If you ever wondered what it would be like to be a model, well I had a taste of it recently and its hard work. “You did what?” my friend asked when I casually mentioned the professional Flytographer London photo shoot I arranged for me & Mom. “You HATE being in photos” and he was right but as I sipped my wine, I replied “It was for Mom, she wanted pictures of me”. For all the years I’ve traveled solo, long before the selfie was popular, you asked other people to take your photo. I always picked the wrong people who took the worst photos even after I composed the shot and said “just press here”. So for all of my travels, there are very few photos of me as evidenced in Mom’s Family album. There is my high school and college graduation photos and then a picture of my house. Mom said her friends started calling me “the phantom daughter” so she wanted a picture of me during our ten day trip to Paris & London so I didn’t want to rely on other people to take the photo(s) so turned to a professional.
Flytographer began with a great concept, they would be your vacation paparazzi to follow you around and capture those real moments, and it has since morphed into both the natural photo and posed with great success. No longer tied to selfies only or the family photo without Dad since he’s taking the photo, Flytographer allows you to star in your own vacation – as picture perfect models in that glossy travel magazine or brochure.
How To Book Your Vacation Photo Shoot
Flytographer’s website and blog are great starting points. You have the opportunity to browse through other people’s photos in various cities and read the blog about their back stories. You can also look at the photographers available in your chosen city and see their portfolio, read their bios and get a sense of who they are and how they capture people. It’s a hard choice with so many talented photographers. With each city, the booking request will present you a list of preferred locations for your photo shoot but also gives you an option to request a bespoke location. So armed with the package type you want and the list of photographers, you can make a booking request (or have a travel agent like me handle the details).
- A Flytographer Concierge will reply rather quickly to let you know if the photographer is available.
- You will receive your invoice to pay online to proceed to the confirmation.
- You will also need to provide a photo of yourself so the photographer knows who he/she is meeting.
- A Shoot Concierge will guide you through the details.
- They will send you suggestions on what to wear (Mom was originally Navy, so I brought my Navy dress, but then changed to Black and I had to improvise) and know about the photo shoot.
- They will connect you with the photographer directly by email.
- The Photographer will contact you as well to confirm details.
- You will receive a reminder email prior to the photo shoot.
Flytographer London Photo Shoot Request
Since this was Mom’s first trip to London, I decided to split our one hour photo shoot with Classic London (Big Ben & Parliament) with present day London via the Street Art. I also chose Hector from the list of photographers in London. His portfolio showed a mother/daughter picture and he had a few older people (some portfolios are engagements, families, romantic couples focused) and street art photos. We arranged to meet on the Westminster Bridge near Big Ben and the London Eye.
Me being me, in the “other notes box” I mentioned that I hate having my photo taken as I was more comfortable behind the camera.
The London Photo Shoot
We easily met Hector on the bridge at the meeting point. He explained what we would do and how he would direct us. We started on the bridge and he told Mom “to relax and lean on the bridge” while looking at me he said “can you relax?” I replied “probably not as I’m not good in front of the camera, thankfully you can edit out the double chin and make my waist thinner?” He laughed. As a wedding photographer full time, he is used to women asking for a touch up via Photoshop. I told him I would try my best, while Mom was totally a natural.
We walked down the stairs to the river walk for lovely views of Big Ben and Parliament. Of course, the day of our shoot was the hottest September day in over sixty years. The sun was still strong at 6 p.m. While we did our shoot, along walked a real model shooting a commercial (nothing like that to remind you that you are not a professional model) – she stuck out of the crowd as she was wearing a winter coat and surrounded by three camera men as she walked. The rest of London walked by as if she was invisible.
While Hector was talking to Mom and shooting her photos, I was on the hunt for my friend who was meeting us (she would hold our bags during the shoot – they tell you not to bring heavy bags or other stuff with you). Hector took a few photos of me during this time which I like because they are not posed just natural.
We would walk away from the bridge toward the Leake Street Graffiti Tunnel (I never heard of it but it was made famous by Banksy and is now an authorized graffiti location in the city). While we walked, Hector spied a green door that he told me to stand in front of.
The Graffiti tunnel was interesting as it was more tagging with mixes of street art in between. It was definitely gritty. While Hector looked for interesting backgrounds, my friend took photos with my phone (I would take photos with my camera after the shoot was over). We got to see an artist working on his space on the wall – he was painting his young niece.
When the time was up (it goes fast), we walked out of Leake Street graffiti tunnel and I was back in my normal mode – taking photos. Hector took a few photos of me in my natural state which I like.
The Flytographer London Experience – Final Photos
Two days later I received an email with a teaser photo and the next day, I received the link to the album of photos (you don’t control the photos you get, the photographer picks out the best ones they like from the hundreds they take). I liked many of the photos (Mom loved them all) especially the ones that are the original concept of paparazzi of behind the scenes of your vacation.
Overall Flytographer London Experience
Flytographer is a fabulous way to star in your magazine worthy vacation photos – your own holiday brochure of memories. It’s a great way to capture the fun spirit of the trip whether it’s a family vacation, girls get together, wedding proposal or regular “we are tired of selfie photos”. Yes, it’s expensive (our cost for one hour was $350) but it’s worth the extra to have great photos of loved ones. It was a highlight for Mom and a great way to end our Paris & London luxury trip. Now I’m no longer the phantom daughter and can go back behind the camera again.
Flytographer Discount: Book your own photo shoot with Flytographer – use code PhilaTravelGirl at checkout to receive 20% more photos from your shoot.