Vacation photographer

Hiring a vacation photographer

Professional photogs up the ante on trip photos

There are two separate events that prompted me to write this post.

1) A girlfriend of mine got married this summer and honeymooned in Europe. After their five-week honeymoon (yes, five), she returned with these incredible snapshots of she and her husband in London and Paris (see above). Everyone’s comments were the same, “These photos are awesome! Did you hire someone to follow you around on your honeymoon?”

Surprisingly, the answer was yes. They opted out of traditional engagement photos and instead chose to hire a professional photog to snap some pics of them in two stunning locations. My first reaction? Why didn’t I think of that?! The majority of my honeymoon photos are of Scott, of myself, of things, or somewhat awkwardly of the two of us as we ask a random passerby to snap a pic. How cool would it have been to hire someone in Peru to capture us walking around Cusco? Peru may not be the most ideal location for something like this, but you get where I’m coming from.


The photo above is an example of my trip photos. Not bad, right? Except for the fact that this whirlwind trip spending time in London, Amsterdam, Paris and Prague (one of the most memorable trips ever) included three of us: myself, my sister and my dad. How many pictures include all of us? ONE. We don’t have one framable photo of the three of us in Europe. 

2) The second instance that made me write this post was a travel-related twitter chat (#TravelSkills, to be specific). After I’d seen our friends’ honeymoon photos, I was in awe. Is this a thing? Can we hire people to snap some pics of us on our vacations? Talk about an awesome trip memory and a great way to spend a few dollars (at least in my book). I, for one, would rather have stellar, framable photos than some overpriced trinket with a city’s name on it.

Enter @flytographer. When the chat turned to best trip gifts, there was mention of professional photos as memorable takeaways from trips.

Oh. My. Gosh. This is a thing! My friends just did this — with amazing success! — and apparently they’re not the only ones. This photographer, along with many others,  snaps professional photos of you, you and your significant other, you and your family — whatever it is you’re looking for! — while you’re traveling.

As I mentioned earlier, I constantly return from trips with a million photos but about three that I’m actually in. I’m always the one that takes photos so I’m never in them (anyone else?). The result is a slew of really cool pictures of things, places and of my travel partners, but very few with me in them.

A professional photographer sounds really expensive, yes, but it can actually fit into your travel budget. Some start as low as $200 for a short shoot (a half hour walking around a city) and can go up to thousands if you’re looking for something more intensive. Here are a few professional photographers to consider if you’re looking for a vacation photography session:

  • Kristo Di Giorio // For those looking for vacation photography in Greece, Kristos offers a range of packages from a one-hour ‘highlights’ shoot to a full day of snapshots (beginning at €180). He’s based in Santorini (perfect for honeymoon and anniversary shoots!) but will gladly travel throughout Greece and beyond for vacation photography throughout Europe.  
  • Flytographer // Shoots begin at $200 for a thirty minute package. A team is available to capture your vacation moments from places like New Orleans and Rome to Prague and Paris. Dozens of cities are available around the world!
  • Nerijus Karmilcovas // Nerijus of K Photography is a Killarney, Ireland based photographer with session that can be customized to the look and feel you’re looking for. 250€ and up. Check out our vacation photography in Ireland to get a feel for the photos he creates!
  • Lindsey Kent // Lindsey is based in Paris and snapped the gorgeous photo of our friends on their honeymoon. 350€ (for a two hour shoot) and up.
  • Kat Hill // A wedding photog based in London, Kat captured the photo of our friends in London. Contact her for package pricing.
  • Wayne Stadler // Wayne, a photographer with decades of experience, travels with families to capture photos from family vacays. Expect to pay $800 per day (for 10 hours of shooting), a $50 per diem + all expenses (flights, hotel, etc.)

Obviously, I’m in love with this idea so I proposed this concept to Scott for future getaways. I thought it was a pretty justifiable way to spend a bit of money on a trip. We can leave with incredible memories and cool photos that we can have forever. He wasn’t keen on the idea (ugh), but I’m still pushing for it.

What do you guys think of hiring a vacation photographer for your trips? Awesome? Weird? Share your experiences or photographer recommendations in the comments below!


Shannon Kircher, The Wanderlust Effect

Featured photo showcases Nerijus from K Photography in action.

More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect, formerly The Traveling Scholar. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. She is a former resident of London and San Francisco and now calls the island of Anguilla home. In addition to The Wanderlust Effect, Shannon is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort and is on the Board of Directors of the Omololu International School in Anguilla.

  • I think it’s an amazing idea and I plan to budget a photographer into our next vacation. In fact I am a vacation photographer on St John in the US Virgin Islands. My favorite session is the ‘day in the life of your island vacation,” I follow along for about 6 hours of coverage, a walk through town, on to the beach or a sail trip. I have an underwater camera so I’m ready to hop into the turquoise water with clients and grab the snorkel kiss, or smile with the turtle shots. So much fun!

