Nestled in south-west Switzerland is the spectacular village of Verbier, a place renowned for not only its incredible skiing and luxury chalets, but also an array of breathtaking landscapes and scenery. Glistening snow-capped mountains, spectacular sunsets, and plenty of cultural attractions all make Verbier one of the most beautiful places not only to visit, but also to photograph.
Whether you’re a keen photographer, or you just want to capture those special moments as best you can, simple forward planning can help to prevent your images from ending up blurred and badly cropped, and can take them from mediocre to marvellous. With our guide to capturing the area, you can be sure that you’ll head off on your journey well-equipped, and return with an album full of striking memories.
If you’re really unsure of your photographic skills, we’d be only too happy to assist you with hiring a personal photographer or videographer; but whether you’re going it alone or you decide to have a little help, we’ve rounded up our five favourite places to head for that perfect Verbier shot.
Probably the most famous feature of Verbier, the mountains make for spectacular landscape photography; from the snow-tipped caps to the impressive glistening glaciers, the mountains of Verbier are equally breathtaking at both dawn and dusk.
Founded in the early nineties, the Verbier Festival runs in the summer each year, and provides the perfect opportunity to combine beautiful portraiture photography with exquisite classical music.
Dating as far back as the seventeenth century, the village chapel is the ideal attraction for anyone interested in religious history, and makes a superb subject for architectural and historical photography during your Verbier ski holiday.
One of the most famous winter sports events in the world, Verbier is the last stop on the Xtreme Freeride tour, and consists of hundreds of freeskiers and snowboard freeriders competing for the coveted world title. Exhilarating to watch, and a great opportunity for impressive action shots, this is one winter event that’s certainly worth making time for.
The traditional Swiss-style, luxury chalets in Verbier make for superb architectural photographs, particularly at sunset; watercolour skies and silhouetted chalets provide images that wouldn’t look out of place in a frame on the wall.
One of the most basic skills to master is the art of composition; placing your subject in the correct place in the viewfinder can mean the difference between an average photograph, and one that really stands out. The temptation is to automatically place them into the very centre of the shot, but by moving them to the left or right, you automatically create an image that is more interesting to look at.
When shooting landscapes, ensure that the viewfinder is completely filled; too much blank space such as dull skies or expansive forests can leave the photograph flat and boring.
Try to look for colours that will make an impact when looking for that perfect shot; by using the colour wheel, you can create images that are visually stunning. Blue against orange and the primary colours all make for strong contrasts, while softer palettes made up of the same shade will leave you with a calmer photograph.
Whether you’re using a simple point-and-shoot or a larger and more complex digital SLR camera, there are quite a few creative options to choose from. Almost all cameras nowadays have presets, which mean your camera will perform at its very best once you select the appropriate option; basic cameras often simply have landscape, portrait, and night-time preferences, but more upmarket models will also let you choose from action shots, dawn, dusk, and night-time options and even select whether you’re photographing in natural, fluorescent, or tungsten light.
Verbier is the ideal place to experiment with action shots; the high-speed skiers and snowboarders make incredible subjects. The key to a successful action shot is to set up the camera prior to the shot, rather than waiting until the person sails into the viewfinder and then clicking desperately. A tripod is a must to reduce camera-shake, and a fast shutter speed will help to capture those sharp details that take an action shot from average to amazing.
When photographing people, the most important thing to consider is the direction of the light. Whether you’re shooting in natural or artificial light, it’s imperative that you stand with the source behind you, otherwise the subject will end up as a silhouette. Also, paying attention to the background can make all the difference in a portrait shot; a sense of perspective adds interest and leads the eye around the photograph.
Unless you’re really serious about filming, there’s no need to spend a fortune on a video camera; these days the majority of higher-end cameras have a film function included, which is more than enough to shoot footage from your trip.
The trick to creating a successful video is to simply film more than you need; once you return home, it’s too late to discover you need extra footage, and there’s nothing more frustrating than realising you’ve forgotten to capture a spectacular sunset, the Verbier mountains at dawn, or your friend skiing the front face of Mont Gelé.
Footage doesn’t need to be perfect; you can trim, copy, and insert sections of film into a different order using simple editing equipment, and even apply audio effects and reduce static noise. Anyone using an iMac or Macbook has access to iMovie, a well respected editing suite, while Windows computers are fully equipped with the Movie Maker.
If you’re using a simple point-and-shoot camera, chances are most of the settings will have been decided for you; these models are great if you’re just starting out with photography, and just want to play around. For the more serious photographer, or anyone who has more experience, a bridge camera or a digital SLR is the ideal choice; they do have more settings, and require more practise, but the scope for creativity is incredible.
A tripod is an absolute essential, and the good news is that it doesn’t need to cost a fortune either. Whether you’re shooting in low light levels, and want to reduce blur and camera shake, or you’re photographing action shots, a tripod will give you the stability you’ll otherwise be lacking.
If you’re planning on shooting inside or at low light, simple lighting equipment is advantageous but not essential. All cameras are equipped with a flash, which will almost certainly be enough, but small directional lights and reflectors are useful to have and won’t break the bank.
Throughout the 2014 -2015 season our team have been taking some amazing pictures on their Verbier. Click here to view all competition entries and vote for your favourite.
We set up our sister company Haute Montagne to cater to the exacting demands of our clients looking for the ultimate chalet holiday experience, expecting the finest luxury properties accompanied by the very best of service levels.
It is not by accident that the Haute Montagne experience has come to be known as superyachts in the snow.
Haute Montagne chalets are among the finest properties available to rent in the ski industry. They are the best properties in resort and are all stand-alone mega-chalets with beautiful furnishings and decadent spa facilities.
You will be looked after by a team of highly trained professionals, each selected for excellence in their field, attention to detail, and discretion.