Awesome Travel Pics in Vietnam
I can’t even begin to count the number of really amazing photographs I’ve missed over the course of our travels. Most of the time I just shrug it off and try and keep the memories. But occasionally it really pains me to think what a great shot I could have had if only I were better at taking pictures, had my hands free or had been quick enough. This is especially true on very special occasions or when I’m doing something extremely cool. An interesting new service has just started here in Vietnam and may just provide an answer. Travel+ is a group of gun photographers available for hire. Let one of the guys follow you around and take awesome travel pics so the memories of your trip are worth showing off.
Up until now I’ve never considered (or even seen) a photography service like Travel+ on our travels. First up, what they aren’t. They aren’t about teaching you how to take photos. There are tours in Saigon like the Moto Foto tour from Saigon Unseen that can help you with that. They’re not about becoming a part of your holiday. Of course, they’ll need to be there if they’re going to get the shots, BUT they specialize in staying out of the way and being unobtrusive, unless you want them to be. And, they are not about to hand over a heap of happy snaps. All of the partners in this service are seriously experienced photographers with extensive knowledge in their specialty areas. They shoot for famous magazines and publications on an international scale. Anyone recognize Lonely Planet, BBC, NY Times, Cosmopolitan, Action Asia or The Guardian UK? Although each has their preference, all of Travel+’s photographers can capture the moment, regardless whether it be a portrait, adventure, photojournalism or event.
So whom would they be perfect for? From my own personal perspective, three ideas came to mind immediately:
I’d really like to have some pictures with both Tim and I in them together. I was looking through our archives for some PR pics the other day and it’s damn near impossible for us to find good pictures of us together in any of the great locations we’ve visited. There’s a very good reason of course. One of us is usually taking the pictures and we are reluctant to hand over the camera to random strangers especially in places like Ho Chi Minh City. Quite frankly, I’d advise against doing that at all costs here and PLEASE do not set your camera up on a timer and pose. It will be gone before you turn around to smile. Even if you do get the camera back, there’s no guarantees you’ll end up with a decent picture. So if we were doing something awesome on a special occasion like a significant anniversary I’d seriously think about paying out the cash to get some decent pictures.
There have also been lots of days when we’ve literally had our hands full. Cycling, climbing, swimming, diving amongst other adrenaline buzzes. This is a fabulous idea to record those adrenaline-fuelled escapades. David Lemke, one of the founders, specializes in activity-based photography. He likes nothing more than to be suspended in mid-air from a cliff face or riding along as he shoots you doing amazing things.
If we were having a special fun day out with friends or family, it would undoubtedly be enhanced by having one of the guys come along to take the shots. That way we could all relax, knowing full well we’re not going to end up with a heap of half-assed selfies as memories of the day.
I checked out their website for other potential markets and popped up with quite a few I hadn’t thought of. Returned veterans often come back to Vietnam to make their peace and see what changes have been made to a country where so much tragedy occurred. This service provides an opportunity to record that poignant journey of closure in a way that couldn’t ever be presented by happy snaps. School and corporate groups would also benefit along with other specialty groups.
OK, so I can hear the wheels turning … Hmmm great idea but how much does it cost. Well, not as much as you might think. In fact, I think it’s remarkably good value compared to other similar services internationally. For a family, you can hire one of the guys from $300 for a half day or $420 for a whole day. Large groups and corporations start from $500 for up to 15 people for the whole day. Split between 14 friends that works out to less than $40 each. That’s not too bad when there is no limit on the amount of photos you get and the copyright remains yours. Other services I found put limits on pictures and retained copyright of the images (meaning they could publish them and profit!) and cost well over $100 per hour.
Obviously, this service is not for everyone but for special occasions and days when you really want those awesome travel pics on your next holiday to Vietnam, then think seriously about talking to Travel+. Full details are available on their website: www.travelpluspictures.com
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