ORLANDO, Fla. - You've seen it on social media. For some of your friends on Facebook and Instagram, it seems like all of their pictures come from a professional photographer.
Usually it's for special occasions such as an engagement or a pregnancy, but lately, more and more people have been hiring photographers for their vacations.
Social media experts say this is so travelers get the most out of their trip, and it can be just another added expense, like the data plan you can buy when you go out of the country.
Dr. Andrew Selepak works in the communications department at the University of Florida and specializes in social media.
"If you are going to spend the money on vacation to take pictures for your social media account, you want the best pictures possible to show off to your friends and family that you are on vacation," Selepak said.
That's where the website Shoot My Travel comes into play.
It was started by two photographers that took pictures of each other on trips, but never had pictures together. That's when they came up with the idea to offer a service to tourists.
The spokesman for the website said they offer the service in 466 cities and 97 countries, and that they're growing at three times the rate compared to each month of 2018.
"As people/travelers become more aware of our service, they will love to live the experience of having their own local professional photographer capture their amazing memories. We know that now more people are part of the experience economy, instead of wanting to buy material things they rather travel and live different experiences everywhere they go," Andres Echeverry said.
They even offer the service in Central Florida.
Stephanie Horsley, who works with the company, says vacation clients are 10 percent of her customers.
"If I think even five years ago, people were not hiring professionals to follow them around on vacation or the birth of their child, but now it is very common. I photograph intimate birthday parties, friends just wanting a photo shoot and travelers from around the world," Horsley said. "When I heard that there was a way to get your vacations photographed, I thought it was a great idea. Who doesn't want amazing pictures during your unforgettable vacation?"
She says for her vacation clients she tries to suggest locations that best represent Florida or Orlando. She also said social media plays a big role for photographers.
"My vacation clients will show me photos from Instagram and want to copy it exactly so that they can post it. I also think that getting these photos are so much more accessible than they use to be,"
The website offers several packages from which you can choose, including just you and the city, a two-hour photo tour and a surprise proposal. The lowest package starts at $234.
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