Looking to create content while on vacation, a business trip, or visiting family? Hiring a local photographer is the best way to document your trip, especially if you’re traveling alone. However finding the perfect photographer to create your travel content is not easy, but it is not impossible! From my experience working with traveling bloggers and influencers around the world, I've come up with these three easy steps to find your dream photog anywhere you go!
#1 - Explore the Hashtags
The easiest and most effective way to find a photographer is to go through other influencers and bloggers in the area you are traveling to. Search influencer/blogger location specific hashtags (#nycblogger and #nycinfluencer). If you have a specific niche (fashion, fitness etc.), seek out influencers within these hashtags who also share that niche. From there identify influencers whose photos/aesthetic you like. Do they have a photographer tagged in their photos or in the comments? Most likely this will be a photographer who works with bloggers often. Check out their profile and work, and decide if you would want to work with them!
A trickier but still effective way to find a photographer is to search the location specific hashtag for photographers in the city you're visiting (e.g. #seattlephotographer or #chicagophotographer). Browse through and find a photographer who takes portraits, has done work in your niche (fashion, fitness etc.), and has a style that fits your own. This will give you more choices, especially for styles and niches, but can sometimes be too broad to find someone who works with bloggers and influencers.
#2 - Do Some Research
The next step is to do some research on where you want to shoot. Pinterest is a great place to start – try searching “Most Instagrammable (insert city name).” Do you want to go for tourist classics or a more local scene? Keep an eye out for famous sites vs. local secrets. When you contact the photographer, let them know your location ideas and what type of vibe you’d like just in case they have the perfect spot in mind for you!
Kristi at Pike Place Market and the iconic Capitol Hill Rainbow Sidewalks in Seattle, WA.
#3 - Make Contact!
Once you’ve found a photographer you’d like to work with, see how they prefer to be contacted – through email, their website, or DMs. Either way, start off the message by introducing yourself and what type of blog or page you have. Say what days and times you are looking to shoot and what type of content you’re looking to shoot (the more specific you can be the better). Tell them your ideas for locations, but also ask for their suggestions! Also specify how many looks/locations you would like to shoot (if you plan on changing outfits/locations) so they can give you an appropriate rate.
Contact photographers at least 2 weeks before your trip. This will give you maximum time to plan the shoot, the photographer will have the best availability, and allows for any changes in your travel plans. Also have another photographer in mind just in the case they aren’t able to shoot.
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Karya Schanilec is a Seattle based photographer specializing in fashion, portrait, and performance photography.
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