professional photoshoot in italy

A Professional Photoshoot in Italy: Top Tips

This guest post was contributed by Kirstie McConnell of Classico Portraits.

As a child, I had no idea that I’d end up living here in Italy. When I was fourteen, my grandparents told me at lunch one day that they’d just booked a trip to Europe, and somehow I managed to add myself to the booking!

I immediately found myself an after-school job, putting every cent into my “Europe fund”. Six months later we were on the plane, escaping the Australian winter to visit the sites, eat way too much amazing food, and explore forgotten villages.

My grandfather was a photographer too so my birthday present that year was an album he put together of our trip. He made a duplicate for themselves as well and at any opportunity, my grandma proudly walks down their passage to pick up that album and proceeds to share the many stories that the images inside provoke, with whoever the guest is of the day. 

I cherish the memories from that trip together, and since losing my grandfather recently, I am so grateful that he took so many photos and then put those albums together which then led to so many afternoons spent sitting around the dining table reliving the trip via the photo album.

That’s the inspiration behind Classico Portraits. Because no matter who you’re going with, every trip is special. And special memories deserve to be re-lived.

Here are my best tips for ensuring you love your professional photoshoot in Italy:

professional photoshoot in italy
A couple relax by the pool at their Agriturismo in Piemonte. Photographed by Kirstie McConnell of Classico Portraits


What’s the general vibe of your trip? That’s what you want to capture in your professional photoshoot in Italy. If it’s a whirlwind city-to-city trip with just enough time for sightseeing, then booking a photoshoot against the Venice Canals, the Colosseum or Florence’s Duomo will be perfect. You’ll save time and it perfectly represents your trip.

Alternatively, if you’re traveling a little slower, or perhaps your trip is really about the little moments more than visiting big attractions, then capturing that part of your holiday will make more sense. Maybe you love exploring quaint villages? Perhaps vacations are the only time you and your other half just sit and relax, enjoying each other’s company. Or maybe you’ll be hiking in the Alps or taking the kids sailing in the Mediterranean?

Whatever your style of travel is for this vacation, talk to your photographer about that to ensure your photos capture the most important memories. 

A young family plays outside in Puglia. Photographed by Kirstie McConnell of Classico Portraits

Book the Best Time

We typically recommend avoiding the first days of your trip for your professional photoshoot in Italy because you’ll no doubt be fighting jetlag, and keeping the last day of your trip pretty free. After all, there’s already enough stress those days with getting to and from the airport, finding other souvenirs, and so on. So consider where you’ll be the rest of the time and book a day that you’ll be relaxed and able to enjoy the experience too. 

If your vision is to incorporate a particular tourist attraction or monument in the background of your photoshoot, you’ll most likely want to book an early morning shoot. Meet your photographer at sunrise, which will give you the most flattering light, plus, you’ll have a lot more options than later in the day when you’d have to fight the crowds. 

If you’re having your photographer come to your agriturismo instead, then you might want to choose sunset instead, however, do consider your family and the rest of your itinerary. In summer, sunset is right at dinner time (Italian dinner time that is) which might be bedtime for kids! I also prefer to be flexible when I travel and so I wouldn’t want to have to commit to being back from a day of exploring at a certain time so personally, I’d prefer to get up early.

Couple on vacation cuddle in Monforte d’Alba in Piemonte. Photographed by Kirstie McConnell of Classico Portraits

Consider your Outfits

If you’re anything like 90% of travelers, you’ve packed and repacked a couple of times already, making sure that you’re making the most of each item. You’ve already got a couple of different tops that can be worn with the same pair of pants. A pair of shoes that suit both jeans and a dress. Sunnies, a cute hat, and of course a comfy pair of walking shoes! You’ve got all that covered! So just double-check that everyone’s “cute outfit” complements each other (without being matchy-matchy because white shirts and blue jeans don’t represent your personalities!). For example, If your cute outfit features bold red pieces, make sure your other half isn’t wearing Christmas tree green!

Don’t forget that a professional photographer can help you with outfit ideas so if they haven’t provided any tips at the time of booking as I do, reach out to them and ask.

Photographs of a couple hiking in the Italian Alps hang on their wall. Photographed by Kirstie McConnell of Classico Portraits

Choose the Right Photographer

As you know, time is super valuable on a vacation. The last thing you want is to carve out an hour for getting ready, another hour or more for the photoshoot, and then hate either the experience or your images (or both). There’s no time for a re-shoot so choosing the right photographer is important. Jump on Airbnb experiences and you will find an incredibly overwhelming number of photographers to choose from in any big Italian city. So how do you choose the right one for your professional photoshoot in Italy?

a.) Start with your end goal
How do you want to enjoy these memories? Are the images purely for Instagram? Are they for the walls of your home or in an album? Will you print them yourself (and do you have access to a professional printer) or do you want the photographer to organise that for you and have them delivered to your home? Once you know the answer, you can start narrowing your search.

b.) Expectations
Most people aren’t natural models, and that’s okay! The job of a photographer is to position them in the most flattering way, help their clients relax with small queues and then capture the moments that unfold in front of them. For your photographer to help you with that, it is vital that you both speak the same language and can communicate with ease. Luckily for you, most young Italians speak at least basic English so your options aren’t too limited, but the better you can communicate with your photographer, the better your photo experience will be so keep that in mind when making a booking.

c.) Budget
You’ll find photographers with packages from as low as €80 and others like me have clients that spend multiple thousands. Of course, we all offer different levels of service, quality, and experiences, too.

If you’re only after Instagram images and you are combining a visit to a major attraction with the shoot anyway, maybe the €80 photographer is worth a shot.

If you’re after a slightly more customized option but are wanting to simply purchase digitals to print yourself, then you’ll probably want to go to the next price bracket. That should get you a photographer who knows the local spots, can give you a few times to choose from, and then send you a link to download your pre-purchased photos which you can then print once you’re home.

For those of you who are looking for a complete experience for your professional photoshoot in Italy, where the photographer guides you with what to wear, can organize a make-up artist, will be flexible with times and locations—perhaps combine the photo shoot with an activity you’re doing, or incorporate a kind of “locals tour”—will make the selection process super easy, and can deliver your wall art and keepsake album to your door, then you must find a photographer who specializes in providing a full-service experience as we do at Classico Portraits.

No matter if this trip is an annual thing, your last family vacation before your eldest heads off to college, the dream trip you and your significant other have been planning since, well, forever, or if it’s the big trip your entire family is taking together—grandparents, too—a professional photoshoot in Italy is all about you and capturing these memories to relive forever.

Author: Kirstie McConnell | Classico Portraits


Kirstie McConnell is an Australian photographer living in Italy.

Love (of her husband, but mostly of cheese), brought her to Italy in 2020. Her husband is Italian and was desperate to be back with his family. And what Aussie girl could pass up the chance to move to the land of Gelato?! (Seeing a food theme here?)

Today she specializes in photographing vacationers who are exploring Italy and delivers wall art to their homes so they can relive these memories forever.

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