What a day this Bernex Winter Engagement shoot was. It was extra special for me as the lovely Natacza and Nick are amazing friends of mine. When you have the pleasure of shooting your friends it is always a huge laugh and these two did not disappoint. They live in the most beautiful French ski town called Bernex. Bernex is not far from Geneva and is higher up in the French mountain region. It was the beginning of December, so snow had begun to fall on the high points of the mountains.
We decided that one day we were going to hike up one of these French mountains! Yes, you heard that, we hiked up a mountain – literally hiked up a ski run in fact. Don’t worry, the resort was still just out of season so the only other people we met along the way were residents of the small village on their local hike. I mean some were running up the French mountain! It was a beautiful winter wonderland – an absolute dream for me! Anyone who knows me well will know I love the outdoors and adventures like this are exhilarating to me. So, to be able to combine my love of the outdoors and photography was an absolute dream day for me!
On our initial walk up we were certainly in the clouds and were becoming a little nervous as to whether we would have any sort of view to use as a wonderful backdrop. But that didn’t stop us and we persevered through, stopping on the way for satsumas and high sugar jelly sweets – trust me we needed them! Slowly, as we continued our steep hike up, the trees became clearer, and the peaks of the mountains came into view. We had literally hiked high enough to be above the clouds – a first for me! I was literally on cloud 9!
Eventually after lots of small steps, jelly sweets, stopping to breathe and myself getting the case of snow blindness – never knew this was a thing! We reached the top and the view was absolutely incredible. I have never seen a view of the French Mountains so beautifully stunning, peaceful and rewarding all in one go. The perfect backdrop for their Bernex Winter Engagement Shoot.
So as we hiked up the mountain, every now and then I would snap some photos of the lovely Nat and Nick. They were so easy to photograph as they were in their natural environment and as a couple are clearly madly in love with each other. I had the joy of photographing them at a mutual friends Majorca wedding and back then we discussed doing a shoot in the snow.
They also have the BEST dog in the world – sorry to anyone whose dog I have worked with before, but this guy was brilliant! His name is Toast (what a name right?!) and he ADORES snow! He literally goes mad for the stuff and shoves his face right into it followed by running around like a mad dog. So now, not only did I have a brilliant couple to shoot but also a wonderful little family. Toast loved getting involved in the photos and makes a fantastic addition to the shoot.
After some shots at the top – we didn’t stay long as it was absolutely freezing 2000m up! We started our descent. We had brought along sledges for the journey down and this is where Toast was loving life. Nick had him on his 10m long lead and was teaching him how to pull the sledge down and run along with him whilst he was sledging down. These have got to be some of my favourite shots we got up the mountain that day – ears flying everywhere and his fluffy body bounding down towards us.
Tips from this Bernex Winter Engagement to take to yours:
I am sure I have said this a million times before from previous shoots but if you have a dog bring them along with you on your shoot. Not only do you get some fun photos of your furry friend but if you are particularly nervous when it comes to having your photo taken the focus can be on them and you have something to focus on too.
Brave the cold! It is seriously magical and a wonderful setting to shoot.
Don’t be afraid to ask about shoots in the great outdoors – they may take a bit of planning, but it is certain something we can offer. I offer destination engagement and wedding shoots just get in touch for a price. Destination weddings in Europe are £2750 which include an additional shoot.
If you go out for a massive hike like this one there is only one way to end it – with cheese fondue! That’s right after our big hike the local town was holding a cheese fondue night where pretty much everyone from the town sat along long tables eating cheese fondue – you cannot go wrong with cheese let’s face it!
Check out more destination weddings and engagements on our destination and engagement pages.