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How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Photo Shoot in Edinburgh, Scotland

How to Plan a Budget-Friendly Photo Shoot in Edinburgh, Scotland

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Planning a trip to Scotland and want to book an Edinburgh photographer? Keep scrolling to check out my tips for finding affordable Edinburgh photographers for your next Scotland vacation!
This post about tips for finding affordable Edinburgh photographers was written by family travel expert Marcie Cheung and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

I strongly believe that professional photos are the BEST souvenir. So when we decided that Scotland would be our summer family vacation, one of the first things I booked was a Flytographer photo session.

We planned it for the morning of our first day in Edinburgh because it’s a great way to connect with a local and get a lay of the land.

Keep scrolling to see exactly how our Edinburgh photoshoot went and my top tips for families.

Victoria Street was my favorite backdrop! Photo credit: Kim with Flytographer in Edinburgh

Why I Booked an Edinburgh Photo Shoot

This was my first trip to Scotland and I knew I’d want cute photos of my family exploring Edinburgh.

Plus, I figured this would be a great way to chat with someone who lives in Scotland and can show us some cool places in Edinburgh. Photographers also know the best backdrops and how to avoid getting random people in the shots!

Our family booked a 90-minute shoot because I know my kids sometimes need breaks or it can take them some time to warm up. I just don’t like feeling rushed. But, I think most families would be fine with a 60-minute shoot.

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Why You Should Hire an Edinburgh Vacation Photographer Through Flytographer


We always love chatting with local photographers because they usually know great places to eat, explore, or shop.

For our Edinburgh photoshoot, Kim pointed out a few shops that featured local artists and some tasty places for treats.

She also knew how to zip around the city in an easy way (which is essential with kids).


I know I’m not alone when I say that I feel awkward posing for photos. I never know where to put my hands or how to turn my body to a flattering angle.

It was nice to get our youngest cooperating! Photo credit: Kim with Flytographer in Edinburgh

Kim was awesome at getting us into a fairly natural pose and playing games to get the kids engaged.

Full disclosure: Our 7-year-old was “in a mood,” and I was so impressed at how Kim sneakily got him in the photo or encouraged him to do something silly.


My husband and I used to always bring our cameras and bulky bags everywhere we went and it was a total pain.

It’s nice to not worry about it and trust someone else to get all the good shots while we can just take in the sights. That’s a big perk of a professional Scotland photoshoot.


I swear I’m being honest when I say that Flytographer sessions are a blast! Even my moody 7yo ended up laughing and smiling for most of the shoot.

We dabbed for fun! Photo credit: Kim with Flytographer in Edinburgh

We played a lot of silly games, danced a bit, and got to interact with each other.


Booking a local photographer through Flytographer really doesn’t get much easier than filling out a simple form. They will contact others if the professional photographer you requested isn’t unavailable.

Using Flytographer is the easiest way to find cool photographers in Edinburgh.

Top Edinburgh Photography Spots

The Royal Mile

This is the route we chose because it included Edinburgh’s Old Town and the bustling Royal Mile. It’s also their most-booked route.

Image of Marcie Cheung and her family in Edinburgh
Victoria Street is pretty cool! Photo credit: Kim with Flytographer in Edinburgh

We also got to explore Victoria Street (the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter) and see a lot of cool buildings.

Arthur’s Seat

This is a great one for athletic/adventurous families because you’ll traipse along the grassy paths of Holyrood Park to capture views of St Anthony’s Chapel Ruins and Arthur’s Seat. You’ll get cool views of Edinburgh from the top.

Circus Lane and St Stephen Street

If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, this route lets you explore the hidden gem of Circus Lane with its picturesque shopfronts and charming cafés. If you book a session for 60 minutes or more, you may continue on to St Stephen St and/or the Water of Leith.

Calton Hall

This UNESCO Heritage Site is on a hill in Edinburgh’s city centre where you’ll get sweeping panoramic views of the entire city.

Princes Street Gardens

If you want more of a garden vibe, this route features picturesque views of the castle above as you pass by Ross Fountain, the Sir Walter Scott Monument, and the stunning greenery around every turn.

West End

If you want a more artsy vibe, this route lets you explore Edinburgh’s charming West End, known for its arts venues and historic architecture.

How to Book Affordable Edinburgh Photographers

Over the years, we’ve worked with many vacation photographers, but Flytographer has always been the best at capturing amazing memories.

Basically, Flytographer is like a one-stop shop for vacation photos. You can find photographers almost anywhere in the world, including Edinburgh. They’re really big in Europe and have lots of photographers there. Check out the best prices here.

It’s so easy to book a shoot! Photo credit: Kim with Flytographer in Edinburgh

Flytographer makes it easy to find the perfect photographer for your family in Edinburgh. You can look at different photographers’ styles, see their favorite secret photo spots, and check out their portfolios online before you book.

Booking with Flytographer is quick and simple—just pick your dates with one click. Try it out HERE.

After you pick a date, Flytographer checks if the photographer is available and takes care of all the details for you, so you don’t have to worry about finding someone who’s free. They’ll get back to you quickly with the best options!

What I really love about Flytographer is how fast they are! We often get our photos before we even fly home! I love looking at them on the plane back.

What to Wear for Your Edinburgh Photo Shoot

Of course, you can totally wear whatever you want for your Edinburgh photos. But, I know some people like to get ideas, so I’m listing a few options to add to your Scotland packing list to make your photos look cohesive.

Comfort is Key

Whether you’re strolling by cute cafes or posing by the city’s iconic landmarks, comfortable footwear is essential.

