If you don’t want to be bogged down by snapping vacation photos while traveling, new services allow you to hire a photographer. Some even use drones, to give you a “new perspective” on your trip.
Vacation photography is hitting new heights.
The luxury travel company Black Tomato has introduced a service called “Drone the World,” which sends a professional drone photographer to capture their clients’ adventures. The service is included in trips from $5,500 a person for a three-night itinerary, including flights, accommodations and excursions. Once home, travelers receive a three-minute edited video that features sweeping aerial footage of their trip. According to a co-founder, Tom Marchant, “It gives our guests a chance to see where they traveled from a brand-new perspective.”
The InterContinental David Tel Aviv just started a five-night honeymoon package (from $3,277) that counts a drone photo shoot among its array of offerings. And Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa in Sri Lanka (rooms from $250) provides guests with the opportunity to fly a drone themselves or be filmed by one while engaging in a wide-range of on-site activities, including golfing and trapeze-flying. Footage is available on CD or via email for a $20 fee.
Back on the ground, travelers can forgo the ubiquitous selfie by booking through companies supplying high-quality shoots by professional photographers.
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Katalina Mayorga, the founder of El Camino Travel, said she understood that we live in an image-driven world, but felt that travelers (herself included) too often sacrificed the present moment to capture the perfect Instagram-worthy photo. This led Mayorga to start a travel company for millennials that specializes in group itineraries to Latin America (from $2,050 a person). On each trip, she sends a professional photographer who shoots upward of 500 photos a day and delivers approximately 30 edited images each morning to the group, which they can immediately share on social media. “It’s a much different vibe when people are not always on their phones,” she said. “The experience becomes much more authentic.”
The vacation photography companies Flytographer and Shoot My Travel both work with their own global networks of photographers based in more than 150 cities around the world. They offer a selection of photography packages tailored to solo travelers, friends, couples and families, ranging from 30-minute to three-hour sessions. The photographer also doubles as an informal tour guide sharing insider tips while snapping candid photos of visitors as they explore a destination. Edited images are delivered within 48 hours to Shoot My Travel clients, while Flytographer promises five days.
“We want people to know there’s another option besides taking selfies, asking a stranger or taking turns being in a photo,” said Nicole Smith, the founder of Flytographer, whose top-selling package is a 60-minute shoot ($350), booked mostly by clients celebrating milestone moments abroad like proposals, honeymoons and anniversaries.
Miami, New York and Paris are some of the most frequently booked locations by consumers, as well as Havana, which Shoot My Travel recently added to its roster. The company also plans to release an app early next year, on which travelers can read photographer reviews, check availability, book instantly, message their photographer and receive photos, all within the app (prices from $185).