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Flytographer Quarterly Issue 5 Spring 2018
Front cover image: Fernanda
in Cabo San Lucas for Flytographer Back cover image: Juan Felipe in Cartagena for Flytographer Editor: Michelle Ardiel
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Do you have “Travel Traditions”? Things you do before, during, or after your special trips? Often the planning and anticipation can be almost as much fun as the trip itself! My family is travelling to Italy this summer, and part of our pre-vacation fun is learning one new Italian word each night at dinner. It’s a tradition that has us belly-laughing at each other’s terrible accents. It gets us excited about our adventures ahead and it has definitely brought us closer. Travel also brings the world closer. In this issue, you’ll find travellers tracing family roots to a village in China, a solo traveller who is no longer waiting on others to make her epic travel dreams come true, and honeymooning photographers who got in front of the lens not just for the memories, but also to better understand their craft and connect with local peers. You’ll hear stories from families who didn’t let fear stop them from taking their young kids on an ambitious adventure abroad. As a parent, you’re filling up your children’s memory bank for the future. Even if they are sometimes too young to remember, they can revisit those places through your stories and photos as they grow up ... for generations. And on that note, it’s important YOU get in the photos and aren’t a ghost in your family’s visual history. Imagine looking back at your childhood family photos and seeing no evidence of your mom there, having fun with you along the way. That’s where we’ve got your back! We’ve been on a mission to “Get Mom Back in the Photo” (and looking AWESOME!) since 2013. We can’t wait to meet you on a future adventure. Happy travels! Nicole Smith CEO & Founder
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PASSPORT THE MAGIC OF TRAVEL
Seville 6 Ca pe Town
Ca r tag ena
Paris 26 Ko h Samu i
New Yo rk
Ro me 6 2 Shang hai
Du blin 78 Tu lu m 84 Ams terd am 90 Proven ce
L j u bljana
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The Joy of
Family Travel Photos by: Gabriel in Seville for Flytographer
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Leslie’s story I won’t have to wonder if my young children will remember this trip. They will be able to see the joy, the love, the fun for themselves, thanks to these beautiful pictures. My husband and I have always loved to travel. We have been abroad a number of times, but never with our three young daughters. Our oldest turned 5 on the first day of our vacation here in Spain, and our twins are only 3 years old. It felt like a real risk - a gamble even - to bring them on a trip of this magnitude. Even on the flight over, as I sat flanked by sleeping children, I wondered if I had made a mistake, if they were too young to enjoy an experience like this.
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They weren’t. Rather, they aren’t. We are still here. I am typing this from the terrace of our apartment after looking over the pictures taken from our Flytographer session. They are gorgeous. They capture the fun, the silliness, the exploration. Our girls have thrived here. Our youngest, who can get quite nervous in new settings, is soaring. She is more talkative and excited than I have ever seen her. We have explored castles, narrow roads that seem more like passageways, elaborate gardens, and the many parks that are sprinkled throughout Seville. Their sleeping habits, as expected, took time and patience to adjust to, but this trip has been such a success.
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I’m so grateful we didn’t let fear hold us back. I hear a lot of parents cite this as a reason they don’t travel with their young children. “They won’t remember it, so what’s the point?” they say. I will have these pictures to point to. They may not remember each day, but I believe the joy on our faces that was captured in these photos is imprinted on their hearts. I believe that to share a family value such as travel and new cultures is essential and worthwhile at any age. I am so thankful for these stunning, candid, beautiful pictures that I will have to show them as proof of this Grand Adventure for the rest of their lives. “Yes,” I will say, “we went to Spain when you were little girls. Yes, you loved it, and we loved sharing it with you. Yes, our family experienced this amazing adventure. Together.”
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Babymoon in Cape Town Photos by: Nadine in Cape Town for Flytographer
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Chinny’s story My husband has visited South Africa several times in the past and loved it. With our little one on the way, we knew our lives were about to change, so we decided to make the long trip to this amazing country and capture as many memories as possible. Using Flytographer was a dream! The process was so easy and Nadine, our photographer, was lovely. As a keen traveller and photo hog, Flytographer will be go-to for capturing memories on all my trips.
