This magical picture was taken in 2017, shortly before Christmas, and became a big success on the social media. It reminded everyone of Elsa and Sven, the reindeer, from the film “Frozen“. Although the Disney film is one of my favourites, I hadn’t even decided one day before the photoshoot, which dress our model Adrian would wear.
My friend Katja had given me the idea. She suggested I should do a reindeer photoshoot. Somehow, the idea took hold of me, so one evening I started searching for reindeers in Switzerland and found one in the Berner Oberland. Immediately, I booked an appointment for a shoot and informed Adriana and Constanze. We were all full of anticipation for the Nikolaus Day, the day when the photoshoot was planned to take place.
Constanze, our make-up artist, and Adriana, our model, had the longest journey. Constanze had even come all the way from Germany! As we didn’t have a plan about what dress Adriana should wear until a day before the event, I though we could try the blue princess dress that I had bought from a customer. Normally, my free projects are very carefully planned, but this time it was different. Ronja Maurer, a wedding and family photographer from Bern, wanted to watch the shoot and had already been waiting for us. We had been hoping for some days to have snow. But neither snow, nor the good mood of the animals can be ordered from a catalogue.
We, however, were in a fantastic mood, which still rose when we were driving uphill through the dense fog cover. Ronja had already told us that snow and sunshine were waiting for us. But when we finally arrived on the top, we could hardly trust our eyes. We were standing on the top of a mountain in the middle of the Berner Oberland, surrounded by even higher mountains, with a view of the fog-covered valley! (Of course, I know that this is what Switzerland is famous for, but I sometimes forget it as I come from the lowlands.)We were overjoyed and started preparing Adriana for the shoot.
The scenery was perfect: there was snow, we had the sun in the background as well as a huge mountain and fog a few metres behind the mountain slope, which covered the valley. Just so picturesque! Only Snow, the reindeer, was a little baffled at first, when Adriana was, all of a sudden, standing in front of him and coming closer to him. Snow wasn’t that familiar with photoshoots at that time, so he had to get to know Adriana first and see if he really wanted it.
As I never force an animal to cooperate in a photoshoot, and they do not pose at the touch of a button, as we humans do, it takes a lot of intuition, sensitivity and patience to get the perfect picture. Quite a few attempts fail during the first 30 minutes. What’s more, reindeers are no cuddly creatures. And the antlers keep the model at a distance. What it takes is patience and a lot of food. Yes, indeed, we lured Snow with food and kept him happy. After about 30 minutes, Snow had got used to Adriana standing right beside him, smiling into the camera and blowing kisses at him. Maybe he felt honoured to be ensnared by such a beautiful woman after all.
The perfect shot was taken exactly at the moment when Adriana was blowing a kiss to the reindeer and Snow was looking at her. After that he was getting a little lazy and didn’t want to pose any longer. But we were happy about the picture, which, later on, even enticed the well-known photographer Ronja Naoko and other princesses ? to come to Switzerland and enjoy just this unique experience.
A little later, the photo was published in the Imagism Magazine, and I must admit (if I may say this) that I’m very proud of it. Hanging above my couch as a wall picture, it always reminds me of this wonderful experience.!