HOW TO WALK AWAY WITH THE PERFECT SOUVENIR WITHOUT ADDING TO YOUR LUGGAGE

I'm not such a heavy packer. In fact, I only have one backpack and one carry on suitcase for the entire two months of travel...but I'll save all that for another post. My point is that I don't have much room to carry around trinkets that I collect from markets or souvenir shops, and I know that they would just end up collecting dust or break as soon as I rolled up to my doorstep in Florida. However, there is one thing that I believe everyone can appreciate taking away from their vacation: fabulous photos.

One problem...I'm traveling alone and I am still earning my sea legs with photography and my tripod.

{Enter Flytographer}

Flytographer is a company that allows freelancing photographers to schedule abbreviated photo shoots starting at just 30 minutes so that travelers can capture memories in a way that does not require any extra baggage fees. This is perfect for those traveling alone, honeymooners that want to capture their first days in wedded bliss, families looking for quality photos for the home, or even someone who is brave enough to capture an engagement on camera!

To be sure of this company, I wanted to try the service out in one of the most picturesque cities in the world: Venice.

Upon first inquiry, the Flytographer concierge reached out to confirm my interest and to provide me with a way of reaching out to them for any questions. Within minutes I had a confirmation from my photographer, Marta. I have to admit that I asked Marta tips on clothing and shopping so that I could be prepared, and you know what? She was beyond happy to help get me camera ready!

I showed up to the meeting spot nervous and anxious. I'm really not shy, but I also was walking in heels through crowds of tourists in a peak time of day. After a variety of different reactions to a solo woman dressed up and alone in one of the world's most romantic cities, I was happy to have Marta put me at ease.

We started in the main square where she shoo'ed people out of her shots (I should have opted for morning...take note!) and then translated to the cafes that I would buy coffee if I could use their dramatic setting as a backdrop (thank you Cafe Florian). In all honestly, I felt completely self conscious and vain posing for shots by my lonesome, but as the shoot progressed I felt confident and comfortable.

After a sufficient amount of photos in the recognizable areas, we opted to take to the backstreets. This is where the investment in hiring a local came in handy! I asked about the best restaurants without the crowds, the best sites to see, and various other questions that I felt could enhance my knowledge on this city. Again, Marta's assistance was graciously offered.

We ended the shoot with an Aperol spritz and conversation about our backgrounds. I was regretting not brushing up enough on my Italian, but we made it through and I thoroughly enjoyed her company.

To make the most of your Flytographer experience, I would suggest to follow these key guidelines:

  • Research where you want to get photos by looking on sites like Pinterest and on the Flytographer website.
  • To ensure availability, book as early as possible. Click here for pricing, and be sure to use code "reinventtravel" so they know you heard about them from Explorateur Travel!
  • Pick a time of day that will have the least amount of crowds.
  • Ask questions about the city to your photographer (even come with questions if you have them on your mind).
  • Ask how you should prepare or dress if you want to make sure that you are cohesive with your setting.
  • If you have ideas, don't be shy! I wanted a photo of me drinking coffee...and Marta made it happen! Want to pop champagne? Let them know and I'm sure they will find a way to make your imagination come to life!
  • Lastly, enjoy every second of an experience that makes you feel like the rock star that you are!