FEMALE Tries: Vacation Photographer Services

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Ladies, we’ve finally found a way to avoid those awkward exchanges with strangers to help take your photos. 

Photo: SweetEscape

Unless you’re travelling with an Instagram husband or someone who has superb camera skills, chances are your holiday pictures won’t be of good quality. I’ve lost count of the number of times where I’ve looked back at my old albums and wonder why I didn’t have any nice pictures to use. Yes, it might sound superficial, but the one thing I always worry about when travelling is who’s going to take my pictures (aka #OOTD shots) for me; and in this Instagram-obsessed world we live in, I think that’s a fair question to ask.

So after always having wondered what it was like to be one of those girls who travel with a personal photographer, imagine my curiosity and excitement when I found out we could actually hire one! My research led me to two different websites, both promising that the service they provide will make my holiday a memorable one. With that (and the many testimonials from happy clients I’ve read), it didn’t take much more convincing in order for me to sign up for an account and book a photographer for my trip to America back in July.

1. SweetEscape

I first heard about this holiday photo service when I was doing my research on AXIOO, a leading Indonesian photography company that specialises in pre-wedding shoots, for my upcoming wedding.

Sweet Escape has a network of photographers across 300 cities in 5 continents in the world, including the trending holiday destinations, such as, South Africa, Japan and Iceland. 

After downloading the mobile app and creating an account, I submitted a request for a shoot and within a few days, Yansen got back to me introducing himself as my photographer. We kept in contact through the SweetEscape app, prior to me arriving in the States, where I would give him a list of places I would like to shoot at. Yansen would reply with further suggestions and even went out of his way to help reshuffle my preferred locations which we could go first based on distance.

Fast forward to the shoot day itself, I was struck with a massive migraine (thanks LA summer heat). I called Yansen just an hour before our shoot was about to begin to ask if we could reschedule and he exceeded my expectations by being super understanding and accommodating towards the whole situation. Despite his busy schedule of having to rush off to San Diego to meet another client, he still made the effort to squeeze two hours out of his time in the morning the next day just to do the shoot with me.

In that two hours, I not only found out that he was originally from Indonesia, he also gave me a glimpse of all the past work he’s done (which was made up of influencers from around the globe)! Yansen even advised me to bring a change of clothes for the shoot because, based on his experience, that’s what all the girls would do since there would be multiple locations involved.

(left) Taken at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
(right) Taken at the ‘Angel Wings’ wall by Colette Miller along Melrose Avenue

Unfortunately I only had two pretty dresses with me during that trip, so the idea of changing clothes multiple times didn’t apply. But I still appreciated the heads up as now it looked like I was there two different times instead of all my pictures looking the same. Score!

I was really surprised with how easy it was to book a photographer. No fuss, no frills. Since my experience with SweetEscape, I’ve also noticed that a few people I follow on my Instagram have been using this photo service too – one for their pre-wedding shoot in Paris and another solo travelling shoot in Shanghai. Personally, I can’t wait for my next holiday so I can hire a photographer again to capture all the memories!

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