Trips With Your Pet Deserve More than Selfies!
I am back from Croatia, Dear Reader, and, Oh my! OH MY! My head is FULL of amazing adventures to share with you! I know you are eager to read them all but first—first—I have to share with you one of the best ideas ever! It was one of the most fabulous experiences we had on this trip. I hope you will forgive me if I keep you waiting a little bit longer for the city reviews, walking tours, and travel tales. Humour me with this post because I honestly think you will benefit from this find. I really do, Dear Reader!
The thing about travel is that—very much like food or music—it’s a non-tangible. Travel is an experience. This means that, other than your personal memory bank, there is only one thing you bring back from a trip that helps capture and illustrate the moments and highlights of the now completed journey: Your Photos.
Today, with the huge variety of point-and-shoots, DSLRs, and impressive quality camera phones, photos are becoming a common, and even expected, way of capturing our thoughts and sharing our experiences. Oh, how we love to share our photos – with our loved ones, friends, and even … in some cases, our fans. (Looking at you, Dear Reader!) Look at Instagram and even Pinterest: two social media platforms based entirely on the visual—on photographs.
I have written before about taking photos when you travel with your dog. I wrote about tips and tricks we picked up along the way on taking photos of your pet when traveling, and I have shared with you our idea about hiring a photographer for a few hours. And then we had media requests for recent “on location travel photos of the three of you” (Thank you, Canadian Press!) and we realized something: We had not been taking our own advice!
But can I be honest with you? Not everyone is a gifted photographer and sadly, it is far too easy to end up with a lot of photos that don’t really show what you experienced. Plus, as in our case, someone is always behind the lens and thus missing from the photos. It’s frustrating. How often have we come back from a trip and realized that the only photos we have of the three of us together are poorly taken shots that some kind stranger tried their best to take of us. Sure, sometimes you get lucky. On this last trip to Croatia one of the lovely people we sailed with turned out to be a photographer! But do you really want to leave your photo memories up to … well … fate?
Oh sure, sure. I hear you mumbling to yourself, “Selfie Stick!” *sigh*
Sure there are selfies and selfie sticks. I will not lie: we take selfies and even have a selfie stick. (It makes it easier for Dad to take video of me way down here on the ground!)
But, let’s face it, these posed selfies are far from an accurate reflection of our experience. We don’t typically pose when we visit a historic site. No! Of course not! We are observing, watching, sharing the experience with each other, and soaking it all in. I don’t know about you, Dear Reader, but when I am in a new place, I am out and about exploring and interacting with other people and dogs and with the environment. In fact, people who care about this kind of thing have done research and they are learning that taking selfies disrupts your experience: we remember less of what we saw and experienced.
A selfie might be okay, but is it the best option? Is it REALLY the best option? My answer is, No. Trips With Your Pet Deserve More than Selfies!
So what do you do? How do you get that action shot? How do you make sure you will have a handful of photographs that show the beauty of where you have been with YOU (all of you) and your dog in the shot? Photos that show you integrated into the beautiful setting you traveled a long, long distance to see? How do you guarantee you will come home with some money shots to enjoy right away and to use later to jog your memory? Something you will be happy to even …*gasp*… PRINT!
And not to get morbid but, if you think ahead to a time when your pet or loved one may no longer be with you … well … don’t you want to make sure you have great photos that are not posed?
Of course the only way to get great photojournalistic style photos on location—or even portrait shots, because a few great portrait shots are also fabulous—would be to have your own paparazzi. But unless you are famous … and hey, let’s face it, paparazzi aren’t looking to get your “good side,” if you know what I mean.
Well, a little bit of research among our favourite travel bloggers to see if they had a solution dug up what we now consider a MUST for our trips. The answer to our hopes and wishes came to us through GQ Trippin.
We believe memories are the best souvenirs.
Have you ever been on a special vacation and returned home disappointed with the photos you captured, or worse, you’re missing from all of them? Flytographer connects you with over 280 carefully chosen local photographers around the world. It’s like meeting a local friend who shares insider tips while discreetly capturing flattering, candid photos of everyone together. Photos in 5 days. Starting at $250 USD.
