Capture more than selfies on your honeymoon

 Capers on the island of Paros (a.k.a my attempt at being a photographer the summer between my junior and senior years of college)

Capers on the island of Paros (a.k.a my attempt at being a photographer the summer between my junior and senior years of college)

In college I studied photography in Greece between my junior and senior years. While I returned home with buckets of photos, not one of them included me. My absence in front of the camera didn’t matter to me back then, but today I wish I’d had someone capture at least one image with me in the frame as documentation of such a significant moment in my life.

That trip was the first time I’d traveled solo, domestically or internationally.

It was when I learned, hiked, danced and swam alongside people who lived astonishingly different from me—yet it never mattered.

It was when I “acquired” a taste for dry reds.

And when I smelled the sweetest gardenias.

It was when homesickness struck me so hard I cried myself to sleep, while at the same time I stood so in awe of Greece I considered extending my stay six months when presented the chance.

It was the moment I look back on as when I stopped tip-toeing the line between child and adult, girl and woman and finally stumbled over it. (Yes, mom, you might convincingly argue it took a couple more years.)

It’s rare to recognize the significance of a moment while you’re in it, but in the years afterward the importance of such times—which often involve major life events like weddings, honeymoons and vacations more generally—become crystal clear. That’s why today I adore professional photoshoots when I’m traveling, even if it’s just me flying solo. The moments matter. Having someone help preserve them can be such a worthwhile decision.

Not convinced? Here are a few more reasons why hiring a photographer to snap some pics of your honeymoon—or any vacay—is a good decision.

Variety is the spice of life.

My phone is filled with selfies. It’s also plump with photos of my husbabe. However, it’s nice to return home from vacation with a variety of pics to potentially frame—including some of both Mr. Smitten and me that aren’t selfies. There’s also the fact that even though I may have studied photography, I’m nowhere near an expert. Hiring a pro to capture a few perfect shots means at least one or two have the chance of making it outside the gallery on my phone and onto our wall.

Honeymoons are huge.

You spend months looking forward to your honeymoon. You invest heavily in the trip. It’s the only honeymoon you’re going to take. In short, it’s a moment you’re going to want to remember. Forever and ever. Always.

PDA = FUN.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who enjoys getting glammed up and partaking in PDAs with my hubby while abroad—all in the name of fine art, right? It’s so much FUN, you guys!

Easy peasy.

Incredible services like Flytographer make finding and hiring a pro in your destination easier than ever. Seriously. Flytographer has photographers in hundreds of cities around the world, offering sessions as short as 30 minutes or as long as two hours or more.

It’s also easy peasy to simply do a Google search of photographers in your destination and find dozens of potential artists with which to partner. Mr. Smitten and I leave for Paris in less than a month, and this is exactly how I found Elizaveta Photography, who I’ve hired to snap our photos. (I adore looking through photographers' portfolios to find a style that meshes with mine, so I love having the flexibility afforded by a quick Google search.) This is also how a colleague of mine found Elise Sanchez Photography, the super talent behind all the professional pics I post on the Smitten blog and Instagram of my recent visit to O'ahu.

Travel tip: Not sure where to begin finding a photographer to capture your honeymoon? Talk to your honeymoon consultant! He or she can help you find someone who perfectly suits your style—whether it’s through Flytographer or an artist independent of the vacation photography service.

 My school—The Aegean Center for the Fine Arts—on Paros.

My school—The Aegean Center for the Fine Arts—on Paros.

 Another one of my photos 

Another one of my photos