Founder Interview: Sarah Pearce of Travelshoot

Travel Shoot Founder Sarah Pearce Interview

Have you ever looked back at your holiday photos and wished you had captured better shots for the gram? Sometimes those awkward selfies just don’t make the cut…

While we’ve all put our amateur photography skills to the test, there’s no doubt that hiring a professional photographer to capture those precious memories is going to make a huge difference. Sure you can stop a stranger on the road to snap a quick photo, but some moments are just too special to leave in the hands of someone just passing by.

Enter Travelshoot, an Australian startup that connects local photographers to travellers all around the world. Sarah Pearce is the brains behind Travelshoot and an incredible founder who took the business to the Shark Tank and won the ‘My Shark Tank’ competition courtesy of Channel 10 and Optus in 2015.

We’re thrilled to interview Sarah and ask her all about her inspiration for starting the business and her best tips for couples planning their weddings!

What is Travelshoot?

Travelshoot is an Australian based business that coordinates photoshoots for people travelling around the world who want to capture special holiday memories, or occasions. It’s incredibly popular with couples (honeymooners too of course!) and families, who want to celebrate a milestone trip with some incredible memories with everyone in the frame.

We have over 90 global locations on our network, and we test all photographers who are on our team so we know clients have total peace of mind.

Photography sessions that are most popular are our 1 hour and 2 hour experiences in most locations, and our most popular locations right now are New York, London, Paris, Bali, Santorini and the Gold Coast. Packages start from $399 and is an all inclusive package – we’re aiming to make professional photography accessible for everyone.

What inspired you to start your business?

A friend of ours who was a photographer in New York a few years ago took some photos of my husband and I for his portfolio, and I realised how much of a treasured keepsake these travel memories were. When I shared a few on social media I had a lot of people asking for which company we did this through, so it was then that I knew other travellers would value getting the same type of memories on special trips.

What are words to describe the Travelshoot couple?

Explorers + Nostalgic.

Where do you go/what do you do to find inspiration for your business?

I’m a busy mum of two little ones under two these days, so for now we try to plan a lot of weekend getaways to refresh and we’re off to Bali over Christmas too. We did recently do a big Europe trip for a friend’s wedding with the kids (our story here!) which involved a lot of planning, but it was definitely an amazing break away from phones and laptops.

Inspiration for the business constantly comes from seeing clients Travelshoot albums being uploaded each week – there’s always some really special or exciting reason the couple or family has booked a photoshoot, so the best bit is seeing their albums come in and know the client will be thrilled. This is the ultimate inspiration for our team!

What are the most important things a bride should consider when choosing a photographer?

Aside from all the obvious things (you love their style, portfolio, and packages) I would recommend being aware of solid communication (how good they are at responding) as communication leading up to the big day, and on the day is so important.

For destination weddings there is a LOT of horror stories out there about photographers not doing the right thing, or being misleading with the quality of their portfolios so I would always recommend doing a lot of homework and feeling really comfortable.

Any photographers asking for a large down payment or deposit would be a warning flag to us, as we find most professional photographers have a phased payment process for weddings.

We unfortunately rule out about 10% of photographers we test for our network based on customer service + quality of photography at our test shoot phase – so it’s a pretty big percentage really, and I can imagine how disappointing it would be if your own wedding wasn’t captured well.

Why is a Travelshoot becoming such a popular Honeymoon experience?

I think couples really value this special time in their lives, and after having your own wedding photographed, it makes a lot of sense to invest an hour into having the same type of memories captured together when you’re somewhere fabulous around the world on the honeymoon.

We’ve heard from a few couples that they enjoyed being a little ‘more like them’ on their honeymoon in photos, perhaps a little more relaxed and alone together in a place that’s been such an exciting milestone for them. We know weddings are an expensive time of life too, so that’s why we intentionally wanted to keep the prices of our sessions down to make it affordable for most couples, so our 1 hour session is $399 and includes everything in all of our cities.

Can people gift a Travelshoot or include it on their gift registry?

Absolutely! It really is the perfect gift for couples who perhaps have most of the things they need, but have planned a honeymoon and would love to capture some memories together. I think it’s quite a special gift to give to someone too – lifetime memories will really be so special for that couple in years to come!

Do you have a favourite destination for shooting?

There’s over 90 cities on the Travelshoot network now so it’s hard to choose, but definitely some of the European cities are just so raw and impactful when photographed, so I do have a soft spot for places in France, Italy and Spain – there’s something very special and intimate about all the cobblestone streets and alleyways our local photographers take clients.

What advice can you give future brides who are planning their weddings?

When I was planning my own wedding I was advised to remember to enjoy the process or the lead up to the actual day will be more about stress than enjoyment, and I really found this to be true, and see it with friends who get married too. A wedding day is such a happy and joyous occasion, so the process should be just as fun!

What’s next for Travelshoot?

We’re constantly adding new cities to the network so expanding our Australian and international team is a big focus right now. We’ve also just launched our elopement and wedding packages for people planning a destination wedding too – so helping brides be connected with our trusted and reliable photographers is another thing we’re enjoying and seeing a lot of demand for.

Getting ready to go on your honeymoon? Get in touch with Travelshoot to find a local photographer at your honeymoon destination!