How to Get the Perfect Shots in Mykonos
Updated: Oct 12, 2019
We've all seen those stunning photos all over Instagram: those shots of influencers and travel bloggers posing in the cobblestone streets of Mykonos Town or against one of its iconic white walls, with bright blue doors and magenta bougainvillea. Well, I'm here to tell you that unfortunately actually getting these shots is not as easy as one might think. It takes some planning, a lot of patience, and quite a bit of photo editing on the back end. Here's why:
The Town is Busy
I first went to Mykonos Town at night, not knowing what to expect, camera in hand and thinking that I could get some great shots of the city. Boy was I wrong. I was unlucky enough to be in town when several of the cruise ships were in the harbor, so even though it's September and toward the end of the busy season, there were still thousands of people flooding those tiny little streets. This not only made it impossible to get any shots without people in them, but it was even too busy to walk through the streets, shop, or do anything, to be quite honest.
During the day, the streets are just as busy. Less busy in the morning right after the shops open, but quite busy anytime after about 1 or 2 pm. So if you want great shots without having to wait 10 minutes for all the people to clear, see my next point below.
You'll Need to Get Up Early
The shops in Mykonos Town open around 9 or 10 am, and the cruise ships start letting people off of the boats around mid-morning, so you'll need to get there before then. On the morning I went to take photos, I got up at 6 am (thank you jetlag) called a cab from the Santa Marina Resort at 7:45 am and was in Mykonos by just after 8 am. That gave me about an hour to wander the streets without any people in it, and also without the shops open (that brings me to my next point).
You'll Want to Be There When the Shops are Closed
Once the shops open, the town looks completely different. That's because all those colorful, iconic doors are OPEN, and then all you see is the white backdrop with a bunch of crap strewn about for sale. So you'll need to be sure to get there before 9 or 10 am when most of the shops open their doors. Toward the latter half of my walk through town, shop owners were just starting to open up their shops, which was as it got closer to 9 am. Some don't open til 10 but you'd be safer just making sure you get your photos taken before 9.
The Lighting in the Morning is Bad
Unfortunately if you've headed to Mykonos town in the morning to beat the crowds, you'll have to do a lot more editing of your photos when you get home. This is because there are tons of shadows and the sun isn't high in the sky, meaning everything looks like it's in low light. So you'l need to use Photoshop or Lightroom to brighten them up.
Here are some before and after photos, which I edited in Lightroom:
Bring a Tripod
If you're traveling alone, you may want to consider bring a tripod. I went without one (because I packed light and didn't bring one) and it ended up working out fine because the streets are narrow and you can often use the steps of an adjacent building to set your camera on, but the easiest way to get shots if you're traveling alone is to just bring a tripod. You can also rely on strangers to come by and ask if they can take your pic, but I actually went so early that there weren't even really any people to take my photo. So a tripod would have been wise.
And that's it! Just follow these few steps on your next trip to Mykonos if you're really wanting to get those beautiful shots for the 'gram.
Happy travels friends!
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