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This trip held too many memorable moments! One that stands out is stopping our car on the side of the road on our wine tour in Cape Town and staring out at the mind-blowing view of mountains, countryside, and blue skies. We were both speechless. Soak in every moment and check out tours that educate you on South Africa’s history (especially township tours). Though very beautiful, one can’t forget the harrowing history of its people. My funniest story is wearing the most inappropriate clothing to wildly windy Cape Point - a little floral dress! To protect my modesty, I had to tie a scarf around my waist. The hubby was completely exasperated with me because I was warned, but didn’t listen!
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a n e g a t r
Flytographer Launches in
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Situated on the Caribbean coast, Cartagena is a vibrant Colombian city full of history and life. Beautiful Spanish colonial architecture and cobblestone streets circle Old Town and the port, which feature world-class restaurants and buzzy cafés. The energy in the city is electric, with streets of colourful houses dripping with lush bougainvillea and the sound of salsa music filling the streets. It’s a steamy destination that won’t soon leave your memory. Read on for our guide to sultry, sunny Cartagena, Colombia!
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Sarah’s story We fell in love hard and fast earlier this year, and one of the first things we connected over was a love of travelling. For our six-month anniversary, we decided to take a trip somewhere neither of us had ever been. We ended up choosing Cartagena for its beauty and culture — and our deep love of arepas. The city was so romantic — every street was more beautiful than the last — and we had some of the best food and sangria ever! Our experience with Flytographer was simply perfect and the cherry on top of it all: Juan Felipe, our photographer, who quickly became a dear friend. We had the privilege of spending more time getting to know him after the shoot.
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Where are the best beaches? Cartagena is a short trip away from some of Colombia’s most beautiful beaches. Playa Blanca is just a short ferry, boat, bus or taxi ride from Cartagena and boasts clear waters and white sand. Be sure to stay after the sun goes down - Playa Blanca is home to phosphorescent plankton that make the ocean appear to be glowing. What is the best way to spend an afternoon? One of Cartagena’s most charming areas is the Old Town. The inner part of the Old Town is walled and has many fantastic examples of colonial architecture. Wander the streets and stop at a café for an afternoon coffee and pastry. Try Café del Mural for a primer on the history of Colombian coffee and a cup o’ joe made with care.
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What is the best way to get around the city? The heat in Colombia can be overwhelming, so a great way to see the city is by trolley! City trolley tours are cute, quaint and air-conditioned, so you’ll stay comfortable while touring all the major sights. What are Cartagena’s must-eat dishes? We’ve said it once, but it’s worth mentioning again — arepas. The stuffed corn cake can be found at street stalls or any traditional restaurant. The same goes for empanadas. But Cartagena is also home to beautiful fine-dining experiences. Carmen offers a multi-course chef’s tasting menu to guide you through a tasty tour of local cuisine. Of course, fresh fish features heavily on the menu. For traditional Spanish-influenced fare, head to El Burlador de Sevilla. What is a must-do outside of the city? Tayrona National Park is a beautiful little haven located on the coast with both mountains and sea. Visitors can spend the night — camping is available in various parts of the park — or if glamping is more your style, rent a private bungalow for the night. Horseriding, hiking and snorkeling are fun activities to pass the time. If you’re feeling daring and want to get away from the beach crowds, hike to the ruins of the ancient town of Pueblito.
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Photos by: Olga in Paris for Flytographer
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Gabriella’s story Brandon and I are high school sweethearts. We love travelling together and knew we wanted to plan a trip to Europe this year. I did a French course in Paris a few years ago and had been wanting to show Brandon the city of love for years! When we were deciding where to go, he suggested Paris, and I immediately got giddy with excitement! Finally, the chance to be together in my favorite city. It was a dream! We started our trip in Athens. To my surprise, Brandon proposed to me in a town called Pygros in Santorini. So by the time we got to Paris, we were in full celebration mode of our engagement!
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My advice is don’t plan every second of your day out. Leave time for new discoveries and ask locals their favorite restaurants. Some of our favourite restaurants were recommended to us by shopkeepers or juice bar stands! We stayed in a flat in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area. We loved it! Every morning, we would enjoy our croissants from the boulangerie down the street in the comfort of our own space. Our flat was so beautiful, with huge windows, a wroughtiron balcony, and a view of the Eiffel Tower peeking out from the buildings in the distance! It felt like we lived there. Being together in my favourite city was amazing, and being newly engaged was the icing on the cake. We were on cloud 9 and not a thing could ruin it!
