I remember receiving a text from Ben very early one morning. With my slightly blurred vision after a heavy night in Après-ski, it simply read LOVERBIER. Immediately, I was hooked.
Previously, we had talked in length regarding working together on a personal project in Verbier and decided to build a brand around it – LOVERBIER. We began producing t-shirts, modern versions of the classic vintage ski poster and planned to put this coffee table book into production.
We decided to include the popular local characters, celebrities, seasonaires and tourists seen around Verbier and ask them why they love it. We received an amazing response, everyone embraced the project, although I think there are a few who are still unaware exactly what they signed up for!
This was a really enjoyable element of the book for me as it provided me with the opportunity to meet so many people. We were invited into their homes or their favourite places around the village. We were shown such great hospitality, for that I would like to say, Merci. (And thank you to Claudia for the translating.)
As I began shooting it was quickly starting to spark other ideas, which led to the creation of “Light My Line.”
We acquired access to the professional Skiers and Snowboarders from the “Freeride World Tour” and set about our visual art piece. Our idea was to shoot the Freeriders coming down the mountain at night with just a torch on their head. The exposure would be long (approximately thirty minutes) and when it is -20 degrees, it feels like forever. The result would be a neon line falling down the mountain depicting the route as chosen by the Freerider.
It still remains one of the hardest shoots that I have ever done and the one that makes me feel the most proud. The technical side was easy to work out. Apart from the night we had a full moon and no cloud cover to stop it blowing out the beam of the torch, but it was the physical aspect that took me out of my comfort zone. We were shooting between two and five Freeriders a night in different locations around the mountain. I have never been so cold, but the enthusiasm of the Freeriders and the team surrounding me made it fantastic.
This is a project that I think will never end for me, although the book is finished the opportunity to continue to document the village remains. With the amount of time I have spent here I have met so many wonderful people and they have all played a part in making it a success and so much fun.