You’ve been seeing them all over the place: those gorgeous pictures of women looking like goddesses in flowing colorful dresses in Greece. They look amazing as they effortlessly stand beside Santorini’s famous blue domes with the wind lifting their unbelievably long trains feet into the air. As soon as I saw the pictures, I thought: immediate bucket list item. I had to have my own. But how? I started researching. And where is the best place to start your research in 2019? Instagram. #santorini #flowydress #photoshootsantorini. Then I found it. Santorini Dress is a photography company based in Santorini that is the main company that is responsible for the pictures. If you google Santorini Dress, you’ll see tons of pictures and a bit of information about what they do, but the information is a bit vague. So here’s the scoop on everything you need and want to know about the pictures and how to get your own.
Santorini Dress is located, as you can imagine, on the Greek Island of Santorini. You can fly into the local airport or fly into Athens and get a (four hour) boat ride to the island. You get to choose the neighborhood where your photoshoot will take place. Some neighborhoods have more blue domes than others, and some may have a better view of the ocean. I chose the neighborhood of Imerigovilli because of the many blue domes they have that are characteristic of Greece.
While I was able to squeeze in a last minute appointment, I don’t recommend trying to schedule last minute. It’s best to schedule at least 6 weeks to a month in advance to make sure you’ll be able to get your shoot. Your shoot will only be for one hour, so be prepared to “work it” quickly.
The Million-Dollar Question: How much?
Of course this is probably one of the main questions you have about the shoot, right? Well while I definitely think the shoot was worth it, it definitely cost a pretty penny. There are various options to choose from and the packages range from $500-$1,100.
Things I wish I knew:
- You don’t necessarily need to bring your own dress.
The company has over 40 dresses for you to pick from, BUT I wish I knew that the dress rental for the shoot will cost you an extra $110. But you can’t have a flying dress shoot without a flying dress.
2. You need someone to help your dress “fly.”
This is common sense, but it’s something that you probably didn’t think about. The good news: the company will provide someone for you. The bad news: its going to cost you an extra $55.
3. There’s a lot of climbing involved.
To get those beautiful shots overlooking the water or up by the beautiful blue domes takes a bit of climbing. I had to stand on ledges, hop over locked gates, and scale walls to get some of my shots. You’d think I was breaking and entering rather than having photoshoot! But it was certainly worth it for the shots I got. Note that if you are afraid of heights, this might be a little challenging for you. You can still get some shots without climbing, however they might not be as scenic as others that are taken from higher up.
4. I had to pay in cash.
I thought I was going to be able to put such a pricey experience on a card, but in actuality, only the deposit can be paid by card. The rest had to be paid in cash.
5. The turnaround time is pretty slow.
You would think that with such a hefty price tag, your pictures would literally be returned to you within 24 hours. However, this is not the case. The company makes it clear beforehand that they will have your pictures to you in 10-14 days after the shoot. This is a pretty long time and the suspense can be pretty torturous when you really want to see your pictures. You can request to have your pictures back in sooner for (as you probably have guessed) a fee.
How to get your pictures for cheap(er):
If the thought of shelling out between $500 and $1,100 for one hour of pictures makes you feel ill, here are some tips to making your experience more affordable:
- Bring your own dress.
If you bring your own dress, you’ll be saving the $110 dress rental fee. That’s quite a bit of savings on its own.
2. Bring your own assistant.
If you’re traveling with someone, bring them along for the shoot. They will be able to help you toss the dress into the air and run out of the shot to get that “flying” effect. This will save you $55.
3. Split your shoot with a friend.
If you and your travel companion both want a shoot, work together to split the costs. Ask if you can divide the hour into two thirty minute shoots and share the dress. Plus, each of you could be the other’s assistant. By doing this, you’ll be saving quite a bit of money, and it will be much more affordable.
4. Take your own pictures.
If you really want to go the inexpensive route, you could try creating the experience yourself. Bring your own dress, find a friend to help throw your dress, and find another friend to take pictures with their iPhone (who needs a professional camera when you have an iPhone, right?) This way, you have as much time as you’d like to find the most Instagrammable spots with scenic views to take your pictures, and you’d be doing it for almost nothing.
So what’s the verdict? Taking pictures with Santorini Dress was pretty expensive, but was it worth it? I would have to say yes. Who knows the next time I’ll be in Greece, and I wanted memorable pictures that would last me a lifetime. So If you’re traveling to Santorini and you want a once in a lifetime experience, treat yourself. You (probably!) won’t regret it.