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D iscove r i ng the Magic of
Tha i l a n d
Photos by: Immanuel in Koh Samui for Flytographer
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Julie’s story Our family of four took one month off together for an adventure across Thailand. With the pressure of school and work, we needed this trip so our family could decompress, reconnect, and play. We also wanted to introduce our boys, ages 6 and 8, to a new culture, new foods, and new experiences beyond what they’ve always known at home in Canada. We visited Koh Phangan, Railay Beach, Bangkok, and Koh Samui, where we had our photos taken. We stayed at Chaweng Beach; we wanted to be in the heart of the city where we could walk to restaurants and night markets.
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It was more fun than we ever could have imagined! We loved that Thailand was so incredibly friendly (especially toward little blondies), and we felt safe the entire time. The boys soaked up the Thai culture, tested out loads of new foods, visited temples, learned some new Thai phrases, and played at the beach A LOT. We cried when we left and we will never forget our memories together on this trip of a lifetime!
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On New Year’s eve on Koh Phangan, we lit a paper lantern as a family and watched it fly off to the night sky. We said goodbye to 2017 and welcomed 2018 all together. It was so simple, so special, and the boys still talk about it all the time. Looking back, the most special thing was the time we had together. With all the rushing around to get to and from school, to sports and activities, we don’t always have the time to just sit and be in the moment together. For an entire month, we were present with each other and made the most of each day, together as a family.
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A CELEBRITY STYLIST’S insider guide to
NEW YORK CITY Photos by: Bri in NYC for Flytographer
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Ro bi n Wr i g h t an d Kemal Harris photo cour tesy of Blossom B e rkofsky
Kemal Harris is the powerhouse designer behind Claire Underwood’s iconic fashions on House of Cards, receiving two consecutive Costume Designer Guild Awards for her work. This year, the Netflix political drama series will focus on Claire as the newly elected president in the sixth and final season. The Emmy-nominated costume designer and red carpet stylist is a force to be reckoned with. Kemal began sketching clothing collections when she was just a kid growing up in Tofino. After studying fashion design, she moved to New York City to become a red carpet stylist to fellow fearless females such as Robin Wright, Alexis Bledel, Kate McKinnon, Zosia Mamet, Jaimie Alexander, and Jennifer Morrison. We recently caught up with Kemal and her lighting designer hubby Chris Denman for a stroll on the Lower East Side. Read on for her fashion insider’s scoop of NYC.
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Tell us about your favourite neighbourhood for shopping and/or design? New York’s historical Lower East Side is a unique blend of trendy restaurants and independently owned retailers. What are your must visit spots in the neighbourhood and why? Barrio Chino - For the best steak tacos and grapefruit margaritas. (253 Broome St) Petee’s Pie Company - You can smell the fresh pies baking down the block! Instead of sending flowers as a thank you gift, I like to send one of their fresh cherry pies. (61 Delancey St) Round K - Try the Matte Black iced latte! It’s solid black and mucky looking, but tastes delicious! There’s also a secret room in the back where they serve brunch. Try the scrambled eggs cooked by the steam of the espresso machine. (99 Allen St) Tenement Museum - I recommend the museum to all my friends who are visiting NYC. It really gives you an authentic experience of what life was like for some of the first immigrant families living here. They also have a great gift shop where you can find the most unique souvenirs. (103 Orchard St)
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What is your favourite fashion or design exhibit in the city? It’s always an inspiration to visit the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Check online in advance to see which exhibits are showing. Which iconic NYC landmark can you never get enough of? Brooklyn Bridge for the best views of the Manhattan skyline! The history of this bridge is just as vast as its span. Take a walk over it to the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn and grab a drink at the new 1 Hotel rooftop bar. (60 Furman St) Which off-the-radar spots do you love? Air Ancient Spa - This darkly lit spa limits the amount of guests so you can truly enjoy the peace and quiet while soaking in the various heated pools. My favourite is the heated salt-water pool. Be sure to book in advance. (88 Franklin St) Brouwerij Lane - This tiny craft beer bar sells growlers to go of local, limited-edition beer. Grab a glass to stay and check out their small, but private, back patio. (78 Greenpoint Ave) Takumen LIC - My favourite ramen spot located in Long Island City, Queens. Make sure to try the peanut sauce-smothered chicken wings appetizer! (5-50 50th Ave) The Campbell Apartment - Great spot to meet for a quiet cocktail or a special date. This bar is tucked away in the back of Grand Central Station and used to be the functional office of a business man in the ‘40s. (15 Vanderbilt Ave)
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Escape to Mexico
Photos by: Fernanda in Cabo San Lucas for Flytographer FLYTOGRAPHER.COM • 47
Tori Wesszer is a registered dietitian and owner of the food and lifestyle blog Fraiche Nutrition. Tori lives in the Okanagan Valley, BC with her two sweet boys, Max and Charlie, and husband Charles. You can find her in the kitchen with her boys most days as she works on creating healthy yummy food while trying to take the noise out of nutrition one recipe at a time! We chatted with her to find out her best tips for travelling with young kids and stealing some romantics moments with your husband in between all the family fun.
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Travelling with children, especially on long flights, isn’t easy. How do you make travel with your two children more manageable? No, it’s not easy! I remember the first time we flew with Charlie. He got sick all over me in the first 30 minutes of the six-hour flight and it was so bad that they actually changed out the WHOLE SEAT (I didn’t even know they could do that, for the record). So, first things first, bring a change of clothes for them AND for you! Aside from that, bring healthy snacks that aren’t messy to eat, such as whole grain crackers and cheese, chopped fruit and veggies, trail mix, or Cheerios. I highly recommend little activities that are easy to pack such as colouring books and mini games. Try to time your flights so that you can maintain a nap schedule, if at all possible.
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What is your favourite vacation spot? I still love Maui. It’s such a gorgeous place and it is really easy to travel there with kids. Destination on your wish list? Spain or Fiji! I like heat, so anywhere warm is my jam. Do you keep up with your exercise regime when travelling? I try to get to the gym when possible, but get a lot of exercise running after the kids! I don’t feel guilty if I miss my workouts when I’m on vacation — I love walking around new areas and exploring or simply swimming in the pool or ocean. I’ll often do some small exercises in the hotel room if that’s all I can fit in, typically a combination of jumping squats, lunges, pushups and planks to keep my body feeling good. What kinds of activities do you like to do with your kids when travelling? The pool is where you can usually find us — both of our kids are like fishes! It’s tough with a little one under two years old, so we bring the stroller and go for walks, in addition to lots of swimming. We love places that offer kids’ activities, such as painting or little art projects during the day. The last hotel we stayed at had a foam pit and Charlie seriously had the time of his life!
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What is a typical meal like for you and your family when travelling? Early! Max goes to bed around 6:30 pm, so we are the first ones standing at the door when the restaurants open. Travelling with young kids sure changes things up from the pre-kid travel days! We try to eat the local fare whenever possible and look for kid-friendly items on the menus. With Charlie (five years old), we love encouraging him to try everything once — it’s such a great age to expose them to new flavours that they may like… or like one day, as we always say to Charlie! How do you stay healthy on the road? What are your top tips for families? Drink plenty of water, bring some familiar — and portable — healthy snacks from home, eat as many plant-based foods as you can, and splurge where it counts! It’s inevitable that a person will indulge more on vacation, but I don’t see it as an opportunity to throw healthy eating out the window! There are absolutely foods that are “worth it” to indulge in, but I try to eat healthy most of the time just like I would at home. Is there a meal that sticks out as the most memorable when you were in Cabo? Yes! We went to Flora Farms with my cousin, Jillian Harris, and her fiancé, and it was INCREDIBLE! Seriously, one of the best meals I’ve had, and the place was simply magical. It’s way out in the middle of nowhere and you may think that the cab is taking you out to the hills to be gone forever, but it’s worth the drive!
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How do you find time to spend with your husband while travelling with kids? Bring the grandparents, haha. No, but really - bring them! Of course, we spend time with each other while with the kids, but there is something special about being able to steal each other away for a couple hours and have some quiet time together. I love ordering food and wine into the hotel room, putting the kids to bed, and sitting out on the patio (bring a little set of speakers) to just chill out together. If you can get a hotel room with a suite, do it!
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#30while30 Photos by: Mairéad in London for Flytographer
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Michelle’s story I’ve always had a long-standing obsession with the idea of travel. Despite itching to book the next flight out, my twenties revolved around friends getting married, having babies, saving for houses, etc - keeping me without a travel partner. Just before my 30th birthday, I decided to stop waiting on other people to go on the adventures I was craving. I made a list of 30 places I wanted to visit while in my 30s. In 2015, I finally made it to the wonderfully wacky Austin. In 2016, I went nowhere.
