The Salzkammergut is an area in the alpine regions of Austria. It is dotted with deep blue mountain lakes whose mirror-like waters reflect the crystal clear images of the surrounding mountain tops. Being the former "private-property" of the Habsburg monarchs the Salzkammergut (namely the town Bad Ischl) has been long known as the perfect destination for relaxation and revitalization. But not only kings and queens have come here. It was also a favorite vacation destination of Austria's very own musical wunderkind Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his family.
In May 2019 we were invited by "Little Sisi" and her "Franzl" to come to the Salzkammergut with them. The two nature lovers specifically asked for their pre-wedding pictures to be taken in a natural environment. So they choose one of the most famous and beautiful places in the Alps: Hallstatt.
When we arrived prior one day to the wedding shoot, the rain was pouring. The forecast for the next day wasn't much better. But from experience we knew, that the weather in the mountains can be unpredictable. Whilst it is raining in one place, the sun could be shining in another place only ten kilometers away. So we hoped for the best and went to rest.
Hallstatt is a town of 779 souls. For the major part of history it has been the residence of poor miners who spent their time digging up salt from underneath the mountain.
Everything changed when tourism came around. As the town is wedged between a lake and the mountain, the inhabitants were forced to build their houses almost vertically upon the slope. From far it is such a picturesque sight, that Hallstatt has been nicknamed the most beautiful town in the Alps. The Chinese even made a copy of it.
That's right. A copy.
In Guangdong province it is possible to visit a fake Hallstatt, completely remodeled with lake and mountain and every little detail of every house. Or lets just say, it looks a little bit like it.
As a consequence Hallstatt (the real Hallstatt) now has almost 1 million visitors per year and to us that meant: Getting up really really early to beat the crowds.
Although the weather forecast had been telling differently, when we arrived in Hallstatt there was no rain and we were able to make a good couple of wedding pictures before the tourists started to pour in.
The plan for the afternoon was to take pictures in the surrounding area, but during lunch break and while the bride's make-up was being renewed, the rain finally had started to fall.
It wasn't going to stop for the next 16 hours.
We tried to make the best out of it, driving here and there looking for dry places. But there was nothing to be done.
We took a few shots in the rain, but soon enough everybody was wet and cold, so we went back to the hotel where we took some indoor shots.
Still we were optimistic to continue shooting outdoor, but a quick look out the window crushed our last hope as up on the mountain it had started to snow. Yep, snow in August. It happens.
As Studio Wonderland we weren't happy. Although the weather is an unpredictable force, that no one can be blamed for, our goal is to deliver the utmost best work possible. Most importantly, we want our clients to get the pictures they deserve. So after some considerations we decided to go beyond the original contract and continue shooting on the next day.
When we woke up...