How To Save Money On A Flying Dress Shoot (Turkey & Greece)
Updated: Jan 30, 2022
One of my top travel rules is, BE AS EXTRA AS YOU WANT TO BE! First, because you're on vacation and second because you should capture beautiful moments in your life! Over the last few years the infamous flying dress photoshoots have been an easy outlet for women traveling to do just that! I couldn't help, but to book a flying dress shoot, in both Cappadocia and Mykonos after seeing how stunning the photos looked. There are tons of options when it comes to photographers and flying dresses and with a quick Instagram or AirBNB 'Experience' search, you'll find an endless list of photographers ready to make you the main character for a few hours. However, even with tons of options I still spent weeks searching for a photographer. Here is why:
I wanted to make sure that I found the right photographer to capture me. My boyfriend is normally my go to photographer and because I did both trips as a solo traveler, I had to outsource. It's also important that I feel comfortable with a photographer and I am able to really show up and show out confidently. After a few messages and maybe a phone call you can get a feel for the person you'll be working with.
The price for these shoots can range anywhere from $300-500 in Cappadocia and $500-1,000 in Greece and they've got themselves quit the demand so I needed to shop around within my budget.
My designer background has taught me a lot about turn around time. It's equally as important to know when you'll receive your photos back and in some cases this can take months at a time. I wasn't interested in waiting a few months for my photos so I needed to find someone who could transfer me the photos a few days after shooting.
In both countries I ended up with such a magical experience! B, in Cappadocia and Yesenia in Mykonos were honestly amazing and I was very satisfied with the work they put into the shoot, their turn around time, the final results, and most importantly, their positive and vibrant attitudes! I had a blast! As a solo traveler, both shoots were money well spent and being a micro influencer definitely helped a lot with saving money. But, what if you're not an influencer, model, celeb, or have some kind of status quo that allows you to collaborate with the photographer? No doubt, these photographers do great work and should be paid for their experience and the quality of their work, but not everyone can afford to cash out hundreds of dollars for a photoshoot. I don't believe that you need a lot of money to be able to enjoy so I'll share some tips on how you can look like one million bucks and still save some coins!
1. Plan Ahead
Once you've decided that you're ready to live your best life in Greece or Turkey and want a flying dress shoot on your itinerary, start planning! This way you can shop around for photographers, prices, and maybe your own dress. I used Instagram and AirBNB Experiences to get the ball rolling. I immediately started reaching out to my favorite photographers and in my case, pitching to them. You don't need to send them a pitch if you're not an influencer, etc. You can just simply ask them to send you their services, prices, availability, shoot locations, and dress options. This way you can already have a plan and add the price into your budget at no surprise.
In Turkey Cappadocia is the top location for a flying dress shoot. The place is straight out of a fairytale! While I do recommend doing your flying dress shoot in Cappadocia it can also be done in Istanbul at other beautiful locations. Same for Greece, Santorini is the top location for the flying dress shoot because of it's picturesque white and blue stacked buildings, but Mykonos is also an option and has photoshoot worthy spots as well. You'll pay less in Istanbul and Mykonos for a flying dress photoshoot oppose to shooting in the high demand areas. I didn't have much luck shooting in Santorini, let alone finding a photographer with availability and I'm so happy it worked out that way. The prices were almost double and a lot of things were not included.
3. Secure A Dress or Skip It
I mean, it's not a flying dress shoot without the flying dress! These dresses are beautiful and come in many different designs and colors. There is an option for literally every kind of girl! But they are also pretty heavy. You need to decide if you're bringing your own dress or if you're going to rent to plan how you'll travel with it.
No need to waste your time or space searching for your own dress if you don't want to. The great thing about a flying dress shoot in Cappadocia is, it's mostly included with the photoshoot and the photographer can send you options and secure the exact dress you want! There is also the option to personally contact the rental shop and rent your own dress for just about $55 USD. This gives you the option to rent your own dress and have your own photoshoot without booking a photographer. This is important because you do not have this option in Greece!
