A Romantic Santorini Photo Shoot with Localgrapher

Contrary to what popular blog press would have you believe, not all of us twenty or thirty something female bloggers ooze the self-confidence that is needed to routinely plaster our mug shots across the multitude of screens that increasingly exist in our daily lives. If you’ve chosen to immerse yourself in the world of travel blogging, you probably already veer towards the generous, big-boned end of the trigger-happy spectrum as far cameras are concerned; but it’s one thing feeling at ease whilst taking a photograph and quite another when you suddenly become the subject of one.

Santorini Photo Shoot Localgrapher

Let’s place this in a semi-autobiographical context by looking at my Instagram account for example. I’ve shared around 600 photos on this social media platform since I joined it a couple of years ago – only around six of them feature my face and absolutely none of them feature me with Pumpkin, despite the fact that nearly all my travels are with him.

Localgrapher Photo Shoot Blog Review

The Couples’ Holiday Photo Conundrum

I am sure many of you who travel with your significant other can relate to having hard drives full of photos that tell a story of “here’s me at…..” (insert landmark of your choice), swiftly followed by “here’s you at….” (insert same landmark).

If you want any photos together at said landmark, you are left with a collection of options as underwhelming as a sparse dessert menu you wish you’d never saved space for:

(1) Through a melange of mixed languages, ask the only random stranger who seems vaguely approachable but risk having your arm accidentally amputated in the photo and sigh five  minutes too late when you spot the missing peak of the Eiffel Tower.

(2) Deploy handheld selfie mode, which the world never intended for couples with a height discrepancy (and which yield such gigantic close-ups of your face that you will locate freckles on your nose that you hadn’t even realised existed).

Oia photography viewpoints

(3) Successfully capture photograph without bothering any strangers (on 8th attempt after half an hour spent on auto-mode camera set up with tripod. Great way to make the most of the money invested in flights and hotels. NOT.)

(4) Then there’s the scenario I simply refuse to entertain, which goes a little something like this: “here’s us at landmark in what appears to be a decent photo.”

Success finally?

Sadly not, as just hours before you Snapchatted that pic, an innocent passer-by had his eyes lopped out after walking into your intrusive eyesore (pun acknowledged) of a selfie stick.

(Disclaimer – no actual eyes were lopped out in the making of this blog post.)

Romantic Couples Photo Shoot Santorini

A Romantic Travel Photo Shoot in Santorini, Greece

Where does that leave you then, if you’re travelling as a couple or a group of loved ones and want some decent photos on an island as photogenic as, let’s say Santorini – a destination we visited just last week and whose immaculate scenery frankly upstages even the most beautiful members of the celebrity glitterati that step on it?

In a day and age where you can check your emails on a watch and be caught out in your PJs at 2pm on a Sunday (thanks Skype), surely, SURELY there is a better way to get some half respectable photos as a couple or as a group of family/friends on holiday?

Photo Shoot Oia Santorini

Pack away those selfie sticks and drones, whip out your passports and kiss goodbye to your holiday photo dilemmas because the new wave of holiday and vacation photography is the answer!. After being tempted by the idea for more than a year, I could hardly imagine a destination more breathtaking than Santorini to test out this exciting travel photography concept, enlisting the help of Localgrapher, who offer memorable travel photo shoots everywhere from Azerbaijan to Rio de Janeiro to help you immortalise those priceless experiences in some of the most dreamy locations on the planet.

Oia Photo Shoot Santorini

As a couple, we are usually so camera shy that even when our wedding photographer offered us an engagement shoot as part of the package we had already paid for, we politely declined. That said, everyone who knows us will verify that exploring the globe is our ultimate passion above all else and that was why, despite our shyness in front of the lens, we decided to part with our inhibitions and embrace our first photo shoot since the wedding day on this world-renowned, volcanic Greek island.

After browsing previous photo shoot images from Localgrapher in Santorini, we selected the bronze package with Ioannis, which would comprise 45 minutes with our photographer and 20 images available to view and download later in digital format via an online, password-protected gallery. After a couple of straightforward and prompt emails exchanged regarding dates, times and availability, our Santorini photo shoot was confirmed.

