(CNN) It seems tailor-made for Instagram’s tastes: brilliant blue skies, white walls, and a ruby robe swirling elegantly in the breeze.
These images, known as “flying dresses” photos, began on the picturesque Greek island of Santorini and have since become popular in other tourist spots like Dubai, Tulum and Italy.
While the photos may appear to have been taken for a high fashion magazine, photo ops are relatively affordable and have become a more common offering on travel experience booking sites like Viator and Klook.
Born on a Greek island
The couple were both wedding and portrait photographers, and Babenkov reportedly worked on a shoot in the Dominican Republic, in which a stylist added a long train to a dress to add more drama, giving her the idea of replicating the look of tourists.
Since then, they have expanded their activities to Italy, Cuba and Dubai.
Volokitina and Babenkov took advantage of SEO – search engine optimization, a way to pack a website full of keywords that make it easier to find in a quick Google search – and now it’s virtually impossible to find. a ruffle dress photo online that doesn’t link to their website or social media profiles in some way.
The success, however, has given others in other markets the idea to try a similar photography business model.
A woman posing for a flying dress photo in Oia, Santorini.
Chrisan Hunter is one of them.
She was working as a wedding planner in her hometown of Montego Bay, Jamaica when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Rather than chasing her own travel dream – going to Santorini for a flying dress photoshoot – she decided to capitalize on the trend in her home country.
She was also lucky. Although Jamaica experienced short lockdowns and curfews during the pandemic, the country has remained mostly open. Tourists from the United States and Canada continued to travel to Jamaica for their vacations, meaning Hunter was still able to attract customers.
And, ironically, many of his clients were people who had planned trips to Greece that fell apart due to travel restrictions or changes.
In the wings
One of the most common questions she is asked is whether she has a wind turbine to swirl dresses so dramatically.
“All of our shoots include an assistant,” says Hunter. “We dress our clients and everything, and then once it’s time to shoot, we coordinate with the photographer and it’s a 1, 2, 3. We throw the dress away, he grabs (the shot) quickly. “
Now, like most trends, ruffle dresses have gone beyond solo experiences. Hunter coordinated group photos for up to 14 women in different dresses as well as several maternity shoots.
A woman in a blue “flying dress” poses in Santorini.
Other similar photography companies had to find their own ways to increase the stake.
Ruffle Dresses Tulum, based in the popular Mexican resort town, has expanded its offering to include waterproof “flowing dresses” that are perfect for floating in the cenotes, the colorful water-filled sinkholes that can be found throughout the Peninsula. Yucatan.
Other companies can take the photos by drone or arrange a proposal to be made mid-shoot, ensuring that the photos of the ring will look Insta-ready as well.
Every rose has its thorn
Still, there are some things that even the most beautiful dress can’t easily hide.
Christina Kumar did one of those shoots in the California desert.
“The cameraman must have done a quick check for rattlesnakes at my standing location,” she told CNN, adding: “There were thorns all over my dress because it was in a place with very dense nature and it was very hot. “
She ended up moving as little as possible during the shoot, letting the dramatic dress do the job.
Despite the potential for disaster, the shoot for Kumar went well and she loved the final product.
Hunter says one of the biggest challenges for his business is Jamaica’s unpredictable climate. But there’s still a covered area that models can stay in until the storm clears, and a local photographer used to working with the conditions can snap some great shots in seconds.
The potential dangers of the trip aside, the average shot only takes an hour, but photos can go on forever.
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