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In 2017, I renewed my commitment to the #30while30 challenge and set off. London and Paris were checked off in April. This last trip I did Berlin, Prague, and London once more. This trip was really special as Berlin and Prague were done with a Contiki tour group. Booking the tour felt like such a scary thing to do - seven days with 50 strangers? In the end, it wound up connecting me with 50 people who were just like me - solo adventurers craving the unknown. London was tacked onto the end of the trip to soften the blow of going home.
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A few weeks before I left for my trip, I kept seeing ads for Flytographer. I repeatedly thought to myself, “If I ever have a boyfriend or a family to travel with, I’ll definitely do a session.” After the fourth time, I stopped myself - I was going to schedule one NOW. No more waiting on others to do the things I want! This shoot was a celebration of myself, a celebration of who I was in 2017, and a celebration of what I accomplished for only me. I hope to do at least one session each year as I continue to add cities to my #30while30 list - it’s the perfect way to benchmark where I am each year of this journey.
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Flytographer Honeymoon in Europe
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Ro k y i n Bu d a p est
Ro be r t a i n Ro m e
Bayu & Ivony’s story We are Flytographers in Bali, and we’ve just gotten married! Visiting Europe was always on our bucket list. After we decided our wedding date, we right away booked our tickets to Europe. We spent more time in planning our Europe trip than on our wedding preparation! After we decided which countries we wanted to visit, we started considering which Flytographers we’d like to help capture our honeymoon. We decided to shoot in Paris with Olga, in Rome with Roberta, and in Budapest with Roky. We have met both Roberta and Roky before when they came to Bali on their travels, so it was like meeting old friends.
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Rome is one of the places that we really want to visit. We love old cities with a glorious history. We also watch a lot of Gladiator movies! That’s why we decided to have one of our Flytographer shoots there with Roberta, who is very close to our heart. Apart from the all big wonderful churches, ruins, and all the historical buildings, we loved the street performance in Rome. We could easily spend hours walking into one piazza after another just to see the action. There are lots of talented singers, bands, guitarists, painters, comedians, everything! Just make sure you have some coins to show your appreciation. It’s really like watching a talent show!
O lg a i n Pa r i s
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O lg a i n Pa r i s
We’d always dreamt to visit Paris one day and see Versailles, so doing that was a highlight. When I (Ivony) was a little girl, I loved to read a comic book about Marie Antoinette, and I wouldn’t stop drawing her in my sketchbook! We loved our shoot with Olga, and of course got photos in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower. Our last destination was Budapest. The city had been recommended by Gusmank, our fellow Flytographer friend in Bali. When we arrived and saw the first sunset, we knew exactly why he loves Budapest - this city has one of the best sunsets that we’ve ever seen! Our experience with Roky was nothing less than amazing. He is a perfectionist, who will try everything so every shot is a perfect one.
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Ro k y i n Bu d a p e st
We started our Flytographer journey back in 2014, when we joined this wonderful company as the first photographers in Bali. We did our first Flytographer shoot for ourselves was in Vietnam in December 2014. Since then, we always do a shoot every time we travel overseas. We’ve done other shoots in Japan and Thailand before this Europe trip, and we will keep doing them for the rest of our lives.
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We love being in this wonderful Flytographer family since we meet a lot of fellow photographers from all around the world and share ideas, knowledge - everything! We also think that is very important as a photographer to be in front of the camera sometimes, so we can remind ourselves how it feels in the client’s shoes. We really think that we continuously grow as a better photographers every time we use Flytographer services as a client. We’re like addicts already! We decide where to travel based on getting a Flytographer shoot. Do it once, and you’ll never stop doing it!
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Returning to Shanghai Photos by: Anne-Lise in Shanghai for Flytographer
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Ina’s story Our winter vacation was meant to join my parents who typically spend the winter in China to get away from the Canadian winters and included my sister’s family’s first visit to China. Our itinerary included visiting Shanghai and also a visit to my father’s childhood village. I had visited both places before, so I knew Shanghai would have an incredible amount of changes to see, but I didn’t expect the Wong family village to have the changes that it did in the last seven years. A new high speed train was being built, the roads and lanes are now paved, public bathrooms have been built, and my father’s childhood school has been torn down. The pace of change in China everywhere is just incredible!
