At Flytographer, we have a pretty amazing team of photographers around the world, and though we are in constant contact with them over email and Skype, nothing can compare to meeting with them in the flesh. For that reason, we are so excited to host an annual meetup to give our team and our photographers an opportunity to connect in person.
Last year, we kicked off the tradition in Paris for our inaugural event, and this spring, it was all about Barcelona. We packed our bags and flew from our HQ in Canada to meet approximately 20 photographers in this sultry and sophisticated Spanish city; these professionals hailed from cities in Slovenia and Portugal, France and USA … and more! To say that we had fun and forged amazing connections would be selling the meetup short; this was a game-changer on many levels for most of us.
When photographers get together, there is no shortage of conversation, and it flowed as easily as the delicious wine. For our first planned event, we were hosted by the lovely Zona d’Ombra in the Gothic Quarter, where we sampled both white and red wines as well as an assortment of tapas. We laughed and talked and laughed some more until we closed the wine bar down.
Our first full day kicked off with our partner, Context Tours, who hosted us for three separate private tours. The first group headed to La Boqueria, Barcelona’s famous public food market, for a specialized food tour. The second group was introduced to the historic Gothic Quarter, and the third discovered the Raval neighbourhood, touted as Gothic’s “cooler” cousin. Attending a Context Tour is truly fascinating – the docents are very knowledgeable and give you that “deep travel” experience that is so satisfying. You really come away feeling like you didn’t just visit an area, but really explored.
We all reconvened after the tours at Parc de la Ciutadella, where we found a grassy spot in the shade to enjoy a picnic and collaborate on various aspects of photo-making. We shared tips, tricks, and unique ideas to improve practice and product. The level of creativity and experience in this group is astounding!
After a short break in the late afternoon, our photographers met, cameras in hand, for a golden hour photowalk in the Born district. The photography gods smiled down on us when we came upon a small, closed square that was bathed in perfect pink light and nearly devoid of people (aside from a few kids scootering around and a couple tourists). For nearly an hour, we played in that square, posing each other, practicing different angles and shots, and just generally having the time of our lives. Our photographers love what they do, and the joy in having this space and being with affable colleagues was clear, based on the sound of laughter in that square.
Our second and last full day saw us at Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I, a beautiful hotel with sweeping gardens all around. Fairmont is one of our global partners, and we are grateful that they offered to host us on one of our meetup days. After some more collaborating, brainstorming and learning, we ended our time at Fairmont with a glass of cava in the garden and more fun group shots.
Our last evening ended on a high note: drinks and tapas at our rented townhouse, followed by an impromptu night out at a local karoake bar. (We discovered many of our photographers could also moonlight as performers, FYI.) Sadly, our time together ended too soon, as many photographers had to rush home to be back for their weekend shoots.
Since returning home, one of the best products of this meetup has been witnessing the outpouring of love and support across our team social media channels. We connected on such a profound level – it was an easy, fun and meaningful meeting of like-minded professionals. Our photographers told us that they simply love what they do: from meeting travellers to capturing stories to producing great photos. We hear from customers and photographers alike how often they come away from a shoot feeling like they are now friends – and with evidence of this kind of energy and love playing out in Barcelona, it is easy to see why!
(p.s. You know you have been with photographers when you are swimming in a sea of post-event photos – and each more beautiful than the last, which means it is no easy feat to narrow selections down for a blog post!)
“I am proud to be a part of a team of selected photographers who are amazing people as well as brilliant photographers. It feels like I have friends all over the world!” – Mankica
If you know a hard-working, amazing photographer that puts top-notch customer service first, ask them to apply! We are currently hiring in select cities, but all applications are kept on file.