Picture Perfect: Hiring A Professional Photographer On Vacation
So, I’ve been a little preoccupied growing a human and it’s taken me away from this blog. There’s so much for me to share with you about our latest vacation and I thought I’d start with the knockout photos of our picture-perfect time in Santorini.
Our vacation to Greece and Turkey was an entirely unique experience. The biggest reason being that when we started planning the trip babies were not on our brains. Somewhere in the months between ticket purchases and takeoff, we started the discussion and found ourselves in the family way very soon after. This changed things, particularly for me, as I was originally planning a total wine fest abroad.
However, this journey was different in another huge way as well. Once we found out we were expecting, I figured Greece would be a magical place to make the announcement. To share our greatest adventure while on an adventure of a lifetime. This got me thinking about how I’d like to capture the moment, which led to hiring a professional photographer on our vacation.
Let me tell you… even if we were not expecting, I’d absolutely do this again. Particularly when travelling somewhere with high tourism, like Santorini. I did not anticipate just how much this one small act would shape our experience for the better.
For starters, hiring a professional photographer meant actually getting to appear in pictures WITH my husband. I cannot tell you how many of our adventure photos include my husband alone or all scenery, because we’ve found ourselves off the beaten path without anyone to ask to take a photo of us. I’ve also put my camera in some sketchy situations, trying to hit the timer with just enough time to sprint towards James before the shutter snaps.
This ties nicely into how awkward it is to ask someone else for a photo. I will pretty much always tell the person who agreed to take our picture that it “looks great!” Truth being, it usually doesn’t. Or, the kind soul doesn’t quite capture what I was going for. But I’m not about to tell that to someone who has given up a piece of their own vacation to help me take home a piece of mine. A professional photographer, on the other hand, will be open to hearing what you’ve imagined. They will be willing to take 20 photos in the same spot to get it just right and, most of the time, they’ll have an idea to make it look even better.
I can humbly admit that I am no expert photographer. A college course and a few educational reads have not turned me into Ansel Adams. Further, no amount of photo editing will create as beautiful a photo as a professional can capture raw. I knew I’d want to frame at least one of our first family photos, which meant getting all the elements just right.
All signs pointing to professional. BUT HERE’S THE BIGGEST SURPRISE!
The absolute biggest benefit, that neither of us realized, was the time we gained to simply enjoy our vacation. We arrived in Santorini knowing we had three days to explore before our 2-hour photo shoot. This meant three days of hand-holding through the beautiful streets, stopping to gaze at all the white and blue landmarks as well as the ships coming into the harbour. During this time we noticed how many people were crammed together, vying for a spot to capture that Instagram-worthy photo. It felt freeing not to be part of it or the jungle of selfie sticks. Instead, we got to enjoy each other in this gorgeous setting and only had to set aside two hours of our last day to capture all the best photos. By then we knew all our favorite spots. Our photographer knew even better than us, so we never had to suggest a thing.
What made the experience smoother? The fact that we were travelling with a professional led people to actually move out of our photos (for the most part)! When people didn’t move of their own accord, our photographer had the clout to politely ask them to do so. Taking a large number of magnificent photos took no time at all. It was quick and painless and the end result was breathtaking.
Yes, it costs money to do this. I wouldn’t necessarily book something as extravagant for a run of the mill vacation. We knew Greece was going to be special and we treated it respectively. I chose to think of the couple hundred dollars like an excursion. For roughly the same cost as taking a hot air balloon flight across the Cappadocia Valley, we took home priceless souvenirs and enjoyed a carefree vacation.
Thank you Anna A. Photography of Santorini, Greece for capturing so beautifully our greatest adventure to date. Our first as a family of three.