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The Pudong skyline is ever-changing in Shanghai. I remember seeing rice fields there less than 20 years ago! A great way to see it at night is on the Huangpu River cruise. If you walk along the Bund waterfront area to see it, go early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Our Flytographer Anne-Lise was amazing. She gave direction as needed to capture the perfect shot and also was spontaneous in the opportunities which came up during the shoot. (We got some great shots of groups of people flying their kites, practising their martial arts, and practising their dance routines while we were on the Bund.) We also got hungry while on the shoot and joined a food lineup to see what was being served yum!
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On the morning of the photoshoot, I discovered that Shanghai was colder than I expected and we would freeze in our outfits. I had read the Flytographer FAQ on what to wear (which included not wearing all black), but all dark clothing was all that we had for the weather! We are so happy with how the pictures turned out and how Anne-Lise was able to capture the morning light in her pictures. I can’t wait to figure out where my next Flytographer destination will be!
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Flytographer Q&A Photos by : Vanessa in Dublin
Name: Vanessa Location: Dublin, Ireland Equipment: Canon 5d MkIII, 35mm 1.4 Sigma art, 50mm 1.4 Canon, 24-70mm 2.8 Canon How long have you lived in your city? It’s been almost six years in The Emerald Isle! I’m originally from São Paulo, Brasil.
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How did you come to be a photographer? Tell us a little about your background. As a teenager, I had the opportunity to work with photographers being their helper - carrying their stuff, lights and flashes during events like weddings. Then I got to be their second shooter. When I went to college, neither the Marketing or Pedagogy courses I was taking were stronger than my desire to be a storyteller. I then went to study photography and decided that I definitely would be a photographer! How would you describe your personal photography style? I like to keep things simple and real. I go very naturally in my shoots. I like to show people interactions and emotions and I tend to be playful and fun. Simply put, I’m a lifestyle photographer and a storyteller. 80 • PASSPORT | THE MAGIC OF TRAVEL
Where do you find your creative inspiration? The city, the blue sky, the music and sometimes even the rain in Ireland inspire me! But definitely travelling and getting to know new people and cultures gives me THE BOOST of inspiration! What album is on repeat when you’re editing photos? Well, I’m very eclectic and this really depends on the day’s mood. I go from The xx, Majestic Casual, Laura Mvula, Jorge Ben Jor, The Sound You Need, Lianne La Havas, Ivete Sangalo to Jimi Hendrix. What are you currently reading? I got this amazing book as a gift! I’m reading “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.
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Where is your favourite place to shoot in your city and why? In the city, I like to shoot at Dame Lane and George Street surroundings, but Dublin offers so many amazing places for a good shoot. I also love the little villages outside the city like Dalkey, the seaside, the castles...this is a hard question! What does a perfect day in your city look like? A perfect day in Dublin would be a Sunday in the summer exploring the food markets, enjoying a good coffee, all the street art, music and festivals that the city offers! Maybe finish with a pint and folk music at a local pub with the fellas! Where are your favourite places in your city to get a coffee and or a cocktail? For a good coffee: 3fe. For craft beers: The Porterhouse. For dinner: Fallon & Byrne.
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Where was the last trip that you took? Tell us a little bit about the experience. Netherlands. And I absolutely LOVED everything, everyone and everywhere about there! If you could live anywhere in the world for one year, where would you live and why? I would live for one year in Hawaii - I dream about living the beach life in the sun! What do you most enjoy about shooting for Flytographer? The new people I get to know! The new stories, always in the happy vibe of touring. At the end to give them the best souvenirs they could ever have, the memories of an amazing experience. Flytographer rocks!
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Sun & Fun Bachelorette Photos by: Melissa in Tulum for Flytographer
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Looking for the perfect escape with your best gals for an unforgettable bachelorette bash? Look no further than Tulum’s perfect combination of sun, beaches, fresh cuisine and vibrant nightlife scene! Start the party at Gitano, a chic outdoor restaurant with fresh food and a fun jungle atmosphere. Dance the night away under the stars at WILD Tulum, a trendy lounge serving innovative cocktails and funky beats. Refuel with breakfast at Zama’s. Head to Playa Ruinas to see the famous Mayan ruins. Don’t forget your swimsuit — Playa Ruinas is one of Tulum’s best beaches!
