Regular followers will know I recently celebrated a milestone birthday in Havana, but little did I know that the one of the best souvenirs I would own of this trip, would be that captured by Shoot my Travel.
In life, I have always valued experiences more than materialistic things and that is why travelling is such an important part of my life. In my opinion seeing locales in every corner of the globe, enriches one in every possible way and widens our ability to accept and understand the diverse cultures and wonders of the world. With this in mind, a bunch of my friends (who just know me so well) gifted me a travel photo shoot with Shoot my Travel in the city of Havana, Cuba. As much as I hate being in front of the camera, (you can read all about my lack of confidence being photographed on photo shoot I did last year with Flytographer) they were absolutely right on this one, there is no better souvenir than that, which can capture the beat of the city and provide everlasting memories.
HOW TO BOOK WITH SHOOT MY TRAVEL
Shoot My Travel are located in over 230 destinations worldwide and are essentially a destination photography concierge service who introduce you to a photographer in your chosen location. Booking couldn’t be simpler on Shoot my Travel
The next stage is to select a photographer from the options. We chose Claudia straight away as we quite liked her vibrant style of photography (there’s a small example of the photographer’s style in their profile), which was quite different to our previous Flytographer shoot and the fact that she only spoke Spanish posed to be quite intriguing.
LENGTH OF SHOOT
Once you select your photographer, you are required to chose the length of your shoot. Our shoot had been chosen to be a 2 hour city tour shoot for couples but there is a good selection available.
Within a couple of hours a shoot concierge, we had the very helpful Vanessa, will contact you and confirm the booking. Please note only a date will be confirmed and the photographer will confirm a time with you directly.
After this point, Claudia our photographer was in direct contact with me to talk about what we were hoping to capture and locations. She was happy to discuss what we liked, our dislikes (mine being too many cheesy shots!) and it felt very much like we knew each other before even meeting! It was at this point that a meeting place and time of shoot was decided to capture the best light of the day. We wanted to seize the natural charm of Old Havana so we were based in this area for our two hour shoot with a number of locations that Claudia suggested on the day of the shoot.
THE PHOTO SHOOT
We met our photographer, in the Parque Centrale opposite our hotel (Claudia picked a very handy meeting point close to our hotel) at 09:30. From this point onward the shoot was very much like a relaxed walking tour with stops to look at notable buildings and gardens, which posed a great photo opportunity.
Two hours actually seems like quite a long time right, but believe me you know how time flies when you’re having fun and that was no exception here. It’s actually quite a nice length of time to get to know each other. I guess it’s particularly good for the photographer as then they can get to know their subjects and how best to capture their personality in the shots.
THE PHOTO GALLERY
As Shoot My Travel, stipulate on their website, you will receive the photos within a couple of days in the form of a downloadable gallery with a pin number, which is accessible for 7 days. If you haven’t managed to download your photos in time or are still away on your travels, worry not, you can re-request the download. For the two hours city tour package, you should receive 25 downloadable images of your photographers choice as a keepsake of your travels.
We were so lucky with the weather in Havana. There were bright blue skies and 30 ºC heat, which was a little too hot for a photo shoot but our photographer came prepared with wipes to touch up make-up melting situations!
THE FINAL SNAPS
FINAL THOUGHTS ON DESTINATION PHOTOGRAPHY WITH SHOOT MY TRAVEL.
1. Smooth Booking Process
The whole booking process from start to finish is pretty laid back and non-intrusive. The shoot concierge is always available if you require any booking advice or have any queries. Ultimately they just want you to have the best time on your shoot and have some great memories to take back home as a momento. So a big fat thumbs up on this note!
2. Enough time to get to know each other
Claudia had planned out an itinerary of Old Havana, which she discussed with us. As I mentioned before, the photographer can really get to know their subjects a little better and get a taste for their personality and try and bring that out in the shots. Claudia connected with me on social media so I guess she could take a look at my style and interests.
3. Fantastic Itinerary of the City
You are receiving not just a set of Photos but also an orientation of the city. We had our shoot the first morning we were in Havana so it was a nice introduction to the city in daylight and a base upon, which we could build on to return to certain points that we found interesting.
4. Personable Experience
Both Dr C and I loved how the photographer didn’t have to rush off after the shoot and we had a coffee together. It was really nice of her to ensure that we were happy with the shots she had taken and give us a bit more advice about the city. It was lovely that we had some local tips from a ‘real’ local to authenticate our stay.
Disclaimer: Although this photo shoot was a gift to me from my friends, it was offered at a discounted rate in exchange for this review. The 2 hour city tour package would usually cost $275.00 including 25-30 images. Additionally I was offered a $10 discount code for my readers (enter BE-LAVIE when booking, code expires on 6th February 2018 ), which can be redeemed on any destination worldwide that is covered by their photography services. As always all views and opinions are my own and remain a copyright of BE-LAVIE.
As much as I like to try and be creative behind the camera, sometimes you just need to up the game as selfies just can’t always cut it! Have you ever considered booking a destination photographer? Or would you ever consider getting this as a gift for a special occasion, just as I received? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Until the next time...
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