After being given a few quotes between Santorini and Mykonos photographers I quickly noticed that almost none of the photoshoots included the flying dress and it was an additional $115 USD or more. I then thought that I would just rent a dress and try my luck with shooting myself, but almost every "dress rental" agency worked directly with a photographer that you'd have to book. So, mission failed! After previously shooting in Cappadocia, this was a bit insane to me. However, you do have one other option and that is to buy your own dress. Mykonos is known for being a pretty expensive place, so if you're looking to save my recommendation is buy a dress and come with it. Remember, it doesn't need to exactly be a flying dress, but find a dramatic dress that will really pop and you'll look just as fab!
In both cases you can completely ditch the flying dress and bring your own style! It's still possible to werkkkk and have a fabulous shoot without a flying dress. In both cases, once the price of the flying dress is not included you'll save money.
4. What Are Friends For Again?
Okay, let's stop pretending. Friends are there to take pictures of you. Use them! Haha. Seriously, having a friend or two (really important if you're in a flying dress) around will really make all of the difference from a $250+ photoshoot to a $55+ photoshoot depending on which country you're in! If I wasn't solo traveling I would have 100% utilized my boyfriend and his professional camera and equipment. Here's a few ideas on how to put yourself and your friends to use to save some cha-ching!
Option 1: Come prepared with your own tripod and pay a stranger or have a friend to help you throw the dress. Throwing the dress in the air is really the most crucial part for one of these shoots and if you want this effect you'll need a full-time dress thrower during your shoot. The photographer even included their assistant, the full-time dress thrower in their case into the price of the shoot.
Option 2: Hire two friends for the job. Tell them you'll pay them in food, coffee, or alcohol and have one get behind the camera and the other one throw the dress.
It also goes without saying that having a good quality camera and knowing how to properly use it for action shooting is also key. I personally would have tried to shoot on my iPhone 12 Max if I hadn't lost my tripod, but I don't always make great decisions and I'm honestly not sure how the outcome would have been although the iPhone cameras are pretty impressive.
5. Spot Check
If you're spontaneous and planning to put your photographer hat on it's best to have an idea of where you're going and what spots you want to shoot at before your photoshoot. This will help you manage transport time, beat the crowds, and find your top "Instagrammable" locations! The good thing is, mostly all of the locations can be accessed for free and without guide or photographer.
Checkout these options in Cappadocia: Fairy Chimneys, Hot Air Balloon Departure Area, Carpet Shop, Love Valley
Checkout these options in Mykonos: Windmills, Paraportiani Orthodox Church, long the waterfront in Little Venice, The alleyways of Mykonos Town
6. Soft Glam
Make up, accessories, and shoes are quick ways to run up the price! Many photographers have make up artist options for an additional price, but personally I think you can slay your own face even without being a make up artist. The thing is, covering up blemishes, adding a pop of color to your lip, and a bit of eye makeup is more than enough. In most of the photos your face will not be the focus. I did a very light touch up to cover my spots and blemishes, lightly filled my brows, a gloss, and no eye makeup at all. If you want a full beat, bring your own makeup and check out some Youtube videos. It's never too late to learn and it doesn't hurt to add MUA to your list of skills! Other things that you don't really need to invest in are accessories and shoes. This look can completely go without both. The dress is extra enough and a nice pair of earrings can take it a long way! In Turkey I had been traveling with all of my luggage and I just so happened to add my boots, but in Mykonos I completely opted out of shoes.
Tip: Depending on when you travel the weather can be very hot. This is another reason for soft glam and in the case that you decide to opt out of shoes, bring a pair of sandals so you're not walking on fire aka the hot ground.
7. Edit Your Own Photos
This tip saved me the most money! In both cases I opted out of having the photographers edit my photos and for them this is life saving. They spend most of the time editing the pictures oppose to shooting which also accounts for a good portion of the cost and how long it takes for you to receive your final pictures.
In Mykonos this practically cut the cost of the shoot in half and the photographer literally thanked ME! The photographer may or may not be open to this, but it's definitely worth proposing!
This might sound like something completely out of your league, but what if I told you I edited all of my photos in less than 5 minutes, right from my phone? Using my Stop Waiting 4 Friday “One Click” Lightroom Presets. You can also check out my blog on 4 Apps I Use To Edit From My Phone". From editing professional photos to Youtube videos, it's all possible at little to no cost and time!
Whether you choose to go all out and have the dream photoshoot of a lifetime with a team or be resourceful I hope you really enjoy having your moment and don't forget to be as extra as you want to be!