My sister has been my personal photographer on several trips of ours, especially in Thailand, Italy, and Hawaii. She takes awesome photos and even puts them together into Mixbooks and all I have to do is share my iPhone pictures with her. But sometimes, she doesn't make it into enough photos herself, even though I try to take the camera from her every once in a while. Many of our family photos from Italy are of a group of three of us instead of all four. I bought a selfie stick before our Iberia trip (and wrote about it here), but for this trip, we also wanted to try something else a little different.
Enter Flytographer. I've been a fan of Flytographer's work for while now, since two of my travel buddies (the World Wanderer and Lola) have had some amazing experiences with them. Flytographer is a company who sources local photographers in over 130 destinations for personal, candid photoshoots of you, your family, and friends, enjoying your travels. My family has not had a professional photoshoot in quite some time (I'm the littlest one):
This year, for my parents' birthdays, my sister and I gifted them a Flytographer shoot of our own. Of the cities we were heading to on our Iberia trip, Flytographer is currently available in Lisbon, Madrid, and Barcelona. Since our parents weren't joining us in Portugal, we checked out the photographers in Madrid and Barcelona and fell in love with Julia's photos in Madrid. We worked with our Flytographer conceirge Jen, and discussed what kind of photoshoot we'd like. I mentioned we were interested in an old-school European feel, and from that, Julia suggested shooting in Plaza Mayor, the Almudena Cathedral, and in front of the Royal Palace. I also said that we'd want a lot of group shots and some individual "glamour shots" of my sister and me.
As our photoshoot was approaching and the weather forecast started looking worse and worse, we wondered if we'd made a mistake by not choosing a Barcelona shoot. Our entire time in Madrid aside from a few hours was rainy, which everyone told us was not what Madrid was normally like. We worked with Flytographer and Julia to see if we should shoot on a different day, and they were helpful and flexible, but we ended up sticking with our original timeslot, since no day appeared better than the next.
Our photographer Julia was the sweetest. We met in Plaza Mayor and bonded with her immediately, especially over How I Met Your Mother, which she's been watching. Because it was pouring, our photoshoot was a little different than other Flytographer shoots and contained many more posed shots than us walking around sightseeing. Julia had us fake laugh which would then cause us to laugh for real because it was so silly and she'd take the photos during the real laugh. She also had an activity where she'd ask us to "Say something that starts with the letter A that describes Erin," and so on, for more candid shots.
We took photos in Plaza Mayor and in front of the Cathedral and Royal Palace as planned, adding and removing our jackets several times throughout the process. To warm up and get some variety, we also took photos in my favorite bar in Plaza Mayor, La Torre del Oro, which they allowed because we had been there several times already and because we were from New Jersey, where their amigo Bruce Springsteen is from. We also shot in the marketplace nearby where I wanted to buy everything.
Once our photoshoot was over and we'd dried off and warmed up, we all agreed that it was fun and that Julia should come to Granada and Barcelona with us, but we were skeptical about how the pictures would turn out because of the weather. So skeptical in fact, that when the pictures arrived in my inbox a few days later, I was afraid to show them to my family before looking at them first. But when I saw the first few images I said to Katie, "you're not going to believe this, but the pictures are amazing."
I really don't know how Julia did it. The only bad thing about the photos is simply that I'm not wearing one of the three dresses I picked out to wear when the Internet told me Madrid would be 70 degrees and sunny. I do love that jacket though.
Photo credit (aside from the first one): Julia Puig for Flytographer. Muchas gracias to Flytographer for the special rate and the wonderful experience. Shoots begin at $250 - use this link and the promo code #FLYFAN to get $25 off a photoshoot during your upcoming travels. Opinions are always my own.