Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Shutter-happy moments with SweetEscape


WHEN traveling, we usually face this never-ending challenge of who will take our family photos.

Most often, we end up relying on the kindness of strangers or bringing a bulky tripod or the ubiquitous selfie stick to shoot our group snaps. However, if pressed for time, these hurriedly-taken pictures do not live up to our expectations, making us wish that there was a reliable photographer who could beautifully capture our family’s favorite wanderlust moments.

Enter SweetEscape. Launched in 2016, the photographer booking-app has an impressive network of more than 2,000 curated photographers across more than 400 cities around the world. Its mission is “to make professional photography easy and affordable for anyone for any occasion around the world.”

SweetEscape is the brainchild of David Soong, an Indonesian, who started the holiday photography service “to solve his own problem.”

“I’m a photographer and the biggest irony was that I did not have good family pictures when I traveled. The idea of SweetEscape is to have a local friend (photographer) who will help you preserve precious moments through photos. I believe, those moments with your loved ones are priceless”, said SweetEscape’s CEO and founder.

Our very own sweet escape

My family and I got to personally experience the magic of SweetEscape when we had our vacation in Canada last June.

For my mother-in-law's 80th birthday, the whole family flew to Vancouver to celebrate this significant milestone. It was a rare time where everybody gathered in just one country, so we planned to document this wonderful occasion with a family pictorial. But, alas, who do we contact? We did not personally know of a local photographer whose expertise was already tried and tested.

Fortunately, my sister-in-law remembered that her younger sister had tried SweetEscape in Australia for a pre-nuptial shoot a few months ago. And, the results were amazing!

I quickly downloaded the SweetEscape app and booked our preferred schedule and venue for the pictorial. After two days, we were merrily shooting at VanDusen Botanical Garden with the amiable Arnold Limantono who has years of professional experience as a topnotch photographer in Indonesia and Canada.

For two hours, we posed as family (all 17 of us from ages eighty-three to three years old) under Arnold’s superb direction. Occasionally, he would break us into separate groups and shoot spontaneous photos of each family.

The final photos were truly breathtaking and candidly immortalized the bliss and closeness we enjoyed as a clan. These delightful snaps were included in a photo book lovingly given as a gift to commemorate my dear M.I.L.'s 80th birthday.

Now snapping in the Philippines

SweetEscape is now spreading its wings in the acclaimed selfie capital of the world, the Philippines! It has a dedicated local team and market specific promotions to provide even better service for the Filipinos.

For first time users in the Philippines, use the promo code LONGWEEKEND and avail of a special deal of USD 50 (P2,600) off plus 30 extra photos from August 9 to 31, 2018.

It also has an ongoing exclusive deal for Citi cardholders who get the chance to enjoy USD 50 off and USD 50 cashback (in SweetEscape credits) for photo shoots around the world when they pay with their Citi credit card and use the promo code LOVE2CLICK until May 31, 2019.

In addition, the company is exploring various partnership opportunities with local brands to get more awareness and traction from the new market.

“SweetEscape makes every moment memorable. It’s like having a local friend to capture the most intimate, raw, unedited memories. It’s simple and easy, yet something that can be treasured for years to come”, concludes its shutter-happy founder David.

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