Alex holding me in his arms

When you travel, do you: a) use a DSLR camera and professional lenses to capture your vacation photos, or b) rely on your good old smartphone camera (and possibly a selfie stick)?

Whether you chose a) or b) (or maybe even both), I think you could benefit from working with a professional travel photographer for your next vacation, and I have 5 reasons why.

Alex holding me in his arms Walking on resort walkway

Now, I consider myself to be a pretty competent photographer – I own a full frame DSLR camera, mirrorless camera, several lenses, a full-sized tripod, and a tabletop tripod, all of which allow me to capture my travel photos on my own (and with the help of my Instagram husband or travel buddy, of course). But, on many of my trips, I still make a point of either collaborating or working with a professional photographer for a photography session in the particular destination I’m traveling to for many of the reasons below. On our last trip to the Mayan Riviera, in addition to taking our own photos, my husband and I worked with SweetEscape for a 2-hr. session and had an amazing experience. All of the photos shared in this blog post were captured by SweetEscape.

But, whether you’re a blogger or not, this post is equally relevant to you. A travel photographer is a great option to capture special family vacations, your honeymoon, romantic couple’s trip, girls’ getaway, solo adventure, or any other type of vacation. Here are the 5 reasons you should work with a travel photographer on your next vacation.

1. Your Smartphone Just Ain’t Gonna Cut It!

If you don’t have professional camera equipment of your own, then you’re probably using your smartphone to take your vacation photos. These days, cameras on smartphones produce very good quality photos – with most having 12 or more megapixels, and some having special camera modes to produce DSLR-like shots. The pictures taken on smartphones are suitable for sharing on social media, and can even be printed and enlarged. However, there is a reason why professional photographers don’t shoot with their mobile phones. It’s just not the same quality. Different lighting conditions, different backgrounds, and different types of photos (e.g. portrait, landscape) require different lenses and equipment. The obvious drawback of trying to capture vacation photos with your smartphone is you won’t have all of the right tools to perform the job.

2. You Will be More Likely to Print and Frame Your Images

The last time you checked your phone’s camera roll, how many pictures did you have? 2,000? 8,000? I have a friend who has over 25,000 photos saved in her camera roll!!!!!!!!!

Because they’re so easy to use, people just snap away with their smartphones, are less likely to triage/delete their photos, and are therefore even less likely to print their photos. Vacation photos get buried in your camera roll, along with all the rest of your photos. And since people share their photos so instantaneously on social media, vacation photos lose their importance and meaning. They’re captured and consumed so quickly, and then people move on. If you work with a travel photographer, he or she will deliver a manageable collection of good quality, professional photographs; and chances are, you’re going to want to print, enlarge and/or frame them, so you’ll have memories to last you a lifetime.

Walking on resort walkway Holding hands on beach

3. It Takes the Stress Out of Capturing the Perfect Shot

As a blogger, I’m always planning my photo shoots and trying to get the best shots possible. I get emotionally invested in capturing beautiful photos. So, when things don’t go my way, it can be a major source of stress for me (cue the occasional meltdown).

When we worked with SweetEscape, it was extremely efficient and seamless. We confirmed our booking, made all the arrangements (time/date/location), and even sent direct messages to our photographer, all through the SweetEscape app. I communicated my vision in advance, and all my husband and I had to do was show up. We could focus on being in the moment and enjoying ourselves. I also didn’t have to worry about the post-production work on the photos (which can be very time consuming). Within 2 or 3 days, all of our photos were delivered to us for download through the SweetEscape app!

4. You Can Get All Parties in the Shot

This is probably the biggest reason I like to work with a travel photographer. I absolutely love photography and am usually the one behind the lens. When I travel with my husband, he shoots me. But if we want photos together, then what? We often make do with our tripod, but there is only so much a tripod can do. It can’t move along with us and capture us at different angles fluidly, like a human can.

I actually find it even WORSE to ask a stranger to take our photo (or my photo, if I’m on my own). People never seem to understand how to use my camera. I literally set up the shot (frame it and do the settings), stand in the exact position, carefully explain how to halfway depress the shutter release button to line the focus points on us, and I am so anal that I even take a “reference photo” to show the person. But, without fail, our photos end up being out of focus and/or not framed properly 9 out of 10 times! When we worked with SweetEscape, we knew the photos were going to turn out well because we were working with an experienced professional.

Holding hands on beach

5. A Local Photographer Has a Better Knowledge of the Destination

Another benefit to working with a local travel photographer is that he or she will be knowledgeable about your travel destination. He or she can recommend the best spots for your photo shoot, which will alleviate the stress of having to do your own research.

Me solo with head down Me posing on my own

BONUS: for any guys out there reading this, if your trip is planned for a special occasion (*cough* proposal *cough*), you better MAKE SURE to hire a travel photographer! This will almost guarantee she will say yes, since she’ll be so pleased you didn’t miss such an important detail and she’ll have perfectly captured photos of the big moment!

Walking together on the beach with backs towards the camera Heads together on walkway Me in bathing suit by myself Sitting with Alex on beach chair Hugging Alex in swimsuit Looking at each other while holding hands

So, the next time you go on vacation, you should consider working with a travel photographer. We had a positive experience with SweetEscape and I’d highly recommend. They’re available in over 300 cities around the world and you can check out their website to learn more.

In Alex's arms smiling at the camera

Special thanks to SweetEscape for these beautiful photos!