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This travel startup wants to up your vacation Insta game

Heidi Chung

Canadian-based startup Flytographer connects travelers around the world with local photographers so there’s no need to rely on strangers or poorly-captured selfies.

“The majority of our customers are just people who value experiences over things,” Nicole Smith, Flytographer founder and CEO, told Yahoo Finance.

Smith started the company in 2013 with just 18 photographers. Today she works with about 500 photographers in 250 countries. Smith was inspired after a trip to Paris with her best friend in 2011. Frustrated that she had to resort to awkward selfies and blurry photos taken by strangers, Smith asked a local friend to take some candid photos of the duo. After seeing the great quality and business potential, she went back to Canada and started Flytographer. Smith explained that she loves her job because she considers Flytographer to be a “business of memories.”

Prices for the service are the same for every destination. Each 30-minute session costs $250. To book a vacation photographer through the service, a traveler must select a location and choose a photographer. Then a shoot concierge works out the details. Photos are emailed within five days of the shoot to download and share.

“A lot of people are also trying to digitally detox on their vacations and get away from their phones,” Smith said. “You meet that cool local photographer that has all the inside things about the city like ‘this alley has the best view over the colosseum, or there’s a street fair happening down here.’ You get these nuggets of local tips from the photographers.”

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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