This Shoot my Travel review is for you, If you’ve ever thought about using a vacation photographer!
A highlight of our time in LA this summer was our photo shoot with Shoot My Travel.
I paid for this particular shoot with my own, hard-earned cash. Many of the Shoot my Travel review posts I’ve read are based on freebies, but this one is definitely 100 percent independent.
Why Shoot my Travel?
I’ve been tinkering with the idea of a family photo shoot for a while. Realistically, when you’re a single parent, you end up with a LOT of photos of your child. But not so many photos of you.
There’s even less chance of there being any photos of you and your child together. Well, unless you count my short-armed selfies. Which I don’t (lovely as they are).
Booking a shoot with a vacation photographer seemed like a great way to do two things at once.
First, to get some lovely photos of Flea, AND the two of us together. And second, to capture one of our adventures. As an added bonus, this wouldn’t be iPhone photography. We’d have high quality photos we could print and have as memories at home.
Choosing our Shoot My Travel Photographer
Shoot my Travel is currently available in more than 200 destinations worldwide, and the site had a few different photographers in LA.
Each photographer had a slightly different style. Some were more beach focused and it was unsaturated, over-exposed photography. Others were more gritty and urban. It’s fun to browse and REALLY hard to choose.
After looking at the options for a LONG time and forcing myself to choose just one, we opted for Marisa. She’s an LA photographer who specialises in taking tourists around downtown LA. Her profile said she likes photographing people who don’t usually pose, which seemed promising.
Marisa’s colourful, modern photos looked like the sort of thing we’d have on our walls at home. Lastly, I LOVED her Instagram feed, so I went ahead and booked.
Shoot My Travel: The Booking Process
Once you’ve paid your fee with Shoot My Travel, you’ll be put in touch with your photographer to confirm dates and times.
We received an email from Shoot my Travel with our photographer’s contact details and from there all communication was direct.
Marisa was really flexible, and when our travel plans changed unexpectedly, there was no problem moving our shoot to another date.
We made sure to arrange a clear meeting spot and time, and Marisa sent us a Google invite with a map attached so we couldn’t get lost.
As it was, I still managed to approach the wrong person in Pershing Square and say, “Excuse me, are you…”
I promptly got yelled at by an angry American woman who screamed, “I DON’T APPRECIATE YOU JUST TALKING TO ME, WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? NOW GO AWAY.”
A few minutes later we saw a woman punching a bus. Repeatedly.
You don’t see that in Lytham St Annes.
Marisa – fortunately – was WAY nicer than that, when we finally identified the right person.
Our Shoot My Travel Experience
Over around 2.5 hours, Marisa walked us around downtown LA. As we walked, Marisa told us stories about the different buildings. She also pointed out the best bars, the nicest places to get breakfast – she was full of recommendations.
I think it’s always such a treat to get those kind of tips from a local, and it definitely made our stay in LA.
The pace was easy, although it was HOT and I was cursing not having used any sort of make-up fixer. By 10am I was a red, hot glowing mess. Flea looked annoyingly cool and beautiful, though.
The photo shoot itself was great. Two hours is long enough to relax and loosen up, and build a rapport with your photographer. It also gave us chance to visit lots of different spots to take different sorts of photos.
Some of the photos were just Flea, and some were of the two of us. During the photo walk, Marisa was also really helpful at showing me how I could replicate some of the shots on my phone, giving advice on positioning and angles. She is thinking of running photo tutorials via Airbnb and if she does, I’d definitely recommend her!
Flea is well used to posing, but I’m most definitely NOT.
Still, having a professional photographer means you assume they’re going to take the most flattering pictures they can. And quietly dispose of the others.
It also helps having the shoot be more like a tour, as you’re naturally relaxed and engaging with the surroundings. Also doing this sort of shoot on holiday is GREAT because who cares? Feeling self-conscious? These people don’t know who you are, and you never have to see them again. Sorted.
Our photo shoot slash tour took us through a half dozen different locations, from The Last Bookstore to the Grand Central Food Market and even a quick ride on the famous tram that Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone rode in LA LA Land. It was so cool.
We finished up at a hidden little garden at the back of the Disney Concert Hall, which was ridiculously pretty.
At the end of the shoot, we got a final, bonus recommendation from Marisa – a ramen bar for lunch. Which was awesome.
After the Shoot
Within 24 hours of our shoot, we had an email to preview the photos that Marisa had taken.
There were around 50 images in total, and our package allowed me to choose my favourite 24 photos. In exchange for a review on the brand’s Facebook page, we got a 25th image.
The preview site is password protected so your photos are completely private – although you could share the link with friends if you like. You can also buy additional images at $15 per photo, or there are packages available with 15 or 35 images.
I took a couple of days to sift through the photos properly, before selecting my favourites. Once I’d done that I was sent a Zip file with high-res images to download and use as we pleased.
Shoot My Travel: Overall Review
The package we chose from Shoot My Travel cost $330 (£250) for two hours and 25 images.
Personally, I think that’s really good value for the experience we had, and the quality of images we were offered by our photographer. Thanks Marisa!
The service from Shoot My Travel was great. We really appreciated our photographer’s flexibility when we needed to change dates, and we went back and forth over times to find something that suited us both.
I liked that there were lots of photographers to choose from in our preferred city, with a range of styles. Whether your preference is beach-style, or something more fancy, there’s likely a photographer that can deliver the sort of shoot you’re looking for.
What I liked most is the way Shoot My Travel almost sneaks a photo shoot on your kids.
Rather than getting bored and distracted by having to do endless poses, Flea was just on the sort of walk we’d do on our trips anyway. The photos were in cool locations that were interesting to look at. And because we kept moving, she didn’t have a chance to get bored.
One thing I would say is make sure your children are happy having their photo taken in public if you’re doing this sort of shoot. Flea wasn’t self-conscious particularly, but I can imagine lots of teens would worry about having photos taken in busy locations.
It’s definitely something to consider when chatting with your photographer.
Our experience of Shoot My Travel was very positive. And as for the photos we received, they were really fantastic, and I’m so pleased to finally, finally have some great photos of me and my girl in the same shot! If you’ve never considered a vacation photographer before, then we’d definitely say give Shoot My Travel a try!