Forget the selfie stick. Brand-new photo service Flytographer has recruited professional photographers in more than 130 cities worldwide to take fanciful candid or posed photos of you on your dream trip. No more tilting your smartphone's camera just right, hoping to catch your face and most of the Eiffel Tower in the background. And don't even get us started on the social awkwardness that ensues when you ask a stranger to take your picture.
Instead, if you're in Paris, a local photo pro will not only know where to bring you for the least crowded shot of the Eiffel Tower (shhh...it's a nearby footbridge), but also share insider tips about the destination, like directing you to the most authentic place to get a pain au chocolat or the best little boutique to score deals on runway-worthy clothing. It's like having a built-in tour guide and, oh yeah, perfect vacation pictures too.
Right now, Flytographer exists in cities ranging from Cannes to Cape Town. Philadelphia, Nashville, Auckland, and the Amalfi Coast were recently added, and coming soon are Aruba, Banff, and Calgary. Every photographer is vetted for "skill, personality, and style" and their knowledge of the region, says founder and CEO Nicole Smith. You can even scroll through a city's available photographers and pick the one you like based on their artistic philosophy, languages they speak, and where they like to shoot. New York City, for example, has 13 pros.
"While selfies can be funny and easy, they don’t capture the spirit of a vacation or inspire the travel memories that a candid, documentary-style image can," Smith says. "Flytographer’s motto is that memories are the best travel souvenir." Within five business days of the shoot, you'll get an online photo gallery with high-res images you can download immediately.
Personalized treatment like this doesn't come cheap, of course: Sessions start at $250 for a 30-minute shoot at a single location and 15 digital photos. More cash will buy you more time, more locations, and more photos. But we've cut a deal for you: Use the code "BudgetTraveler" for a $25 discount toward a shoot or a gift card.* Even if you're not traveling yourself, a gift card could be the perfect wedding present for newlyweds embarking on their honeymoon.
*Valid until April 30th, 2015. Can be applied toward shoots or gift cards only (not prints). Cannot be combined with other commissions or offers. Cannot be applied to previously booked shoots or gift cards.