The photography opportunity of a lifetime
Put an amazing dancer in an incredible setting and you have a great shot. Put two dancers in iconic locations across France, Switzerland and Italy and the possibilities for the photographer are almost too good to be true. This is exactly what we are offering on our European Photo Roadtrip.
It’s our most exciting Roadtrip to date and one that offers you spectacular value. You’ve seen others charging £1500 for three nights away – and that doesn’t even include travel and accommodation costs! Nine nights on our Lavender, Lakes and Mountains Dance Roadtrip includes travel and single room occupancy accommodation – plus two professional ballet dancers and a crew of three – driver, trainer and stylist – to ensure you are well looked-after from start to finish.
In Paris, we take the first shots on our Photo Roadtrip. Hold that image. Contrast it with the fragrant Lavender Fields of Sault and the alpine tranquility of the Gotthard Pass. Are you beginning to see the bigger picture? Then imagine the spectacle of Mont Blanc and three fabulous Italian lakes, all with our two professional ballet dancers drawing on the emotion of the scene and you are witnessing art and nature in harmony. This is the reality. And it’s going to be the dance photography Roadtrip of a lifetime.
We get underway in the evening, leaving the UK via the Channel Tunnel. You will be met at a pick-up point convenient to you on the M25 in an air-conditioned 17-seat minibus. You will be one of only 6 photographers travelling with 3 crew and 2 dancers, so you will have plenty of room for your camera gear and luggage.
Our first stop for photography will be close to dawn while most of Paris is still slumbering, but not for us! Unlike previous early morning dance shoots in front of the Eiffel Tower, this time we have two dancers. It will be exciting to see what they come up with on this excursion as a duo because they are both very creative spirits 🙂
After breakfast in a typical Parisian café, we head for Lyon – or Lyons, as it is more traditionally spelt. It’s roughly a 6-hour drive and this includes a couple of comfort breaks: a chance to stretch our legs, treat ourselves to coffee and pastries perhaps. In typical French style, most of the Aires de service have a tempting selection of snacks.
Lyon will be our first overnight stop, giving everyone some downtime to unwind. The dancers will be resting up in readiness for the following day’s shooting but there are plenty of opportunities for some cityscapes in this lovely city, the capital of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. There’s a heady blend of Roman, Medieval and Renaissance architecture here so plenty of history and culture to point your lens at.
Today, we head south to Provence and, in the afternoon, to the Lavender Fields of Sault which promise to provide a truly stunning backdrop for our ballet dancers. The region is famous for this gloriously fragrant plant and we will be right there for the first week in bloom. Expect the spectacular! Then a night to recharge our batteries in preparation for the journey north to Chamonix and Mont Blanc the following day.
A fairly early start and we head for Chamonix: one of our favourite places to stay, especially outside of the skiing season. In the heart of the French Alps, it’s a glorious place to chill for anyone – but we’re photographers! Of course, we want to take pictures too. There should be time to take the cable car up to Aguille du Midi, a 3842m peak in the Mont Blanc massif. From here, the view is really quite something. Last time, we watched the spectacle of so many hang gliders suspended gracefully in the blue, against the rugged texture of the rock face. A wonderful sight.
Day 5 & 6
Time to head through the Mont Blanc Tunnel and on towards Lake Garda for two days of shooting with both our dancers. We’ll be staying on the southern shore of the lake, close to the enchanting castle town of Sirmione. All narrow cobbled streets and pretty courtyards. Picture postcard stuff with a gelateria on every corner. Our hotel is in the charming resort town of Desenzano del Garda. We have stayed here before; it’s the perfect base from which to explore the southern shores of the lake. So many lovely backdrops for our two dancers… It also has a fabulous selection of bars and restaurants 🙂
Day 7 & 8
Part of the charm of Lakes Garda, Maggiore and Como is that they all have their own unique personalities. So today, we leave the southern tip of Lake Garda with its sweeping, almost coastal landscape and head up into the mountains that surround romantic Lake Como. Our hotel here is one of our all-time favourites: it has a boutique style, an excellent menu and our hostess is incredibly accommodating. Located on the northern end of the lake and on the eastern shore, this area provides a complete change of scenery. And with that, comes yet another mix of dramatic stages for ballet and contemporary dance in the landscape.
We leave Lake Como after breakfast and head over to Lake Maggiore with our dancers for a final farewell to lakeside photography. We’ll be staying in the town of Stresa with its quaint old streets and fabulous views over the lake towards Isola Bell. The quayside is a great favourite for dance photography.
Heading back north, and we stop on top of the Alps at the Gotthard Pass. The air is so fresh and the landscape so unique, it never fails to inspire us. Quite unlike anywhere else we visit, it’s the perfect setting for a ballet shoot. When we reach Dijon, the place that gives French mustard its name, we will doubtless head to the lovely square with its amazing fountain to take some pictures. It’s a recipe for success! Plenty of running water – just add a dancer (or two)!
After an evening of shooting urban dance in Dijon, we’ll be heading for bed. It’s an early start tomorrow when we will be motoring back to Calais and the Tunnel but it’s not over yet! En route, we will call at Reims and the Reims-Gueux race track for a bit of petrol head nostalgia. We plan to have at least a couple of hours for the final shoot of the trip, here with our two ballet dancers. Our wardrobe stylist has an idea for something a bit different here, outfit-wise!