Every project we take part in is different, but all of them begin from an essential step : the location scout.
For the ending of this summer period, we thought of sharing with you some of the inspiring locations that smell of sun and total escape, in which we were lucky enough to set up our working spaces.
The Parisian region offers a little hidden treasures of atypical architecture that allow total escape without traveling too far.
Here is an illustration through the Villa La Roche, a location located at one hour from Paris. It has been scout and used for the Australian hat brand « Lack of Colors ». The brand always wishes to shoot in authentic decors inspired by the sixties and the seventies.
One more, this emblematic mansion created by Alvar Alto from 1957 to 1960 for the art dealer Louis Carré, which opened its doors for Hermès. Located in the Yvelines, this house implanted in the middle of the nature is classified as historical monuments.
On the mountain side, France offers a variety of possibilities, we had the opportunity to scout through some of them.
The lakes of Annecy and Le Bourget offer options that beautifully complete each other. We have been scout working around these two lakes during projects for both Mont Blanc perfumes and Kiotis cosmetics.
The lake of Annecy offers sumptuous pontoons with an unparalleled view on mountain heights, whereas the lake Le Bourget has a bank where wilderness still runs free.
These landscapes are sometimes well hidden and only known to locals. A few steps, a rocky down path and here we are, right on time to appreciate the magical moment where de sun gently caresses the surface of the water.
Let us get to the heights and have a stroll in the stations of the high mountains. In the low seasons, they aren’t less charming. Abundant green landscapes, a stream and eternal snow afar. Add to all of it, the interior of an authentic chalet where wood and old stone bind together, and you are in the center of a decor that offer various possibilities. We have had the chance to shoot in one of these locations with Coke Bartrina for the belgium brand Bellerose.
One of the main remarquable advantage of a French summer is, without any doubt, its costal region and the background that goes with it.
The Azur and south-East costs of France have hundreds of kilometers of decors to offer us. From sea to mountains, beaches and creeks, villages and lavender fields, golfs and villas…
Chosen many times but always so highly appreciated, the Palais Bulle, created in the eighties by the architect Antti Lovag in the heart of the Esterel uplands (not far from Nice), offers a unique decor with a view on the Mediterranean Sea. This structure with its organic roundnesses extends itself to a 1200m2 , and it is the ideal playground for a photographers eye or that of a videographer.
Nearby, in the north of Marseille, the regional parc of Lubéron offers two other locations.
The first one is the Château La Coste, a vineyard estate purchased by Patrick McKillen two decades ago. After a successful career in hotel and restaurant business, his project was to reclaim and improve the vineyard. Today, the estate continues the production of wine but it offers a hotel, as well as a few restaurants (Hélène Darroze and Francis Mallmann take part in it). The most astonishing aspect of the domain is that it is a center of art and architecture. No less than forty pieces take place through the vineyard. The works of Tadao Ando, Louise Bourgeois, Tom Shannon, Alexander Calder, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Oscar Niemeyer, etc. neighbor each other.
The second one is a private natural space located in Rustrel (approximatively an hour away from Avignon), called the Provincial Colorado. This space is the result of the exploitation of ochre quarries. The remnants of the past give the domain an allure of the Far West with its galeries, tunnels and railways; all of it located in the middle of many ochre reliefs : cliff, peaks, ravines, etc.
Located in the town of Grau du Roi, only 45 min away from Montpellier, the Espiguette beach spreads trough dozen of kilometers its sand and little dune embellished by driftwood. A preserved space that garanties the atmosphere of a beach free of constructions. Accessible via the road and by boat, it is possible to set oneself in one of the many dikes available. A way to make the most of its calm and change of scene.
The Atlantic cost is worth just as much as The Azur cost. It offers a great variety of different ambiances.
The Basque coast : its surfers beaches, its Pilat dune, its light atmosphere and the charm of its unparalleled architecture.
Biarritz city, the cradle of surf, is a savant mixture of elegance and trendiness. In the city, you will find beautiful streets, boutiques and the charming covered market, whereas the beach offers the beautiful cliffs with the sea at its feet, where the great waves come to die, the biggest joy of the surfer.
A few years ago, we had the chance to create a series of images for Eric Bompard in a Landes house, located in the middle of nature with a breathtaking view on the ocean. The Landes have persevered in their wild nature, only a handful of paths and fences give away the presence of men.
Finally, we could not forget the Isle of Beauty. From north to south, between sea and mountainous backgrounds, Corsica charms with its decors, the purity of its beaches, the finesse of its sand, its preserved nature, small villages and exceptional villas.
In this article, we have only gathered a small pallet of the countless possibilities that France offers in term of summer destinations. Let us not forget Britany and its cost cut by incredible light streams, Normandy and its beaches spreading endlessly, the volcanos of Auvergne, the lowlands of Grands Causses etc.
Wether we are in the Parisian region, in the lands, in the mountains or near the sea, there are always little corners of Paradise awaiting us.