    • Hi Savannah, I totally agree! Such a great way to capture memories and such a good souvenir.

  • Lindsey Kent

    Thank you so much for sharing this “THING” with your readers! After moving abroad, I started Pictours Paris just on the hunch that visitors to Paris would maybe want a great memento of their special time – whether it be a honeymoon, vacation, proposal or eleopement – via professional portraits. And voila! I have met such amazing couples, including your friends pictured above. Thanks again for the support, and hope to see you one day in Paris! Cheers, Lindsey Kent

  • Nicole

    Thanks for this great story, Shannon. I’m going to write a blog to help you convince your husband! I hope Flytographer has the chance to photograph you both in one of our 55 locations worldwide!

  • TonjaC

    We hired Lindsey for an evening this summer on our 25th anniversary trip to Paris. Absolutely worth every penny! Great photographs and a really fun evening. Make every effort to hire her if you’re going to Paris!

  • sheeney7

    My husband would be ALL over this because he HATES asking people to take our photos, and if they didn’t capture a good one of BOTH of us, then we ask them to take more (horrible, I know….but I figure, we’re only in this city once or twice, I can live with myself if I irritate another human being so long as I get a good photo….I know, awful again). But this is something Tass would absolutely love haha. Definitely worthy of building into the budget 🙂

  • I’ve been fortunate enough to travel with people as their personal photographer, and it is always an amazing experience for everyone! Not only do they love the photos, but they get to fully immerse themselves in the adventure (which makes for better pictures anyway). Additionally it has allowed me to see and do things I had only dreamed of. Everybody wins! I couldn’t recommend it enough! …but maybe I’m biased. 😉

    • Colby James Capps

      I am interested in how you do what you do. I recently started looking into this as a profession. do you charge a rate based on length of vacation, or just cost of travel and stay? I think there would be enough demand, and you wouldn’t have to charge outrageous prices because you also get to travel! I just don’t know about reasonable rates.

  • Phyllis Samuels

    When visiting NYC, the Personal Vacation Photographer to hire is Marc Samuels. Winner 2014 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, featured in The Good Morning America Show on ABC and Fodor’s Travel Magazine. Marc’s work can be seen on his website

  • Wayne Stadler

    Thank you for the mention. I don’t google myself very often and just found this. I’m happy people are starting to warm up to the idea. All the best on your next vacation!

    • Hi Wayne, I agree – the idea has definitely become much more well-received recently. I finally took the plunge a few months ago! 🙂

      • Wayne Stadler

        Cool! And I’m assuming it was worth it?

        • Yes! Was worth it but would totally do a longer session next time. It takes a while to get into the groove and feel comfortable.

  • Hello! Nice article about a niche market 🙂 We are happy to see that vacation photographers are growing in popularity. We provide the same service, but combine unique tours with photoshoots. Imagine a Henna photoshoot in India, Pin-Up photos in LA, or a Bavarian PicNic in Munich, all lead by a photographer that documents and takes great photos along the way. We do the standard stuff too like family photos on the beach and surprise proposals in Paris, check us out !

    • Very cool! We had a great experience with a photoshoot in St. John (though it took us a while to get comfortable). Would love to try one in a city next time!

  • Hi! Your article is quite interesting because most of people dosen’t think to hired a professional photographer for their trip. But it could provide really beautiful memory!
    We are professional photographer providing this service in the city of Paris, the city of love!
    You could checkt out our work
    and if you like it you could follow us on our facebook page
    Have good trip!!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your work! It’s such a fun way to capture memories, and Paris is certainly one of the most spectacular backdrops for a photo shoot. 🙂

  • utkgrrrl

    We did this for our honeymoon in Paris and Rome. We actually brought our wedding formal wear to Paris and took photos all around Paris as if we were married in the city of lights. It is also very easy to get a stylist to come to your hotel room to prepare you. Any good photographer can refer you. We used David Bacher in Paris who is an American that now lives there.

    In Rome we used Teresa Carnuccio who was completely amazing. She brought us gifts from her home in Naples and even sent us a very sweet, hand-written card at Christmas this year.

    I highly recommend anyone paying for a memorable vacation to set aside some money for professional photos. They will give you memories for a lifetime!

    • Hi there, I totally agree! It’s such a fun souvenir, and once you get over that initial awkwardness it’s a fun experience. I would love to do it again in Europe!

  • Selma Ohlsson

    We are a husband and wife wedding photography team based in Cape Town, South Africa. We would love to photograph couples who are either here on holiday or honeymoon and show off our beautiful city. We shoot destination weddings too, so we’d be more than happy to collect a few passport stamps along the way. You are welcome to view our work here:

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  • Priscilla .K

    Hi, my name is Priscilla, I’m interested about this job.

    You can see more via my website, if you’re interested to shooting with me as well,

    please email to me, looking forward your reply 🙂
    My website:

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