The cobblestones are uneven and sometimes loose, so I don’t recommend heels. Flat shoes or sandals are perfect.

Layer Up

Edinburgh’s weather can be unpredictable, and it’s not uncommon for a sunny day to suddenly turn chilly or rainy. Layer your clothing so you can adjust throughout the day.

We made sure that everyone had on an outer layer. Photo credit: Kim with Flytographer in Edinburgh

We ended up visiting the Tartan Weaving Mill the day before our shoot and my husband bought a tweed jacket and I got a colorful wool shawl. And I packed the boys warm sweaters. I’m SO glad we had these because it was freezing that morning!

Classic and Timeless

You can’t go wrong with classic styles and neutral colors, especially in a city as timeless as Edinburgh.

Neutral palettes include whites, greys, browns, and blues.

Your photos will have a timeless quality to them, and your outfits won’t distract from the beautiful city backdrop.

Pop of Color

Edinburgh is known for its bursts of color, from shops to vibrant pubs. Don’t be afraid to incorporate some color into your wardrobe to reflect the city’s lively character.

I like a little pop of color! Photo credit: Kim with Flytographer in Edinburgh

We went with a purple, blue, and grey theme. But my shawl added an extra pop of color!


Hats, scarves, a bouquet, or a shawl can add a touch of Scottish charm to your photos. You can grab some items at local shops.

There are tons of places along the Royal Mile that have plaid, cashmere, or tweed. Plus you can find cute wool sweaters or highland cow stuffies for kids!

Anything Plaid

Scotland is famous for its tartan clothing and accessories. You can find them at shops all over Edinburgh if you want to pick up something special for your photo shoot.

I’m glad I had my plaid wool shawl to keep warm. My kids wore plaid ties (although they were mostly hidden under their sweaters).

7 Tips for Getting Awesome Edinburgh Family Pictures Every Time

1. Bring an Adapter for Hair Tools

If you usually use a flat iron or curling iron to do your hair, make sure your hair tools are dual voltage AND bring an adapter with you.

I also suggest bringing hair spray and products to help with flyaways. Even though it’s not really humid in Edinburgh, the weather can be a bit misty sometimes and your curls might fall out quicker than you expect.

2. You’ll Want to do Full Makeup

There’s something about doing photos that can make your face look a bit washed out. That’s why I always suggest that people do full makeup (or at least lipstick) even if they don’t normally wear it.

I always do my hair and makeup so I’m not washed out. Photo credit: Kim with Flytographer in Edinburgh

It’s an easy way to look put-together and you’ll probably look more like yourself in the photos.

I’m a big fan of the Revlon ColorStay lipsticks because I don’t have to worry about it smudging or needing to reapply.

3. Think About Your Outfits

Edinburgh is a fun destination so you can really show off your unique personality. Or you can do something more neutral. Either way, you’ll want to think about what to wear as you are packing.

If you have the suitcase space, pack one outfit for warm weather and one for cooler weather so you have some options. That way, you don’t have to do last-minute shopping.

I suggest looking at photos on Instagram to get ideas of color palates you like for the route you pick.

4. Figure Out the Best Time of Day for You

Usually I recommend that people aim for an early morning shoot whenever possible. That’s because the lighting is great and there are usually a lot less people out and about.

Morning times works best for our family. Photo credit: Kim with Flytographer in Edinburgh

Evening time is also a popular choice because you can take advantage of Golden Hour lighting. But, you might also have to wait longer for crowds to move out of your shot.

I found that Edinburgh was less crowded in the morning than in the evening in June.

5. Choose Your Route Carefully

Take a look at all the photo shoot route options to see which one has the type of backgrounds you have in mind.

We really wanted photos with historic buildings as well as the winding streets. I love photos that really emphasize the destination.

But I know other people want more of a natural setting. It’s all up to you.

6. Add an Incentive For Your Kids

If you’re doing an Edinburgh family photo shoot, I highly recommend promising your kids ice cream or a cute highland cow stuffed animal or candy or something.

The macarons were a last-minute idea! Photo credit: Kim with Flytographer in Edinburgh

I know that doing family photos isn’t always super fun for kids (and we do them a LOT) so I like to reward my kids for humoring me.

For our shoot, we ended up stopping at a patisserie for macarons and we incorporated them into our last few photos.

7. Think About Props

You can have your kids hold stuffed Highland Cows or wear kilts or Scottish hats. Or you can even incorporate Scottish flags!

And if you are Harry Potter fans, you could always include wands or house scarves as you walk along Victoria Street!

I suggest walking along the Royal Mile and let your kids pick out something to hold for some photos.

How to Hire an Edinburgh Photographer Wrap-Up

Finding a professional photographer in Edinburgh is easy.

Many skilled photographers are ready to help you capture the magic of your trip to Scotland, right in Edinburgh and beyond.

Using a local photographer not only gets you great photos in the best spots in Edinburgh but also gives you a unique, insider view of this lively city.

Remember, hiring a professional photographer should be simple and stress-free, letting you concentrate on making and keeping wonderful memories. Check the latest rates and availability.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, so why not make sure your photos tell the most magical story of your Scotland adventure?

Looking for more Scotland travel resources? Check out Planning a Trip to Scotland: Step-by-Step Guide, 13 Best Day Trips From Edinburgh by Train, How to Spend 5 Days in Edinburgh with Kids in the Summer, 13 Must-Read Scotland Travel Tips for First-Timers, and 9 Best Edinburgh Hotels for Families Worth Booking!

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