With its white-washed houses, blue-domed roofs, and some of the best sunsets, Santorini is a popular destination for couples and families alike. Capturing photos with iconic blue backgrounds is on every traveler’s wishlist, but getting photos without the crowds can be challenging. That’s where hiring a vacation photographer comes in. Your local vacation photographer will know the right Santorini spots, angles, and best locations (secret photo spots) to capture your travel photos.
Tips for your holiday photo shoot with Flytographer
I can’t recommend Flytographer highly enough. We hired them to do our vacation photos in Venice and loved how the photos turned out. Our family photo shoot was early in the morning and I loved that soft light and how we had most places to ourselves. But it was a challenge to get everyone up early, especially for photos!
For Santorini, I picked an afternoon slot hoping to capture the evening light. When I finalized the Shoot Plan with our photographer and received our Shoot Scoop itinerary, I was excited. He has suggested we meet at a popular church but shoot a little away from the village of Oia so we can lose the crowd.
Here are some easy tips, discuss with the family and prepare them upfront for your holiday photo shoot.
- Book the professional vacation photographer for 60-90 minutes to document your holiday in one or more locations.
- Meet up with your photographer 5 to 10 minutes before your shoot.
- If you are planning to multiple locations, factor in the time that will take to get from location 1 to location 2.
- You can bring location-specific props but you will be responsible for them.
- We planned to change in between and brought the outfits with us. Keep in mind you are responsible for your things. Your photographer will have to carry their gear and own bags.
- You might want to plan to get your hair and makeup done before the photoshoot.
- While I don’t usually worry much about hair and makeup, I like to plan our clothes ahead of time.
- I like to keep the color palettes similar or complementing. I planned for some blue outfits and pink ones since they pop nicely against the blue domes and the azure of the Aegean sea.
- We were pretty tired and sweaty when walking down the caldera and over to the different locations. If you can, plan your holiday shoot for a morning, that way you can beat the crowd and the sun.
Planning a trip? See this post for the BEST places to stay in Santorini
We ran into many girls in big flowy dresses in vibrant colors. I went for a simple dress that somewhat matched the background. My blue dress is Red Valentino and the jewelry is from Julie Vos. My daughter’s pants are from Chicwish and the top is from Aritzia. The boys wore their blue shirts and white pants and matching shoes.
We were staying at the sister property of Andronis where these photos were taken
10 BEST Photo spots in Santorini
Here are a few popular places for taking photos in Santorini (for Instagram or otherwise).
1. Oia Cliffs & Caldera
The crescent-shaped Caldera of Santorini is one most picturesque natural wonders of the world. And the village of Oia and the cliffs is its crown jewel.
Oia DOES NOT have roads that are easy to walk. Take it from someone who walked sandal in hand for a couple of hours during our photoshoot!!! The streets and alleys are narrow, winding with A LOT OF UNEVEN STEPS. If you are taking photos in the afternoon, there will be no shade anywhere so you get really hot and tired of walking around. Plus, a lot of areas are part of hotels or rentals, hence private, and closed off.
2. Church of the Akathist Hymn of the Virgin Mary (Panaghia Platsani)
The beautiful Church of Panagia Akathistos Hymn is located in the heart of Oia, close to the famous blue domes. It is one of the most popular Instagram spots in Santorini. It has that iconic blue dome, so unique to Greek islands, and, of course, postcard views.
The church has five domes and a beautiful multilayer bell tower. It is one of the most photographed buildings in Oia. The church was located in the Castle of Oia, the current one is a remake of the original church which was destroyed in the 1956 earthquake. This is where we met our photographer.
3. Blue Dome Churches of Santorini
The blue dome church buildings of Santorini are so unique and make for stunning photo locations. There is one, in particular, that is most famous: The Churches of St. Anastasi. The 3 Blue Domes set against the blue ocean have made their appearance in postcards and many photos of Santorini.
The popular church is located in the west of Oia, south of the main promenade which runs through the city (from the caldera). With characteristic blue domes, they are one of the most photogenic churches in Oia.
There are many more blue dome churches around the town, though to get to this iconic church, walk down the famous Gold Street alleyway of Oia town, and you’ll eventually find this outlook of the church. The golden hour before the iconic Santorini sunset gives off a gorgeous light to capture some photos.
