Vacation photography service Shoot My Travel enables travellers to outsource their photo-taking to a local professional and capture quality candid shots rather than cheesy selfies. Rose Dykins reports

Let’s face it, selfie sticks have always been completely naff. Aside from the fact they are outlawed in certain tourist hotspots in London, Paris New York and Rome – and Milan’s entire city centre – they’re just not a good look.

Whipping out a weird, antennae-like device and pressing your face next to your beloved for a selfie not only screams tourist, but the end result is a series of contrived, near-identical photos with a smidgen of your holiday setting behind your foreheads.

Enter Shoot My Travel – a company that offers a more considered solution to capturing holiday memories that allows travellers to stay in the moment and smartphone-free.

The platform connects holidaymakers with a local professional photographer, who guides them around their chosen destination and snaps candid photos of them along the way.

As well as producing high-quality shots fit for an influencer, Shoot My Travel photographers lead customers to lesser-known Instagrammable locations, sharing local knowledge about the destination’s culture and history throughout.

Shoot My Travel co-founder, Valerie Lopez, says: “The idea for Shoot My Travel came about because my parents used to do this exact thing when they went on holiday in the 1980s. My father would hire a local photographer to take some photographs of them both while they travelled, so that they could enjoy their time and capture their memories in a natural way, without having to stop what they were doing to take photos, or only have photos with one of them in.”

“I wanted to make this kind of service available to everybody because we absolutely love to take and share photos these days – and with good reason. Who doesn’t appreciate having beautiful photos capturing special moments with friends and loved ones to share and cherish?”

How popular is Shoot My Travel?

With its network of more than 1,000 professional photographers in 300 destinations across the globe, Shoot My Travel is developing an international customer base.

Currently, 50 per cent of its users are North Americans and Canadian travellers, 30 per cent are Asian travellers, 10 per cent are Australian, and just 7 per cent are European. The remaining 3 percent are Latin American holidaymakers.

The split between female and male users of Shoot My Travel is 60 per cent to 40 per cent, with an age range of 25 to 50. Interestingly, 20 per cent of its shoots are done by families (influencer families such as @thebucketlistfamily and @nappy_nomad_ are on the rise).

On average, Shoot My Travel works with over 5,000 customers per year – its client base has grown over 200 per cent in the past year.

How does it work?

Shoot My Travel offers a range of packages – from one-hour private sessions to three-hour photo tours. Customers can also choose their preferred photographer.

The professionally shot and edited photos are delivered directly to customers’ smartphones between 24 an 48 hours after the shoot via a private online gallery, from which they can view, share, download and order prints.

Shoot My Travel also does gift vouchers – starting from US$234 for a one-hour tour and shoot with a pro photographer – as an option for wedding, honeymoon or even hen do gifts.

Those who really want to boost their Instagram likes can sign up for one of Black Tomato’s “Drone the World” journeys, which are documented by your very own aerial camera crew.