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Get outside and get active with a group stand-up paddleboard yoga lesson. SUP Yoga Tulum offers a daily excursion to a private lagoon complete with transport, equipment, paddleboard instruction, and a 90-minute yoga class. You and your gals are free to paddle around at your leisure for the remainder of the class until you’re transported back postlesson. For a magical evening under the stars, book a rooftop table at Mamasan and order your own selection of small plates featuring local ingredients accompanied by an innovative signature cocktail or two. Cheers to that!
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Saying Yes in Amsterdam Photos by: Nadine W. in Amsterdam for Flytographer
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Anne’s story My fiancée Geneva and I live together in Chicago, USA. We like to take a big trip abroad every year. This year we chose Amsterdam and Munich because we have Dutch and German heritage and wanted to visit our motherlands. Usually people would want to get out of the cold and travel somewhere warm during the harsh December Chicago winters. Not us! Bring on the snow, fire-pit pubs, Christmas markets, Glühwein, and fairytale architecture! We knew that the best Christmas markets with the most stunning views would be in Amsterdam and Munich, and we were not disappointed.
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The highlight of our trip was proposing to my fiancée! We then celebrated with her family in Munich. We also loved how nice and accomodating everyone was in Amsterdam. I honestly can’t say enough amazing things about our Flytographer, Nadine W from Amsterdam, both as a person and a photographer. Our shoot concierge Shay was also amazing at setting up all the secret proposal details and walking me through everything step-by-step. Both of them made me feel so comfortable asking all the awkward proposal questions and really put me at ease. I couldn’t have asked for a smoother process and we can’t wait to use Flytographer again!
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Anne’s Top Tips We stayed at Hotel Casa Amsterdam. It’s in Eerste Ringdijkstraat, just out of the center of Amsterdam east. We picked the hotel because of its great location and price - a quick seven-minute walk to the nearest metro station to get to the center! It’s a very relaxed and safe area. I highly recommend staying here if you’re on a budget and looking for a nice hotel. The best thing to do is just get lost in a surrounding neighbourhood around the center. Pick out a few top museums or places you want to spend a full morning, but don’t spend all your time inside the museums! Bike the canals, hit up the coffee shops and pubs, go to the cutest cafés ... Amsterdam has it all. My top things to do are the Festival of Lights, canal tours, Van Gogh Museum, Moco Museum, and simply walking along the streets of Jordaan. Plan ahead of time and buy tickets to museums and sights before your trip. You can save a lot of money doing that! What to eat? Anything and everything! But really, all the food trucks have something delicious and unique to offer. We tried to eat at a new places for every meal. The Thai food was delicious, and you have to try the bitterballen and stroopwafels. Oh yes, and don’t miss the cheese shops!
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5 Things to Know Before Visiting
During Lavender Season
Photos by: Agnieszka in Kraków Photos by: Andrea & Cyril in Provence for Flytographer
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Like us, we think you’ll be drooling over these dreamy lavender fields in the south of France. Because of the very short window for lavender season, it’s never too soon to start planning a trip to see it in person. We asked Flytographers Andrea and Cyril in Provence for the five things you need to know before visiting France during lavender season. Read on for their top tips.
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When to go Lavender season begins around mid-June, but the absolute best time to catch the lavender in full bloom is between the last week of June and the first or second week of July. (This year, the local farmers cut everything during the first few days of July, so it’s really best to get there before the end of June, if possible.) Where to go Although you can find lavender fields in Gordes, Luberon and Mont Ventoux, the most beautiful region is the Plateau de Valensole because, in addition to the lavender fields, you’ll be treated to a stunning mountain background and, of course, the gorgeous Verdon Gorge! The best lavender fields are in between the routes that surround Valensole, some of them which are hard to find and free from tourists.
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When to schedule a photo shoot We highly recommend two times for scheduling a Flytographer shoot in France during lavender season: just after sunrise or just before sunset, because direct sunlight affects the beautiful colour of the lavender and the gorgeous soft light at those times will perfectly complement the stunning lavender fields. What to bring & what to wear • Every field has bees, insects and mosquitoes, so be prepared for the buzzing! • Don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun. Always carry sunscreen and sunglasses! • As far as what to wear, Andrea and Cyril recommend sticking with white or any other creamy soft colour so the contrast between the lavender, the sky and you will be extra dreamy. • Booking a longer shoot of at least 90 minutes is a good idea as you’ll then have time to see a typical Provencal town (with your local Flytographer guides, of course) in addition to spending some time in the lavender fields. What else to do • If you come to the area, Andrea says you must taste the typical lavender ice cream, ratatouille and, of course, the rosé wine, which is the perfect summer sipper. • If you like nature, Verdon Gorge is the place to be! Visiting during the morning is recommended as you can avoid many of the tourist crowds. You can ride a pedal boat or electric boat inside the magnificent canyon and if you’re into more extreme sports, you can even paraglide or go for a hike!
