There’s a photo in Nicole Smith’s home office in Victoria. It’s a moment captured between old friends on a Parisian holiday.
Scorning selfies and ill-framed shots taken by strangers, Smith instead asked a mutual friend to play photographer and capture candid pictures of her and her girlfriend just hanging out.
“There’s one of us walking through the Marais. We had no agenda that day, with no kids, no husbands, just the two of us in Paris. That moment just encapsulates that entire weekend we had together.”
That photo became the seed for her new and growing business, Flytographer.
Smith started in March with 18 photographers in 18 cities. In the months since, it has grown to 54 cities around the world with photographers from Barcelona to Buenos Aires.
Flytographer offers packages ranging from 30-minute “short storyteller” shoots to a two-hour “romp around the city.” Prices start at $200 (U.S.). Her photographers have captured multigenerational gatherings in London, couple getaways in New York and mother-and-daughter trips in Istanbul. The company has also expanded into proposal and honeymoon shoots, too. (Fingers crossed she says yes, right?)
Smith screens her far-flung shutterbugs through Skype interviews and test shoots to ensure good results. Travellers can scroll through the company’s Pinterest page to get a sense of each photographer’s style and choose one that suits them. Paris, New York and London remain the most popular locales.
How did she sense there would be a market for this business? Smith believes people want to experience their travel moments app free, but still have a memento of the moment. And, just maybe, it’s kind of fun feeling like you’re a celebrity.
For the record, Smith has nothing against selfies.
“I do them all the time with my kids. I took one on the first day of school. I’m smiling probably too brightly. I just think this is another choice.”
For more information, see flytographer.com.