Billowing gowns sweep social media

It’s a bird, it’s a plane — it’s a flying dress. 

The train of Adriannea Smith’s canary yellow dress flowing in the wind could be seen for miles as she posed with the backdrop of the Aegean Sea and whitewashed rooftops and blue domes in Oia, the coastal village on the Greek island of Santorini. 

“I’ve had this on my bucket list,” Smith told The Post. “I planned this trip with the shoot in mind,” Smith, of Atlanta, Ga., said of the Greek island cruise she took last month.

Travelers are saying “yes” in massive numbers to the flying dress photo, with gowns soaring in photos from idyllic destinations like the Greek islands, Dubai, Cappadocia in Turkey, and even the Brooklyn Bridge.

Smith in Greece wearing flying yellow dress.
Travel agent and content creator Adriannea Smith’s canary yellow dress flowing in the wind in Santorini. The flying dress shoot, she says, has been on her bucket list. She planned her cruise last month specifically with the glam photo shoot in mind.
Courtesy of Adriannea Smith

Smith in yellow dress.
Smith said tourists gawked at her photo shoot like paparazzi.
Courtesy of Adriannea Smith

Smith in yellow dress.
Smith flexed her glamour shot on social media giving her 161,000 followers travel envy.

The pictures – which typically take just over an hour to shoot – are gaining thousands of likes and popping up all over Instagram and TikTok as the ultimate vacation status symbol. 

The hashtag #FlyingDress has 52.6 million views on TikTok, and photographers in some of the most sought-after vacation destinations are cashing in on the trend.

Smith, a travel agent and travel content creator who runs the account @StandByAdrie, says the shot was meant to give her followers travel envy – helping her promote her business and, in the process, serving as a “treat yourself” moment. The video showing the shoot got 20,000 views on Instagram and 481 likes.

Women in flying dress photo in Dubai with camel.
Keisha Nelson, pictured in green sporting a pony tail (left), and seven of her girlfriends got in Flying Dress formation in the Dubai desert for a cool $4,200. The shoots included hair, makeup and a camel.
Courtesy of Rashidah Timothy

Rashidah Timothy posing in blue dress.
Nelson’s friend Rashidah Timothy, a New York City-based publicist, pictured here, opted for a royal blue hue. The camel came with the $4,200 shoot.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

Nelson said she felt “regal” after getting her hair and makeup down to pose in the jewel toned gown.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

The photos, she says, will last a lifetime.

“I definitely felt like a supermodel,” Smith said of the $605 shoot. She booked it through, which bills itself as a “premiere flying dress company.” 

The company Flying Dress photo has a package for around $1,680 that includes transportation to and from the shoot, hair and makeup, dress, a two-hour shoot, editing, retouching and ownership of the photo rights and video.

Timothy in blue flying dress in Dubai.
Handlers were on sight helping Timothy, Nelson and their friends toss up their dresses at the perfect moment to get the airy train effect with the backdrop of the dessert.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

Burj Khalifa woman in flying dress.
The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, is another popular backdrop for flying dress photo shoots in Dubai.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

Women in green dress in Dumbo.
Cabrera says Dumbo in Brooklyn is one of his most popular destinations in New York for flying dress photos.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

That also includes an assistant to help the achieve the dramatically long look when the subjects pose and waltz in videos.

Smith said that while the photos look like a breeze, it’s a heavy lift behind the scenes. Since the photos are typically taken barefoot, she recalls comically having to hop over hot cobble stones with the heavy dress like it was effortless. 

Meanwhile, in the Dubai desert on a recent all-girls trip, Keisha Nelson and seven of her girlfriends got in Flying Dress formation – for a cool $4,200. That included dresses, makeup, roundtrip transportation from the hotel and camel cameos for the two-hour shoot, which incorporated solo and group shots.

Woman in flying red dress on Brooklyn Bridge.
Flying dress photo packages come with assistants in charge of helping to get the perfect angle of air for the shot. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most-booked NYC destinations, Cabrera said.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

Woman in green dress in sun light.
Cabrera says he only books two flying dress shoots per day because they are labor intensive and must be shot early in the morning or midday for optimal natural lighting. One popular location is Fort Tryon Park, in Inwood, Manhattan, NY.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

Woman in metallic color dress poses in NYC.
Cabrera began incorporating flying dress photo shoots into his business model in 2022 when he saw demand on social media. His rates start at $400 for a one-hour shoot such as this Central Park shoot.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

“We wanted to do something glamorous and fun … we were planning this trip for over a year and thought this was one of the activities we could do collectively that fit our personalities and vacation vibe,” Nelson, 43, a managing account supervisor who opted for a green halter dress, told The Post.

While the photos look aesthetically airy, Nelson, of Manhattan, says the mercury rising brought major heat to the shoot. Still, she says it was worth every penny — posing with an actual camel, she said, was priceless.

“I felt beautiful, regal and empowered,” she said.

Woman in orange in central park with flowing dress in the fall surrounded by leaves.
Some clients opt to pair their dresses with the background for a more monochrome look, like this auburn-inspired fall shoot in Central Park.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

Woman in pink dress.
Edits and retouching are billed into the shoots, Cabrera says, of the moody light contrast with the jewel tone dresses. This photo session took place at Edgewater, NJ.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

Woman in red dress.
Cabrera typically hires two assistants to help handle dress tossing and styling, which paid off in this shot at Fort Tryon Park, Inwood, Manhattan.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

Her friend, New York City-based publicist Rashidah Timothy — who opted for a blue hued gown in the photo — eagerly posted the group shot on her Instagram to the tune of 272 Likes and 69 comments, Nelson said.

“I am thinking of framing one [photo] for my husband for our anniversary this year,” Nelson said.

In New York City, photographer Leo Cabrera began shooting flying dress photos after seeing an influx of the train shows wafting through Turkey and Santorini on Instagram. He started incorporating the shoots into his biz in the beginning of 2022, averaging he says 100 shoots per year, locally at the Brooklyn Bridge and around Central Park and flying out to Dubai and the Dominican Republic to get the shots.

Woman in blue dress.
Stairs make the perfect accessory to get the draping of the flying dress just right at photo shoots in New York’s Central Park.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

Gold dress overlooking waterfront in new york.
Evening shoots are also a popular time for Cabrera’s clients to capture the sunset contrasted with bright jewel toned dresses, such as this one in Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

“I try to do no more than two shoots a day,” Cabrera told The Post, of having to cap the demand because the shoots are labor intensive. His packages include a 1-hour photoshoot, dress rental (dresses, he says, are designed by a stylist in Turkey), 15 photos edited and retouched and location scouting for $400.

“Normally the photoshoots are done very early in the morning to avoid crowds and in places with enough space to work with the dress,” he told The Post.

Dress in park.
Cabrera worked with a stylist in Turkey to sources the flying dresses, putting them to use in Central Park.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

Woman in purple dress in central park over bridge.
Central Park has in full flight — flying dress mode that is. Cabrera says the park is another frequently chosen location for his flying dress shoots.
Leo Cabrera @photowalkny

A little vanity fanfare comes free of charge: Smith recalls feeling like a celebrity, with on-lookers gawking at her shoot.

“Tourists walking by are saying, ‘Oh my god, you look so pretty.’ It was definitely a good moment. I was like, ‘I’m looking good and feeling beautiful — even though I was sweating,” she said.

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