When travelling abroad, a local photographer can help make lasting memories to treasure

Relying on the kindness of strangers to snap vacation shots can end badly, with blinking eyes, blurry faces, dark shadows or even clumsy fingertips in the frame. On a recent trip to Santorini, however, my boyfriend and I walked away with the best photographs of our lives. Why? Investing in a local, professional photographer is worth every penny.

Here are just a few of the reasons why...

1. They know all the best spots

SunsetNikola AncevskiCombining creativity and knowledge, local photographers know how to find the most photogenic spots. Ours knew which island rooftops were okay to climb, which viewpoints had the best angles of the town, and where to find those gorgeous pink Bougainvillea flowers to use as a backdrop. He led us through the Greek alleyways in a logical and efficient manner while making the most of our one-hour time slot together. (He even checked sunset times to ensure that coveted “golden hour” glow in our photoshoot—something I wouldn’t have thought to do on my own.)

2. They instruct you how to pose

PoseNikola AncevskiA good photographer will provide direction and capture you and your loved ones from the most flattering angles. Who should stand and who should sit? Which leg should be crossed in front? Is everyone's hair okay? If you’re lucky, maybe the photographer will even toss in a few jokes to elicit laughter and capture a natural happiness on camera.

3. They navigate crowds for a clean shot

PathwayNikola AncevskiHow many times have you had a stranger take a photo for you, only to have a dozen other people in the background? Getting a clean shot takes patience and practice... which are two things a stranger off the street may not have when helping you take a photo.

A good photographer will navigate the crowds and be assertive, ensuring  a clear shot with no other tourists in the photo. Our photographer in Santorini had his assistant block the front of an alleyway so that we could get that perfect walking shot with no one else in the background.

4. They'll edit their work

HillsidelNikola AncevskiMeeting with subjects and actually taking photographs is just half of a photographer’s job. The rest of their time is spent editing shots and conducting other behind-the-scenes work. This could mean sorting through hundreds of photos, cropping them, or adjusting the lighting until the photos are perfect. Our photographer took over 600 shots of us during our one-hour shoot. After two weeks, we received 80 of his “best of the best” edited shots.

5. They're not impossible to find

EmbraceNikola AncevskiConvinced that you should book a photographer on your next vacation? Here are four easy ways to find a local photographer for your next vacation....

  • Flytographer is a Canadian company that matches tourists with a local vacation photographer in 200 destinations around the world. Pricing is standardized depending on the length of your shoot, with bookings and payments conveniently handled online through the website.
  • MyWed.com is also a fantastic resource for locating a professional photographer in many cities. Although the name implies that their main curation of talent is for weddings, many of the listed photographers on the site are open to shooting lifestyle and vacation shots. Each photographer has an individual price, so you can shop around until you find one within your budget.
  • Airbnb now offers interactive, experience-based tours in many cities. Through Airbnb Experiences, its common to see photographers offering a walking tour that not only offers an insider’s view of their city, but also the opportunity to snap professional photos of you and your friends experiencing the city.
  • Instagram is often used to showcase a photographer’s most recent work. Photographers will typically tag their photos with #citynamephotographer, listing their contact details on their profile page.