Localgrapher Photos Oia Santorini

I was keen for the shoot to take place in Oia, cited by many as the most beautiful village in Santorini and one of the two areas we were planning to stay in but Localgrapher are quite happy to try and be flexible to accommodate your needs so if there’s something specific you have in mind, just mention it when you get in touch with them to see if it can be arranged.

Ioannis shoots at many of the more offbeat parts of Santorini as well such as the Red Beach and black beaches for those who may want a more peaceful route for their photo shoots.

Staying true to their names, Localgrapher photographers are, you guessed it, local, professional photographers!

Travel Photography Photo shoot Greece

Ioannis has been living and working as a photographer in Santorini for many years and thanks to his in-depth local knowledge, we were led to multiple viewpoints with sweeping panoramas across Oia and beyond that we hadn’t even realised existed from when we had strolled through the village ourselves so aside from being our photographer, he doubled up as a tour guide to the local area.

He found a spot to photograph us in front of the iconic blue domed churches that are such a quintessential hallmark of Santorini and most impressive of all, he helped us weave through the crowded streets packed full of tourists, all trying to out-do each other for the best vantage points in the village and elbowing each other’s DSLRs out of the way.

Santorini photo shoot locations 

From looking at these photos, you might be lured into the belief that we were the only people on the streets at the time. It was midday on a sunny Saturday so that was definitely not the case but that’s one of the perks of having a professional photographer who knows the terrain, and knows how to work around the crowds.

Santorini professional photographers

What to wear during your Santorini photo shoot?

I did Google this for tips myself before we went but the answer really varies depending on the vibe you want to portray in your photographs. Some go for beachy, flowy, casual clothes, others for more glamorous, formal attire with waistcoats and evening gowns.

best photo shoot destinations around the world

Remember, though, that Santorini is very hilly so avoid clothes or shoes that will have you falling flat on your face (ain’t nobody want their vacation photo shoot to come with a head injury.) Whichever style of attire you go for, it’s worth avoiding wearing colours that clash too much with other members of your party and popular choices tend to be either striking colours like pinks, reds and yellows to contrast with Santorini’s blues and whites or blues and whites themselves to complement the backdrop.

Vacation Photography Santorini

How we felt during the Photo Shoot

I won’t pretend that we weren’t nervous whilst we waited for Ioannis outside a church in Oia but after the first few shots, aided by his laid back and easy-going style, we soon fell into a rhythm and stopped feeling so self-conscious, also helped by the fact that we had to go incognito behind our sunglasses thanks to the piercing bright sunshine – God bless the Greek weather lords even in October!

As it turns out, we need not have been so apprehensive since the practice of vacation photography is so commonplace on this island that there are tens of other people, especially couples, also doing the same thing, many of whom seem to be doing bridal shoots in wedding outfits, even though they aren’t getting married?! Each to one’s own but it certainly helped deflect attention away from us! 😀

Santorini photography Caldera View

Localgrapher specify that they will get the images to you within 4 days of the shoot but ours took only two and there was no better way to beat the post holiday blues than by putting the kettle on, opening up my email and seeing the link to the images. I suspect I will be dreaming myself back to Santorini many times over the upcoming winter months with these uplifting, summery images .

Localgrapher Photography Review Santorini

For those truly special travel experiences – that once in a lifetime mesmerising destination you have finally made it to, that big birthday celebration abroad, that long-awaited family reunion holiday, maybe even that one where you’ll get down on one knee and ask the biggest question of your life – don’t let them all vanish into a selfie. I am a dreamer and a self-confessed hopeless romantic but those rare moments are priceless and I am so grateful these photographs have captured them and allowed us to relive them for years to come. Now to back them up somewhere!


Many thanks to Localgrapher for hosting us on such a fun shoot. All views are my own (though the photography most definitely is not – after all,  if I could take photos this lovely myself, I wouldn’t need the shoot!) Photo credit for all these images goes to our talented photographer, Ioannis.


