While spending a day among aromatic casks of wine in a countryside vineyard might sound like a vacation to most of us, for Switzerland-based photographer Aurélien Bergot it was just another fascinating day on the job.
Client Sophie Dugerdil has been the owner of her family’s vineyard for 15 years. As a young, dynamic entrepreneur seeking to breathe life into her brand, she hired Mostra Design to help her re-brand and stay competitive. Mostra, in turn, brought Aurélien in to produce photos of the newly-branded wines both in-studio and on-location at Dugerdil Vineyard.
The first step was participating in a strategic brainstorming session to organize the brief and the planning. The project was intended to highlight the balance of tradition and modernity represented in the new wine bottle labels that had recently been redesigned by Mostra. To illustrate this, the modern rebrand was to be juxtaposed against the timeless vista of vineyards and mountains in the background.
A full day of shooting at the vineyard in Geneva was planned, which would entail landscapes of the vineyards and countryside, details of wooden casks, and a portrait of Sophie. A day in the studio to capture the new bottles and labels on a white background was also scheduled.
We thought that it would create a good contrast with the traditional vineyard and Lake Geneva area (le Bassin Lémanique) with the Alps behind as a background.
Though unpredictable weather seemed to be the biggest factor affecting the planning of the shoot, Aurélien and his team experienced some good luck. The first pre-booked day was a good one for the weather.
In this particular mountainous area of Geneva, the meteorology changes not by the day but by the hour. We had to plan several dates in the summer, and cross our fingers hoping for good weather!
Though the weather was clear and beautiful, there were still many technical considerations to keep in mind on a sunny day in the mountains.
Bottle packshots are tricky to shoot! Lots of reflections everywhere, you have to deal with the transparency of the glass and make it still look real… I liked doing that. For the two interior packshots, it was fun to work with this smell of good wine all around. The exterior packshot was done in a spot in the vineyard called “La Cabuche,” which is one of the most beautiful places in Geneva to have an Apéro (aperitif).
Creating the portrait image was an interesting challenge for Aurélien. The idea behind the portrait was to illustrate the balance of responsibilities in winemaking as an entrepreneur. The team proposed juggling as a symbolic representation, and the client was enthusiastic about the idea. It would be nearly impossible to capture the right emotion from the subject while ensuring every flying object was caught in a good place in the frame, so the image had to be created as a composite. Aurélien took many different portraits of Sophie and then proceeded to shoot while she launched the various objects over her head. The images were combined in post using the best shot of each individual component.
Both Dugerdil and Mostra were thrilled with the experience and the final images, which were featured on Dugerdil’s website as well as in other print publications. Aurélien has now worked with Mostra on other projects since their initial collaboration, including a human resources project to promote careers with the state government of Geneva.
The business relationship with the client, Sophie, was ideal. She had confidence in the agency and gave me carte blanche to highlight this product. The way she communicated her confidence to the creative team was constructive and powerful, and resulted in a good project.
Check out more of Aurélien’s work on his website.