Fluorescence spectroscopy of gas-phase ions generated through electrospray ionization is an emerging technique able to probe intrinsic molecular photophysics directly without perturbations from solvent interactions. While there is ample scope for the ongoing development of gas-phase fluorescence techniques, the recent expansion into low-temperature operating conditions accesses a wealth of data on intrinsic fluorophore photophysics, offering enhanced spectral resolution compared with room-temperature measurements, without matrix effects hindering the excited-state dynamics. This perspective reviews current progress on understanding the photophysics of anionic fluorone dyes, which exhibit an unusually large Stokes shift in the gas phase, and discusses how comparison of gas- and condensed-phase fluorescence spectra can fingerprint structural dynamics. The capacity for temperature-dependent measurements of both fluorescence emission and excitation spectra helps establish the foundation for the use of fluorone dyes as fluorescent tags in macromolecular structure determination. We suggest ideas for technique development.