52 thoughts on “A Romantic Santorini Photo Shoot with Localgrapher

  1. These pictures are absolutely gorgeous and you couldn’t have picked somewhere with a better backdrop! I’m just back from 3 weeks away and only dodgy couples pictures from kind strangers to show from it so it shows just how worth it this is!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:02 pm

      Thanks so much for the kind compliment! I can totally relate though to what you said about your couple’s photos – ours are usually exactly the same so it was nice this time to have something a bit more special to show for it!

  2. These are so gorgeous! And in the most perfect place. What an awesome experience. We don’t see many pictures of you on the blog so I am really glad you got these photos. It really is so hard to get photos with your travel partner. The best ones are always the one or two times I am brave enough to ask someone who looks like the know what they are doing to take a picture of us. My husband and I are somewhat obsessed with pictures so about once a year we have a professional photographer take pictures of us. We figure it is a good way to remember all the places we live and hopefully one day it will help us see our family grow.

    I hope you frame a couple of these! Also I love your pink skirt!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:04 pm

      Thanks so much Carolann! I have a fair bit of pink in my wardrobe but against the white buildings, I thought it might work 🙂 I’m not lying when I say that when I saw some of the professional photos you shared of you guys on your blog, like the ones in NYC, it really got me inspired to give something like this a try! It’s so nice that you both try to do this on a more regular basis – you’ll have such a wonderful collection of photos in years to come!

  3. Beautiful photos, you both look gorgeous! I know exactly what you mean about couples pics, this is something I’ve totally given up on! The old trick was to try to find someone with a better camera and hand them my point and shoot/phone. I only have one picture from this trick that I’m pleased with (fortunately it was at the Taj Mahal!).
    These photos are really special, what a lovely treat!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:05 pm

      Gosh that was a stroke of luck wasn’t it?! To only have one couple’s photo that you love and for it to be somewhere as beautiful as the Taj Mahal! You’re right though about that tactic. I’ve been coming round to the same idea by handing my simple camera or phone away to someone who looks like they know what they’re doing with a much better one 😀

  4. Absolutely love these photos! You guys don’t look nervous at all and I’m very impressed by your co-ordinated outfits. I know what you mean about finding it difficult to get photos together, but sadly I don’t think I could ever get Mr A to agree to this. Although your photos *may* help me persuade him to take me to Santorini 😉

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:07 pm

      Trust me, if you can get him to Santorini, he will be nothing but thankful for the persuasion as it’s just gorgeous out there! Thanks for the nice words Emily. My man wasn’t all too keen initially either but there was no denying he seemed pleased when the photos arrived 🙂

  5. Planes & Champagne October 21, 2016 — 10:44 pm

    Omg I love this post!!! I’ve never heard of Localgrapher before but what an incredible idea!! The number of photos my hubbie and I have of ourselves together when on holiday is limited to a handful most of which aren’t publishing worthy. Your photos are gorgeous and what a great memory keepsake of what looks like an amazing holiday! xx

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:08 pm

      Thank you! We had such a wonderful time out there and despite seeing so many Santorini photos in the past, I don’t think we realised just how beautiful it is in real life! I loved the concept of this kind of photography as it’s such a nice souvenir to look back on in years to come 🙂

  6. Stunning photos!! We loved Santorini when we visited last year and we did notice the number of couples doing photo shoots. It looks like your photographer did a great job as I was actually thinking – where are all the people!?!? 🙂 I do love this idea. Even though my hubby and I also prefer to be behind the camera, I may have to convince my hubby if we’re visiting a beautiful place that it might be worth capturing photos of us there too! 😉

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:10 pm

      That’s exactly what my feeling was – that for somewhere really special, it might just be worth taking the plunge, even if it felt a bit odd initially and I’m glad we did it now 🙂 I’m so glad you loved Santorini too – I was amazed at how unique and stunning the scenery there and would happily go back in a heartbeat!

      1. Yes I’d definitely go back to Santorini!

  7. Stunning photos! The photographer has really captured you both so well. Not to mention that incredible white washed background!!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:11 pm

      Aww thanks so much Gary though honestly, I think with a backdrop this gorgeous and a sky so sunny and blue, I think the photographer could have made just about any photo look fab! 😀

  8. Okay this really cracked me up because you’re so right about the couple photos sans photographer! *Here’s us in (insert amazing place)* only to find yourself in a photo that could’ve been taken anywhere.

