The idea of capturing the moment while traveling isn’t new, but the thought of having someone capture you while you travel is a concept that is. All too often, we travel and have experiences, but we are limited in the moments we can capture when we are busy soaking up a new place. That is, unless you hire a photographer to come along with you.
Previously, this would have been an impossible thought, but Flytographer makes it possible by ironing out all the details for you. They set you up with a local photographer and organize everything, including the delivery of your photos to you through e-mail a few days later. In my mind, it’s an experience every traveler should have at least once, and one I have wanted for a few months now.
The perfect opportunity came just a few weeks ago. With a wedding in Southern Italy planned for May, my family and I decided to book a quick weekend getaway to one of our favorite European countries. With that, it would be the first time we were all back on the road together since 2006. It’s almost hard to believe it has been that many years, but I thought it was a moment that needed to be captured. Luckily, we had a ten hour layover in Milan and with a Flytographer photographer based in the Italian-city, I immediately booked a session.
Paola, Flytographer’s Milan-based photographer, got in touch with me as soon as we set up the shoot. By the time I met her in person, it felt as though I was meeting up with an old friend, and after some introductions to the rest of my family, we headed past the Duomo and over to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II.
Although I was completely comfortable in front of the camera, I could feel my family had some reservations, especially my Dad. He’s used to being on the other side of the camera and had a hard time acting natural. Because of this, there was a lot of laughing from the rest of us.
But, Paola gave us simple directions and made us feel as comfortable as possible. She even took notice to the fact that my Dad was less than comfortable with acting natural, so we posed in the center of the Galleria for a more traditional shot, hoping it would relax my Dad.
We continued from here, walking through the shopping area, admiring the designer shops and stunning architecture. It was easy to forget Paola was even there, but she managed to capture a few great shots, including one that caught my Dad loosening up a bit.
After making our way through the Galleria, we headed to the quiet Piazza della Scala. Here, people were enjoying the beautiful day, and it felt miles away from Piazza del Duomo and the Galleria. We found a bench to take a few more photos and get comfortable with the idea of having a photographer follow us around.
After a few shots, we made our way back to Piazza del Duomo, and decided it would be best to get something quick to eat. We hadn’t had anything that whole morning, and our time in Milan was quickly passing us by.
Paola suggested Luini Panzerotti, and the idea of fried dough filled with mozzarella and prosciutto sounded exactly what we needed to push through our time in Milan. My dad and brother each added a Peroni to their order, and with that we found a staircase to eat our snack.
From there, we walked toward the Duomo once more and got ready to say our good-byes. Of course, we had time for a few more photos in front of one of Milan’s most famous attractions.
Unfortunately, on our way, I got attacked by men who were feeding the pigeons, ones I have always tried to avoid. Growing up outside of New York City, I have always thought of pigeons as rats with wings, but there was no way I was getting out of this one. With much protest, a pile of seeds went into my hands, and the pigeons began to swarm. I wasn’t exactly happy, but the moment did make for some memorable shots and a lot more laughter.
Once the pigeons dissipated and sanity returned, it was time for us to make our way back to the airport. Saying good-bye to Paola was the hardest part. I wanted her to come along with us for the rest of the trip, not just as a photographer, but as our friend. Not only did she manage to document a special day in my family’s life, but she worked her way into our hearts during our short time together.
Paola became our local guide in Milan, and without her, we would have missed the true experience of really seeing the city. Had we just walked around the city ourselves, we would have seen a bit, but we would have never have had the laughs and special moments that we wound up having that day. She made our short layover completely worth our time. After our short session, she felt like an old friend in a new city, and I know that my whole family felt that way.
We made our way back to the airport to head south, and I know that all four of us were grateful to have seen as much of the city as we did, and for our photo shoot. In fact, my Mom still hasn’t stopped talking about how much fun she had.
To me, that’s what travel is all about, creating memories all over the world, and I’m so glad that I was able to make these ones last a little bit longer with the help of Flytographer. The photos we have from the day are ones that I know my family will cherish for years to come.
A special thank you to Flytographer for making this photo shoot in Milan possible. As always, all opinions are my own.