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“Did you know that Ljubljana means ‘beloved’ in Slovenian? Creating lovely memories in this urban gem while you unfold your wings, even if just for a day or two, is a certainty.” Read on for Flytographer Mankica’s local guide to Ljubljana, Slovenia!
Photos by: Mankica in Ljubljana for Flytographer
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Tell us what you love about your city. Situated in the heart of Slovenia, within the confines of the Alps’ embrace, you will find a charming city with a cozy village feel to it. Ljubljana’s centre has been built around a castle, where the locals have perfected the art of savouring each hour. The compactness of Ljubljana makes it possible for lovers to discover all the local hot spots on foot or by bike. You will not come across an extensive network of subways in this town, although you will stumble upon a cute flea market, art market, music or street theatre festival. The local architectural characteristics can be compared to those of more popular touristic cities such as Prague or even Vienna. I believe Ljubljana trumps these well-known touristic champions with its pure heart-warming charms.
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What are some must-visit spots in your city? Visit the Ljubljana Botanic Garden and be swept off your feet by the sweetness of the café’s Emona cake. The view from the Ljubljana Castle is stunning, as well. The best time to go to the tower is right before sunset. During a clear day, you can even see the Alps bathing in the orange afternoon sun. Another stunning view can be found at the local skyscraper Nebotičnik, where you can also enjoy a soothing drink and a lovely cake. It used to be the highest building in Yugoslavia. What is your favourite free activity in your location? Ljubljana is also the city of nature. You can have a stroll next to a river and enjoy its green splendour. Throughout the year, you can spend your free time in one of the abundant beautiful parks spread throughout the city.
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What is the best way to enjoy Ljubljana as a local would? Ljubljana is an enchanting capital with many beautiful urban areas to explore. You can zone out while sipping on a delicious wine, or relax with a tasty beer in one of the cafés or restaurants scattered throughout the city centre. Both the beer and wine are produced locally. Our Slovenian microbreweries and vineyards are best enjoyed over a lively chat with loved ones. What is the top reason to book a trip to your city? Just a stone’s throw away from Ljubljana, you will find the picturesque Lake Bled and numerous breathtaking natural landscapes that will leave you in awe. Even going to the seaside where Piran, another romantic town, is situated will only take you one hour. Let your love blossom while relaxing in the embrace of this tiny earthly paradise.
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Making the Most of Melbourne Photos by: Michelle in Melbourne for Flytographer
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Ray’s story We’ve always wanted to visit Australia, and it just so happened that one of my wife’s best friends who now lives in Australia was getting married, and so we thought it was a great opportunity to go. From the incredible sights, sounds and food culture of Melbourne and Adelaide, and the indescribable beauty along the Great Ocean Road, there are too many favourite memories to count, but we all felt being able to get up close to kangaroos was a fun highlight! One of the best things was just spending time along some of the many beaches along our drive and watching our little 3-year-old have a blast just running wild.
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Our main tip would be just to plan and take more time along the Great Ocean Road. There are tons of little towns along the way that have great communities with very friendly and welcoming people. Take your time and don’t rush, so you can fully experience the places that you’re visiting. One of our favorite spots that we stumbled upon was the No. 4 Cafe in Robe, South Australia. It had a fun, rustic vibe, great food and a phenomenal cup of coffee. And one of the owners (who is super friendly and full of great advice for off-thebeaten-path sights) looks just like the documentary director Michael Moore! A couple of really neat and fun things we did was check out the Dandenong Ranges onboard an old school steam train called Puffing Billy and feed kangroos at the Urimbirra Open Range Wildlife Park. The biggest and nicest surprise? How friendly and easy-going everyone was. Perhaps we were just lucky, but all the locals whom we met and asked for advice on where to eat or go were easily approachable and very helpful. (Best food tip: try Australian Kobe Beef!) The most special thing was just being together as a family and experiencing the sights and sounds of Melbourne and Adelaide. Our Flytographer, Michelle, was super fun to work with. She suggested some great locations and she was really accommodating with our toddler. We had a really great time!
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Published on Jan 31, 2018