July 12, 2019

Why I Hired a Photographer When Traveling Solo

Why I Hired a Photographer When Traveling Solo

This holiday I traveled to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan. I decided to travel to Taiwan solo. I have traveled solo before, but this time around I decided to hire a photographer to follow me around for the day. This is my story…

My buddy Richard hired a photographer to take Instagram perfect photos from Airbnb Experiences while he was in Thailand.

I thought it seemed like a great idea to also have my photos taken while traveling solo. However, Airbnb Experiences doesn’t exist in Taiwan. I decided to Google “hire photographer in Taiwan”. The prices were out of my price range, costing around $200 for a couple of hours.

I decided to use my go-to network, Upwork. I use this site to hire my designers, developers, and people to get me leads, but I’ve never thought to use it for a photographer. I decided why not?

Here is how to hire a photographer on Upwork

  • Post the job title “Hiring a photographer”
  • Under the Invite Freelancers section go to the filter
  • Change your location to your destination. In my case, I filled in Taipei, Taiwan.
  • Select your hourly rate
  • If you are looking to hire a photographer in the USA expect to pay more than if you are going to let’s say the Philippines.
  • Invite freelancers from the search results to your listing. Don’t rely upon them contacting you.
  • Once they reply to your message ask a few questions.

Do you expect me to pay for your food, transportation etc.?

What type of camera will you be using?

I need you for ie. 12 hours. What will be your rate?

Can you send me over your portfolio?

Once they answer these questions select the photographer that is the best fit.

I hired my photographer for $12/hour for 12 hours. She has a full-time job but loves photography as a passion. It was a win-win, she gets to make money and practice while I would have someone to follow me around and snap photos of me all day.

Before meeting my photographer, I sent her my itinerary (don’t expect your photographer to also be your tour guide unless agreed upon). I met my photographer for breakfast at 9 am at the restaurant Fuhang Soy Milk. I had rice milk soup and a fried dough egg sandwich. It was delicious! Aside from taking photos of me, she helped me order breakfast (since she spoke the language) and recommended a few dishes.

Following breakfast, we hiked the Elephant Trail. At the top of the mountain, we took a few photos of me posing with Taipei 101 in the background.

We then went to the National Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.

We then headed to Ding Tai Fung for lunch. The barbecue ribs and the soup dumplings were delicious.

We then walked around the alleyways that were from the Portuguese era. We went into a few local shops and then stopped for bitter tea on the street! It was unbearably bitter. After I stopped into 7–11 for a tea egg.

We then walked around Ximending. It was like a mini-Japan. There were tons of shops and street vendors. Afterward, I grabbed a barbecue pork belly bun and a few other snacks. I even tried a duck tongue. It was super crunchy given that it was all bone.

For dinner, we went to the Ning Xia night market. We started with stinky tofu. As you approach a stinky tofu stall you smell the stench. I then had an oyster omelet, fried dumplings, fried chicken and octopus. I was pretty full at that point as you could imagine.

By the end of the day, I was exhausted. Aside from eating which I basically talk about in this whole post, we did walk over 32,000 steps. We ended the day with beers at 7–11. It was a memorable experience to hang out with a local aside from having beautiful photos to remember my time in Taiwan. I will definitely hire a photographer again in my future travels.