken by your fellow amateur tourists you hand over your smartphone to.
I’ve done this so far in Paris, Barcelona, Cape Town, and most recently in Italy, and it has become my favorite way to gift myself precious memories I can look back on as well as a way to share these special moments with others.
Professional photoshoots on vacation make all the sense in the world to me. They give you the opportunity to capture an experience that is deeply meaningful, and most travelers really value that.
Steps to a Successful Vacation Photoshoot
Find a photographer you love and book them - There are great companies, like Pix Around You, that make this part easy as pie. Once you know where you are headed, check out the website to see if it’s one of the 180 destinations around the world where they have professional photographers, and browse through the galleries and get a sense of your options. Choose the one that you seem to vibe with best, and make an inquiry! Simple as that.
Get Prepared - For me, this involves thinking about the type of photos I’m hoping to capture. Sometimes I’ll make myself a pinterest board for inspiration. I’m looking for poses that feel relaxed and natural that I can think about, outfits that seem like something I would wear, and even ideas from the destination itself.
I know enough to just pick an outfit that I feel good in and that is something i would actually wear, not trying to become some sort of fashion model overnight. Just be you (on a good day!), I make sure the hubs coordinates if he will be part of the shoot.
I have also decided to bring props on some of my shoots, like a bouquet of flowers, a fun hat or jacket I can wear and/or carry, a great bag, my laptop or passport, etc. This helps with “doing something” at times.
The other thing that can be incredibly helpful if you do have some opinions about the type of shots you want or any backgrounds that will be desired, is to share your vision beforehand with your photographer and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Have Fun - This is the most important step, so make sure you’ve got this one down pat. I’m not a professional model, and chances are you aren’t either. But what I have learned is to not take myself so seriously, and just have fun.
Is having your photo taken out in public a little weird? Yup. But you have to get over it and realize that if you focus on that, your photos will show it. I’ve found that a glass of wine beforehand is a nice place to start. ;)
If you have someone in the photos with you, focus on each other and either block everyone else out or tell yourself they are all having a blast watching you guys and wishing it was them getting the VIP treatment so give them something to be jealous about— either mindset works.
Your photographer will guide and direct you a bit, so don’t worry so much about doing it right or wrong and give yourself permission to let loose and your personality will shine through.
During this trip to Italy I tried out a new (to me) company, and couldn’t have been happier with the process and the outcome. If this is something you want to experience on your next vacation (and you totally should!), check out their services HERE.
Please know that I'd love to help you plan your perfect vacation, and adding this cherry on top ensures you have the type of keepsakes you'll really be proud of.