    You look stunning and your pumpkin looks great too. Such a good idea to have a local photographer shoot you!

    Honey x The Girl Next Shore

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:13 pm

      Thank you Honey, that’s so sweet of you to say! Let’s just say it definitely took a bit of arm twisting when I mentioned the idea to Pumpkin but I think he looks sufficiently happy in the photos and he was even more excited than I was when we got the link to view the final pictures online so I was glad we went for it in the end 🙂 I’m also reassured to see that the same old photo dilemmas I’ve been noticing for a while are commonplace with lots of couples it seems!

  9. We were there the same week! We struggled with the selfie game and would have loved to have known about this service. We plan to return and will definitely book this experience ! Yamas!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:14 pm

      Oh what a coincidence we were there at the same time! Hope you had a wonderful time as well! We have plenty of selfies from holidays for the same old reasons of difficulties getting photos of the two of us so I know exactly what you mean but for a special destination or treat, it was lovely to have someone else take that responsibility and to get some lovely holiday snaps in the process 🙂

  10. Shikha, I LOVE this!! It’s so nice to see pictures of you and Pumpkin, and you look absolutely gorgeous! And it totally looks like that nobody else is there but the 2 of you. These are such precious photos. I especially love the first one and the 3rd to last!

    And it’s SO true… the whole time I traveled with D, we barely have any pictures together, and when we do, they’re just big-headed selfies. So I rarely posted pictures of us too. And since then, I barely even have any pictures of myself. Oh man, I’m so tempted to do this just as a solo-shoot next time i go somewhere pretty haha. But then that’d be super awkward!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:17 pm

      Hehe, honestly Anna, it probably won’t be as awkward as you might think as apparently, there are quite a lot of people who do choose to go for solo shoots!! I’ve never been too good at splashing around photos of myself on the blog to be honest but I just had a feeling that Santorini was going to be beyond beautiful and really wanted to have some decent photos to remember it by so thought I’d give this a try and am so pleased we did this (and that Pumpkin’s initial grumpiness doesn’t seem to have shone through in any of the photos!)

  11. Absolutely stunning photos! I love the idea of a professional photo shoot at beautiful places like these. I’ve been to quite a few breathtaking places in the past few years with my boyfriend, and we don’t that many high-quality photos together. Something to think about surely 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:19 pm

      Definitely! I highly recommend it for either a special occasion holiday or if you are going somewhere that is really scenic or memorable. I don’t want to spend the whole holiday obsessing over taking the perfect photo and waste the moments but also, in years to come, it is nice to have a collection of decent photos to capture the memories and it can be hard to get that balance right so it was a real treat to have them done professionally on this trip 🙂

  12. How very beautiful, just like a dream! I love how natural you look in the photos too, gorgeous memories captured just perfectly.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:20 pm

      Oh Isabella, that is so sweet of you to say, thank you so much for the kind words. Much appreciated. If I looked natural, it was probably just the sheer happiness of being in the sunshine on an island as picturesque as Santorini – totally fell in love with it and even with all the hype that exists about the place, somehow it still exceeded my expectations 🙂

  13. Wow Shikha, these photos are so beautiful! You both look amazing 🙂 I don’t think you could’ve picked a better location, what a great idea. I know what you mean about couple pics, ours are usually selfies and they definitely don’t capture the stunning backdrops to their full potential! I may just have to use this awesome idea when we finally make it Santorini! 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:22 pm

      Thank you so much, so lovely of you to say 🙂 You should definitely do this if you go there Priti! It is easily one of the most photogenic places I have ever been to, which is why I thought, if I’m ever going to put myself through the whole being photographed professionally again (despite my shyness about it), then it’ll have to be in a destination that’s worth it and this definitely was!!

