Whatever the reason, travel is always a special time, meant to be lived to the fullest and remembered for years to come. Why not make sure the special characteristics of your vacation are captured on camera by booking a vacation photographer.
Never thought of that? Well, Miguel, the founder of Photo Walks Lisboa, a photography tour and workshop company based in Lisbon, knows exactly what we’re talking about. Today, in our #ExperienceOfTheWeek, we’re talking to him about his journey as a photographer, the city of Lisbon, and the advantages of having professional photos done on your holiday.
Q1: Hi, Miguel, how are you doing?
Great, thank you! How are you doing?
Q2: Tell us more about your project, Photo Walks. Where did the idea come from?
Photowalks.pt is something I started around 3 years ago in what we can call a not planned process.
It was a kind of process where one thing led to another, and suddenly it makes you think: ok, this can be something! A friend asked me to put a photo walk together for his company, and after this first experience, I hosted a couple of others in Lisbon. Suddenly there were people interested in our programs, and it started.
What we do at Photowalks is to organize photography tours and workshops for scheduled small groups and unscheduled private ones. Most of our activities are walking activities as I believe it’s the best way to experience the places where we go.
We started with a few programs only in Lisbon, but recently after the COVID confinement, we put together a few programs outside of the city as it was a common request from our guests.
Q3: You’re based in Lisbon, which is a very popular destination in Portugal. I bet there are dozens of things to show to fellow travelers. How big is your team? Are you all locals?
Photowalks.pt is a small operation, and it’s the way I like it. Most of the time, I’m the one who leads every group, but for busy times and the occasional bigger private groups, I have a small team of locals helping me out. Keeping it with locals is essential as the magic is to share the little secrets only locals know about.
Q4: Apart from private photoshoots, you also offer workshops and tours. Do you customize every experience according to the travelers’ needs?
Our goal is to have both options.
We do the scheduled small group tour for anyone to join, with an already set program and not much to change, and the private tours which are highly customizable and can be planned for one participant up to large groups. Those private activities are quite popular amongst the business market for events as different as press presentations or team building events. Still, we also get many requests for friends and family groups who want to have a great time while in the city.
Q5: Can you tell us more about your photoshoot packages? How long is the photoshoot? Do you have any special locations you like to shoot at?
The photoshoots packages were added recently to our portfolio, and we currently only host private photoshoots. Prices are extremely friendly, and the great about those sessions is the chance to customize them as far as one can imagine.
The standard shoot takes about 2 hours, and we choose one area of the city and go for it. Popular spots are amongst the oldest neighborhoods of Lisbon, Alfama, Mouraria, or Bairro Alto and Bica. We also do shoots on the beach, in Sintra, or anywhere our guests want us to go. Photography is usually the medium, but we have been recently asked for video shoots too.
I usually like to shoot anywhere with great light, and that is something the Lisbon region has to offer all year round.
Q6: Professional photoshoots have always been linked to big occasions such as weddings or family celebrations while vacation photos used to be all about selfies. Why would you recommend booking a personal vacation photographer?
I can recommend booking a local professional photographer for anyone who wants to have great pictures in the best places at the best possible time.
With a local pro, guests can take advantage of all the local knowledge, access, and benefit from tips and advice about where to visit and when to go. Usually, I recommend booking a photo shoot or a photography tour, depending on your interests, on the first couple of days of your trip to allow you to use all the advice you get on the remaining of your stay.
Q7: Travel industry is in uncharted waters right now but we all hope travel will rebound soon. What does the situation in Lisbon look like right now? How was your summer season this year?
The summer season was different, to say the least, but things are looking a little bit better as some work is starting to show. Despite the recent rise in COVID cases all over Europe, we can now see a few tourists around the city, and we are witnessing a small increase in bookings.
Q8: Last but not least, what is your favorite spot around Lisbon that you’d take your friends to see or experience? Tips from a true local are always worth it 🙂
That’s a hard question. There are so many places. If I have to pick just one, I would say the coastline stretch between Praia Grande and Cabo da Roca in Sintra.
It’s a wild area, part of the Sintra Natural Park, with high cliffs, incredible views, and moody weather. We do a photo walk there, visiting some of the deserted and amazing small beaches along the coast, really worth the time and effort.
In the city, there are also many places not to miss. I would maybe highlight the viewpoints as they have great ambiance with live musicians on many of them and the most amazing views, especially around sunrise and sunset. Since we have so many, all quite different from each other, I can point Miradouro do Recolhimento, a small and almost forgotten viewpoint near the castle and overlooking Portas do Sol and Alfama.
Book some of the most popular experiences by Photowalks.pt here: