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What is Travel Photography?

The term “travel photography” brings to mind a professional who works for a news magazine, The Today Show, or National Geographic. However, more and more people are hiring travel photographers to take pictures to ensure that they have quality photos. Honeymoons, anniversary trips, retirement getaways, and family vacations can all benefit from a professional travel photographer. People want to avoid the hassles of trying to get excellent shots while still having fun. A good travel photographer will provide a souvenir you’ll truly cherish for life.

Some of the benefits of hiring a travel photographer are:

  • You get an artistic eye and years of experience creating captivating images.
  • There will never be one person missing from the photos because someone had to take the picture.
  • The picture will be professionally posed, framed, and set up to tell your unique story.
  • People will be positioned in ways that flatter their faces and bodies.
  • The travel photographer has the ability and equipment to create lighting on subjects, backgrounds, and all the details in between.
  • Photos will be retouched just enough to ensure they look as magical as you remember your vacation being.

If you are tired of lugging your camera to various attractions and stopping everyone from whatever activity they are involved in to take a picture, a travel photographer may be the solution for you. Hiring a travel photographer can be an amazing experience for everyone. You not only get photos you love, but you also can fully immerse yourself in the vacation adventure, which makes for better pictures. A professional travel and family vacation photographer captures you as well as the sights as you see them.

by Jeremy McGraw
Jade Maitre

Tips for Travel Photography


Share your trip itinerary with your photographer

They may be able to make some suggestions about places to visit and local activities.


Communicate your vision and the types of shots you want

Let your photographer know if you want people pictures, landscapes, or artifacts; formal or informal shots; candid shots or posed photos.


Think about the clothing you need for pictures

If you have always dreamed of riding a horse down the beach, you need to remember to pack some appropriate pants for that shot. You may want to pack a separate outfit to only wear for your photos.


It helps if your photographer knows the local language

Some vacationers have stated that people pictures are some of their favorites. If you photographer speaks the language, it creates more interaction and openness with locals and makes these shots easier to get.


Ask your photographer for location suggestions

Sometimes your photographer will know special out-of-the way restaurants and scenic spots.


Pick the day and time for your photo session

If you choose a date towards the end of your trip, you can go back to any of your favorite locations for your photos. You may need to schedule your photo shoot early in the day if you want pictures of popular tourist sites in order to avoid crowds.


Take a simple point-and-shoot with you

There may be some shots you don’t want to pay a professional for. Ask your photographer to include some of these photos if they are doing a photo album layout later.

by SmartShoot

How much does Travel Photography cost?

Most professional travel photographers charge about $200 to $500 for a one to three hour session, depending on their level of experience and if you want prints, albums, or other items. In addition, some charge by the picture and others charge a flat rate.

Once you find a travel photographer that meets your needs, do not haggle over a reasonable price. In addition to spending a couple of hours with you, your photographer also has business expenses – editing your photos on expensive software and computers, insurance to cover equipment damage and liabilities, and taxes on income.

When you start your budget planning, add the cost of hiring a travel photographer. Remember that this can serve as a permanent souvenir in lieu of t-shirts, curios, and other often too expensive impulse purchases.

Hiring a Travel Photographer

One of the reasons for hiring a travel photographer is to have unique pictures. If you simply want shots of the place, you can buy postcards. You want a travel photographer who is creative and able to take shots that convey the emotions and experience of your travel. Check the photographer’s style and make sure he is able to convey your personalities. If his pictures are sultry and you want to capture your family vacation, he may not be the photographer for you.

You want a photographer who knows cultural taboos about photography. Also, they should be sensitive to local customs. Some cultures and religions are uncomfortable being photographed.

When you look at the portfolio of a photographer you are considering, remember that a good travel photographer should be able to:

  • Photograph portraits, landscapes, and everything in between.
  • Not only capture landscape and geographical features, but also weather – storms, fog, clouds – whatever is unique to the experience of the place.
  • Strike a balance between a picture of the people and the place. A portrait made in Japan should look different than one taken in the subject’s backyard.
  • Make sure you come home with pictures of the people your travel with, but also of those you interact with on your trip - the maid who told you about that great restaurant, the concierge who went out of his way for you, and the little boy who waited outside with fresh flowers for you each day.

    Some resorts and theme parks offer photo sessions. If you choose to use these services, make sure you ask to see a portfolio and that the pictures you see were taken by the photographer you are considering. If you are going on a family vacation, a honeymoon, or spending days at a business meeting in an exotic locale, consider hiring a travel photographer. Once a luxury, hiring a travel photographer has become a popular option to provide a meaningful travel souvenir.

Find a Travel Creative near you!

SmartShoot brings the power of professional photos and videos.

We help businesses and individuals find and collaborate with professional freelance photographers and videographers. Our creatives have delivered over 80,000 projects around the globe.

An example project

20 travel images needed

A basic travel shoot can be 20 simple images shot during a half day with simple post production. A basic shot list of must have shots helps ensure that the right images are captured in a constrained time frame. Using a local shooter can mitigate weather risk and keeps travel and accommodation costs to a minimum.

Suggested Price: 750

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