  14. Wow, wow, these pictures are stunning!!!!! You guys look absolutely amazing! Well done! x

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:22 pm

      Thank you Agness! That’s so nice of you to say, much appreciated 🙂 x

  15. This is just such a great idea! (And you two are SO cute!)

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:23 pm

      Honestly, considering we even turned down our own engagement shoot that was offered, I never thought this would be my cuppa Em but Santorini was so flipping gorgeous that I’m so glad that we put ourselves out there to give this travel photography thing a try 🙂

  16. You’re so pretty, we’re surprised you don’t show yourself off more in Instagram! But we understand, as we prefer to see the actual travel shot without the selfie. We also rarely post pictures of ourselves – not that we’re as photogenic as you :-). Having a professional photographer can really make you look your best though, and it’s great to do that for those best travel memories…

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:27 pm

      That’s really so kind of you to say Janice and George 🙂 I know what you mean in that even I tend to prefer my blog photos to be without either of us in them but I’m glad we decided to give this a go in an island as photogenic as Santorini. I adore your travel photography anyway but it’d be fabulous to see a couple of photos of you both up on your blog to put some faces to names!

  17. Stunning photos, Shikha, love love love every single one! You two make wonderful models! You will also have to write a separate blog post sharing tips on how to persuade husbands to do the photoshoot. Mine equally dislikes being in front or behind the camera when we travel, so every single shot with him is a struggle lol.

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:29 pm

      Hehe, thank you so much Nano! Very kind of you indeed 🙂 Trust me, to this day, I am still kind of wondering how on earth I managed to persuade him -did he do it just to keep me quiet? Is he actually more of a closet romantic than I realised? I think if I did a blog post on this, it’d be mostly full of these questions to myself! 😀 Still, one way or the other, whatever his reasoning was, I’m so glad he agreed as we finally have some decent photos of the two of us from our travels!

  18. Miriam @londonkitchendiaries October 27, 2016 — 8:58 am

    It looks and sounds like you had a fantastic time during the photo shooting! What a lovely idea to have professional photos taken on holiday! Beautiful destination as wetland the photos look gorgeous!


    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 27, 2016 — 11:30 pm

      Thank you so much! I’d genuinely never even heard of the concept of this till a year or so ago Miriam but I think it’s such a great idea and a wonderful souvenir from a trip that beats a selfie!

  19. you look great! lovely photos

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 28, 2016 — 12:16 pm

      Thanks so much Tanja! Really kind of you to say ☺

  20. Oh my gawd these photos are all so so gorgeous Shikha!! I never realised the two of you were so photogenic so the photographer clearly made you feel very relaxed. So glad you enjoyed it in the end and it’s SO nice to see lots of lovely pics of you and the Mr 🙂

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) October 30, 2016 — 9:13 pm

      Aww thanks Ayla! I think it helped that there were so many couples around the island doing a similar thing and even lots of brides and grooms so it helped make us feel less conscious knowing we weren’t looking particularly odd in the process :mrgreen:

  21. I’ve had this post flagged on my phone because I just LOVE this idea, and wanted to remind myself to see if we could do something similar on our next trip! The pictures you got are just stunning, and will be so wonderful to have and enjoy.

    I really don’t like to take pictures of myself, and we never get that many good pictures of the both of us either. Though my better half loves the camera, so it seems we always have lots of pictures of him!

    Real question…did you know that your skirt was going to match the pink flowers so perfectly?!

  22. These are fabulous shots and your outfit was perfect Shikha – the colours go so well with blue skies and bouganvilla! You’re both so photogenic as is Santorini 🙂

  23. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVE these photos. You would never ever guess that you two aren’t used to being in front of the camera. You both look so happy and at ease (and in love!) – anyone would think it was an engagement shoot. I hope you’re printing all of them as they are too beautiful to be filed away. 🙂

    I’ve only ever heard of Flytographer, so it’s nice to know that there are other options. I was thinking I’d love to book this sort of thing when I travel with Nova on my own. x

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) November 4, 2016 — 9:12 pm

      Oh Char, that would be SUCH a gorgeous way to capture your first trip away just you and your bubba ☺ Thank you for your sweet comment. We were honestly so nervous doing this at first (perhaps it’s hidden under our sunnies!) but the photographer was so chilled that it definitely made us relax a bit! I twisted the mister’s arm into having the shoot so I’m now working on getting him to agree to print & frame one but I’ll tell him I

  24. Great shots. The view is simply stunning!

    1. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) January 22, 2017 — 6:39 pm

      Thank you! I just loved the views in Santorini too!

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