The 3 blue domes of Anstasis Church are probably the most recognizable domes in Greece. Countless Instagram photos are taken at these famous Santorini spots every year. Be sure to arrive at most of these church locations early as many people flock to these places around sunset to get their own pictures.
Our vacation photographers helped navigate, took us down a less known pathway, and found spots away from the crowds.
4. Oia Castle
The famous view from the castle of Agios Nikolaos includes the sparkling Aegean sea, the impressive volcano, and the blue horizon. The best view from the Oia Castle is during sunset when the colors change, especially over Amoudi Bay, you can see the backdrop of the Oia buildings along the cliff twinkle with lights as the sun sets and the sky darkens.
5. Kastro Oia Houses
Located right next to the cliffside, this light pink/orange colored hotel is so picturesque. Chances are you have probably seen this popular Oia spot all over Instagram. It is one of the most popular place to take Santorini pictures. Not only is it located in a prime sunset area, but the view behind it is also incredible. Be sure to stop by earlier during the day as it gets extremely crowded around sunset.
6. Oia Windmills
There are two windmills on the Western side of Oia that attract crowds of spectators in the evening. These are some of the most famous photo spots in Santorini. Watching the sunset here is truly a magical experience. If you are not looking for a sunset picture, this spot is a lot less crowded during the day.
7. Fira Village
Fira town is on the western edge of the island and has a little more happening – you will find many cafes, retail stores, and varieties of small hotels and accommodations. Fira is the capital town of Santorini and is essentially the heart of the island
There are two cathedrals in Fira that are worth visiting and the gorgeous architecture and outlook make for some great photos.
The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist overlooks the ocean, and open all the time. It is hard to miss the peach-colored façade, finished with blue touches. The church has a tall bell tower, which also serves as a clock tower.
The Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral of Fira is located in the lower part of the city. From the cathedral, you can get an excellent view of the Santorini volcano and caldera.
8. Skaros Rock
Also known as Skaros Fortress or Castle Skaros, this collection of rocks and ruins offers incredible views of the surrounding Greek islands and ocean. A large promontory rock and popular photo spot, it is located on a walking path from Imerovigli to Agios Ioannis Chruch. There is a well-defined trail that originates from the renowned Agios Georgios church that connects Skaros with the village of Imerovigli.
9. Imerovigli Village
Offering panoramic views of the sea, Imerovigli is another must. The quaint village is built on the highest point of the caldera and it is said to be one of the best viewpoints in Santorini. Sunsets here are surreal!
Imerovigli is one of the best spots for sunset photos because of the beautiful views of the sparkling water and lush green mountains from the clifftops. Plan for dinner in one of the restaurants here, after a photo session during golden hour!
10. Ammoudi Bay
Down the cliff from Oia is Ammoudi Bay. If you are going on a sailing trip (which we highly recommend) this is where you will need to go. You can sail through the caldera on a morning or sunset catamaran tour to see the red and white beaches while experiencing the Mediterranean ocean. Capture some photos of the cliffs of Santorini from your boat.
Other Things to do in Santorini
- Visit Akrotiri Lighthouse
- Book a Sailing trip around Santorini
- Go on a winery tour and try some local wine
- Explore the capital, Fira the Capital of Santorini
- Visit the ruins from the prehistoric settlement of ancient Akrotiri
- See the frescos in the Museum of Prehistoric Thera
If you have time for a hike, a popular trail from Fira to Oia offers a unique hiking route with some of the best viewpoints on the Caldera. It is about 10 km long and it usually takes up to 5 hours. It is considered a fairly easy hiking path and it is beginner-friendly. You will pass through the picturesque villages of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia.
See a visual story here
Endless shades of red, pink, and orange, the Santorini sunset is one of the most unfathomably beautiful sights you’ll witness in your lifetime. Santorini has the most beautiful sunsets we have seen!
A special Vacation Photographer Discount for you
With Flytographer, you can find local photographers in over 300 destinations and their price is always the same. If you want to gift the Flytographer experience to someone, they also have gift cards. Check them out on your next trip. If you sign up with Flytographer and use code OUTSIDESUBURBIA, you can get $25 off your first shoot, whenever you choose to use it.
We were so happy with our Flytographer experience in Santorini with Stathis and Christina and would absolutely love to do more of these photoshoots in the future… maybe in the Caribbean. Have you done photoshoots when you travel?
* Photos by Stathis and Christina for Flytographer in Santorini