If there’s one universal truth about honeymoon and proposal photos in modern times it’s that we all wind up with far more selfies than we’d like upon returning home. It’s a side effect of the ubiquitous front-facing cameras on all our iPhones, and the very human desire to record moments in time and create lasting evidence of having been in an incredible place. It’s only natural. But some moments can’t be captured accurately when there’s no space in the frame for the actual sight, city or beach landscape. And when traveling with your honey, especially on your honeymoon, it’s a bummer to only take photos of each other, or rely on strangers with questionable eyes and photographic talents to snap your all-important coupled-up images.
If these gripes are familiar, you have a kindred spirit in Flytographer founder Nicole Smith, who, from Victoria, Canada, began the online marketplace connecting local photographers with travelers to combat these very issues. Her genius concept enlists local talent in 200 cities across six continents for low-key yet dynamic photoshoots of an hour or so, during which the couple (or family or group of friends—it’s also great for bachelorette trips) is expertly snapped for perfectly candid photos in a variety of visually stimulating places.
The idea is the photographer, as a local, can share insider recommendations, acting as a sort of tour guide, and take their subjects to setups they know photograph well and make for the best evocative scenes. It’s simple to use: Customers browse destinations, peruse portfolios, and book their preferred photographer online, with a Shoot Concierge helping arranging availability and assist in the planning, from giving style recommendations to location suggestions. Within five days of the shoot, travelers get a photo gallery and high-resolution download link delivered digitally. Shoot prices start at $250 for 30 minutes, making it a reasonable splurge not unlike getting a massage at a resort.
The quick success of Flytographer proves what travel experts have known for some time, that trends are favoring experiences over things. Because it’s still nice to have a physical reminder of one of the best experiences in a couple’s life, photographs are the ideal solution. Anniversary trips and honeymoons are popular occasions to capture (some of the most frequent destinations are Paris, Santorini, Bali, Maui, Barcelona and all over Italy), but unsurprisingly there are plenty of Flytographer shooters on the scene for exotic surprise proposals, necessitating Proposal Specialists who help plan the timing and ensure flawless execution.
If anything, Flytographer makes it easier for those proposing to get creative, and not have to worry about logistics. A few highlights captured by the photogs: a reverse proposal, with the bride popping the question after spending two years having his ring hand-crafted to replicate a long-lost family heirloom; an engagement featuring a hand-made adventure book presented in front of an Icelandic waterfall and, in an impressive display of dedication, an occasion in the South of France in which the ring fell into the ocean. The photographer ran into town, got goggles and jumped in to retrieve the sparkler.