Hiring a Photographer Abroad


Have you read our two previous posts on travel photography? Be sure to check those out.
Travel photography: What to pack
Travel photography: 12 Tips for Europe

Shortly after we booked our trip to Europe, I knew I wanted to hire a photographer to capture my husband and I in Paris. After all, we were going to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and I have always dreamed of having photos taken in front of the Eiffel Tower.

Why hire a photographer abroad?

You have seen the typical vacation photos, one person in the picture in front of the Eiffel Tower, then the other person in the picture in front of the Eiffel Tower. I knew I wanted images of my husband together in Paris. At cafes, in front of the Eiffel Tower, and walking around. I wanted to have our time their captured in a way that I knew I wouldn’t be able to do.

I didn’t have to worry about making sure I always handed over my camera to have proof that I was there because we had a photography session. Not only was there proof but there was proof we enjoyed our time.

Plus, I was spending all that money to go on the trip, I wanted proof that we were there. I plan on hiring a photographer each time we travel abroad to capture our time in different cities.

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch
Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

What to look for when hiring a photographer abroad

1. Find someone who speaks your language.
I knew we needed to find a photographer who spoke English. What little French I took in high school, I knew it wouldn’t be enough to communicate with the photographer. I quickly searched “English speaking Paris Photographer”. Besides Google, Clickin’ Moms CMPro section has a place for you to look for photographer by location and speciality.

2. Ask for recommendations.
The first photographer I found, I really liked. I emailed her but she was booked when we would be in town. She kindly recommended three of her friends and I’m so thankful she did. That is how we found our AMAZING photographer, Katie Donnelly.

3. Pick a date towards the end of your trip.
If possible, choose to do your photo shoot towards the end of your trip. This allows you to go back to any of your favorite locations to have your photos taken there.

4. Plan on waking up early.
If you are in a big city and want photos in front of a huge tourist attraction, then you will want to get their early.

5. Communicate your vision.
Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer for location suggestions. I loved that Katie gave us some ideas of some places off the beaten path. I didn’t want to only capture the big tourist attractions but I wanted to capture a little of the uniqueness that is Paris.

6. Create a Pinterest board of THEIR work
I pinned images from her website. I was hiring Katie because I adored her work, so why would I pin things from other photographers? I went back through her blog and galleries to look at past sessions. The posing, location, light, and feel and pinned those images. Then I emailed her my pin board to help give her a clear vision of what I loved about her work and what I was hoping to be able to capture in my own images. If you can’t find at least 5-10 images that you adore of theirs that you could pin, maybe that isn’t the photographer for you.

7. Don’t forget about what you are wearing.
I packed light for Europe, like super light. But I sure did pack a pair of black high heels that I only wore for the photo shoot. I know it sounds crazy but I wanted pretty pictures of me in Paris in heels. Crazy? Probably, but I don’t care. It’s okay to pack a separate outfit that you may only wear for your photos. Need help coming up with ideas of what to wear? Read – 11 tips for what to wear in family photos

Like I said before, I LOVED our photographer Katie Donnelly. If you are heading to Paris, you should really consider hiring her. She was a pleasure to work with and I can’t wait to frame my images. I also plan on making a photo book of the images from our session. You better believe these images aren’t going to live on my computer.

If you do decide to hire Katie, tell her you found her on Click it Up a Notch and receive 10% off your session if booked and photographed by March 1, 2015.

Here are a few more images from our session in Paris with Katie.
Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

Hiring a photographer abroad via Click it Up a Notch

  • Vicki
    August 27, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    I love that you did this! We all get so many photos during the pre-wedding/honeymoon time but then 10 years later its holiday photos under the tree! love this

  • August 27, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Oh my gosh I love this so much!! What a fabulous idea! My 5 year anni is coming up and I’ve been hinting at Paris like crazy! Your photographs are gorgeous – will totally look up Katie if my wish comes true :) Seriously this gives me goosebumps.

    • August 27, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      Hey Lisa,
      I would be so honored to capture your 5 year anniversary photos for you and your partner! If you do make it to Paris please shoot me an email.. Congrats and hopefully we will meet one day soon!

  • August 27, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Great tips! The tip about only pinning her work, is so simple, yet so perfect! These photos are all so beautiful! My favorite is def the wall shot with the word LOVE! Thank you for sharing these!

  • Gabby
    August 27, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    What a great post! Really good tips for hiring a photographer that I will pin. And thanks for sharing the sweet pictures of your trip.

  • Susan
    August 27, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    What a great post! I’m going to Paris in 6 weeks with my husband! I will have to take to him about this, I think it’s a great idea. How long would a session like this last and about how much does it cost?

    • August 27, 2014 at 9:36 PM

      Hey Susan,
      This is Katie Donnelly! If you shoot me an email at [email protected] I can give you all of the info about my photo sessions and we can work on creating a gorgeous photo session perfect for you and your husband!

  • Laura Schott
    August 27, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    Lovely photos. Such a great idea.

  • Ly
    August 27, 2014 at 4:29 PM

    Gorgeous! I’ve been following your blog since last year and want to let you know I’ve learned sooo much! Thanks for all the brilliant tips!

  • Claudia S
    August 27, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    What a great idea! The pix are fantastic–Katie did an awesome job. Maybe I’ll do this the next time I’m in Paris :) A very attractive couple. the heels are to die for, great thinking.

    • August 27, 2014 at 9:37 PM

      Hey Claudia,
      Thanks so much for your sweet comment! It helps to have such an adorable couple totally in love! =]

  • August 27, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    Love Love Love this post and all the photos!!! I planned to go to Paris for my up coming birthday but it just didn’t come together. I totally lived your photos in my dreams and appreciate you sharing. Thanks, Vicki

  • August 27, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    I have actually thought about this idea as we are considering a europe trip in a few years with the kids and would love to have us all in the photos! Thanks for the info! :)

  • Tina
    August 27, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    Courtney, thanks for sharing this sweet and intiment time with us. The photos are amazing, of course you can’t go wrong with such a beautiful subject matter. Great tips too, but the photos are so lovely, I enjoyed those the most.

  • August 27, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    These are so beautiful. Thank you for these tips. I love your posts and blog so much. You truly teach and inspire so many.

  • lisa
    August 27, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    what a brilliant idea…. and i like the idea of pinning images & sending that back to photographer (will use this tip for my wedding photographer)

  • Kira
    August 28, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    These photos are beautiful! I love the connections Katie captured between you and your husband. Thanks for all the tips!

  • August 28, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    What a great post sharing your experience and the work of a wonderful photographer.. Katie sure did capture the Love between the two of you and the romance of Paris! Great street shot on the stairs with LOVE! Wonderful post and photos!

  • September 10, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    Great tips on hiring a photographer while on a trip. I mean to do this when I was in Italy but I never figured it out (we were running from city to city). Hopefully we get to do it in the future.

  • Barbara
    May 25, 2016 at 11:03 PM

    I’m looking into hiring a photographer to take me out and shoot the sights well, myself. I know if photographers who take people out to shoot the Everglades. I’d like to do the same in Paris. What do you recommend I look up?

  • Silvina
    May 27, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    What a great idea! Lovely photos!!!

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