Imagine walking down the cobblestone lanes of Rome hand-in-hand with your loved one while a talented photographer captures image after image of you and your beloved in the Eternal City. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Well, it was, and it happened to my husband and I after booking a photo shoot with Daniele de Gregorio through Airbnb Experiences.
I had wanted to have a professional photo shoot done in Italy for quite some time. Every year when we return home, I sift through our photos and bemoan the fact that they are generally bereft of any couple shots. Sure there are some selfies, but those don’t cut it. Language barriers and fear of putting our camera/phone in the hands of a stranger meant that we rarely asked someone to take our pic. In the few photos where someone did assist, they were merely taking a photo of us, not framing the image to make sure we looked our best.
We hadn’t hired a photographer since our wedding thirteen years ago, so the time was right. I didn’t know how to find a qualified, reputable photographer, but this is where Airbnb Experiences came in handy. Independent artisans, chefs, photographers, guides, and various local experts list a host of rich, cultural activities on the Airbnb site. One can learn how to make pasta in an Italian home, take a walking tour of Rome at twilight, do yoga at a summit overlooking Florence, take a bike tour of Chianti, learn the art of mosaic from a master artisan, and much more. I liked that I could see reviews from other customers which helped me know who to trust and what expectations to have. Plus, since the experience was listed on Airbnb, I had an easy time booking and paying. Knowing that Airbnb would be there for me if I had any issues also gave me peace of mind.
After researching several photographer’s experiences, I reached out to Daniele de Gregorio. He responded very quickly and made me feel immediately at ease. After a brief email conversation, I quickly booked a Friday evening appointment.
We met Daniele at the metro stop in front of the Colosseum. He had a vivacious personality that immediately brought positive energy to the shoot. Daniele spent a few minutes talking to us to get a feeling for our expectations, personality, and tastes. His taking this time to get to know us would definitely show in the finished photos. He captured pics in front of sites that made my historian heart soar! Daniele also understood the easygoing relationship Jon and I have and captured that in the images. We look like the fun-loving, happy partners that we are in real life.
Starting at the Colosseum, Daniele posed us so that the beautiful amphitheater would be our backdrop. He made us feel so at ease (no stiffness from either of us) and it showed in the photos where we’re often laughing and smiling. We took pictures walking down ancient lanes, in front of the Roman Forum, and atop the Capitoline Hill. When we would approach a crowded area, Daniele would explain that we were on a photo shoot and people would graciously leave. We felt like VIPs. At the Colosseum, one of the most visited ancient sites on the entire planet, our photos look as if we had it all to ourselves!
Jon said Daniele put the “experience in this Airbnb Experience” and I heartily concur. We received our promised number of expertly edited photos emailed to us in a short amount of time after the shoot. He is an extremely talented photographer who made the time spent with him immensely enjoyable. I can’t believe how much fun we had just walking around taking photos! Both Jon and I were on cloud nine when the shoot ended. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Daniele to anyone looking for a memorable experience on their Roman holiday (I’ll link his information at the end of this blog). Everyone who has viewed our photo gallery from the shoot has had nothing but rave reviews. My only problem is trying to decide which photo is my favorite!
I love bringing home mementos from the places I visit and the photo shoot with Daniele ranks at the top of my list as “best-ever” souvenir. Just the activity itself opened a new view of Rome to me and proved fabulous. Next time you’re traveling, you may want to explore Airbnb Experiences and create your own special memory with a local expert. And next time you’re in Rome, definitely check out Daniele de Gregorio.
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