Get stunning vacation photos in amazing places. Some trips deserve more than selfies.
Oh yes … YES!
Why we loved the idea? A few things:
- It takes the guess work out of it. It was nice to know that someone had vetted the photographer(s).
- A personal concierge for the entire thing! Someone else was getting all the details sorted.
- Easy, safe, and private payment.
- Great photojournalistic photos of ALL three of us!
First up? We looked to see if there was a flytographer in Dubrovnik. And YES, yes there was! There was only one option in terms of photographers at the time so the question became, do we like his style of photography? The online portfolio wasn’t exactly what the bipeds were looking for. It was a little too “portrait” and we wanted a more photojournalist approach. So the concierge (Jen! She is awesome!) got us another set of photos by the same photographer to check out. And we liked what we saw. We REALLY liked what we saw! Božo Radić is a hugely talented young man and, as we found out on the day of our shoot, he is also an incredibly kind, generous, and wonderful soul to work with.
Next we chose our package. After some deliberation, we decided an hour would be plenty of time and we liked that an hour allowed a second location. After that, we shared with the photographer (through Jen, our concierge, and a form we filled out online) what we were looking for. Jen did all the back and forth, sharing information and clarifying requests. And then we paid and … And then that was it!
Jen knew when we were leaving for Croatia and made sure that before we left we received a clear, organized “play by play” plan for the day. It included:
- The time (In our case, just after sunrise for great lighting and to avoid the hordes of tourist.)
- Where we would meet (Jen even did a Google map directing us from where we were staying to where we were meeting Božo for the shoot.)
- A “shoot route” to give us an idea of our trail
- A local phone number for Božo should something go wrong
Oh and before I forget, Flytographer has a great blog post on how to dress for the shoot. The style guide is worth the read. It’s how the bipeds ended up coordinating their outfits. And you know what? It DOES make the photos!
The bipeds and I enjoyed our photo-shoot. Dubrovnik early in the morning is magical—something we might not have experienced had we not booked this shoot. While the town woke up slowly to get ready for the busy day, we met up with Božo and … the magic happened!
Božo was great! He was kind and fun, and not in our face at all. He was often surprisingly far off in the distance and just letting us be. He would show us where to go next but other than that, he didn’t interact. And that was a GOOD thing. Because his job—what we wanted—were not portraits! We wanted him to capture something as close as possible to candid, real moments of us enjoying the beautiful town of Dubrovnik. Giving too much direction would have taken the casual vibe out of it.
And the results? We love them. We simply love them. Having high resolution copies means we can not only share the photos on social media (with credit) but we can also PRINT! And print we shall. Because for once, we have high quality, everyone-looks-amazing, professionally taken photos. And when the press asks for photos of the three of us (they always want high rez), we now have options! OPTIONS, people! Not selfies. Not photos that strangers took with tops of heads or feet cut off. Not blurry or out of focus. Not “Yeah, but WHERE are they?” No. No. NOW, now we have this!
And you know what, Dear Reader? Gold. They are gold! We haven’t stopped looking at them since we got back! Grandma wants a few copies. The bipeds have some printed at their day job offices and as screensavers on their devices.
We love our photos! And we love them because they reflect what we saw. They show the three of us together. They capture the spirit of Montecristo Travels Inc.—our vibe, our smiles, and me … me always at their feet, on a lap, or in their arms.
So now as we plan our next trip (Yes, we are ALREADY planning September 2016’s PROPOSAL trip!), we are setting aside funds for a Flytographer shoot, maybe even more than one! Because some places, like say Prague or Budapest, just as Flytographer points out, deserve more than a selfie.
(Note: We were not given any freebees, invited or asked by Flytographer to review their services and write this post. Our comments are fully based on our first purchase with them and as any regular customer would experience it. For the full photo album of the Flytographer photo shoot in Dubrovnik, visit my FB page! AND should you book a Flytographer session PLEASE use this link to do so! Enter the code #FLYFAN to save $25 on YOUR session!)