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March 28, 2016

Throughout the last year of starting up Vallerret, we’ve been in touch with some very inspiring photographers. Charlotte Workmanwas one of our first fans and very first customers (pre-Kickstarter) and we’ve kept in touch ever since. We asked her to share with you some insights on life as a ski resort photographer in Andorra and here is what she replied… Enjoy – and keep up the good work, Charlotte!


Name: Charlotte Workman

What I prefer to shoot: Adventure, action in nature, backcountry

Camera I use: Canon 70D

Who I work for: Foto Servei Grandvalira, Andorra

My best tip: Learn Lightroom

“Sliding around a mountain taking photos all day is a pretty sweet gig. Every day I’m grateful for what I do. However as a photographer for Grandvalira ski resort, it does mean a lot of time making beginners look good doing snow plow.

ski resort photography

It's shooting the ski schools, though, that lets me live in the mountains and have some amazing opportunities like, shoot resident pros dropping cliffs. Or going heli­boarding with some locals.

ski photography with helicopter
I came here after studying journalism. I got into filming and bought my first DSRL with the idea of making documentaries and practising photojournalism. But the mountains were calling. Reaching out to friends of friends, I looked for any camera­-related job here in Andorra. I got a lucky lead through ­a now great mate ­Bruce and scored a coffee with the man in charge of photography for the mountain. Armed with a 550D, a little Spanish and a hopeful expression on my face I turned up and got the job.
skier doing a flip on bluebird dayPhoto | Charlotte Workman
skier doing a flip

Photo | Charlotte Workman

My first day was on Christmas, and it was dumping sideways. I wasn’t going to bail on my first day. So I put my camera in a sandwich bag, staggered into the abyss and tried to find a group of skiiers willing to stand for a photo. The rest of the week was pretty much the same and I sold about 3 photos.

I’ve come a long way since sandwich bag wrapped cameras, but in order to get the shots, the willingness to get out there has got to be the same.

I found it surprising how easy it can be to get stuck in a routine on a season. Shoot, sell, apres, repeat. So to make the most of where I am, I have to make things happen. Arranging shoots in and around work. Sacrificing a day of riding to take my camera into the backcountry or to the park.

Photo I Charlotte Workman

SKILLS – Learning by doing

I learned on the job. I had very little photography experience before coming here. The main skill I would say you need is speedy adaption in changeable conditions. This means weather, for example, someone’s dropping in and the sun goes, or the wind blows up a bunch of snow, you’ve got to be prepared. Or you’re in gnarly environments. You’re shooting and get hit with the downdraft of a helicopter, you’re getting blown sideways but you keep your head and shoot. It also means, when you’ve had a few drinks the night before and your camera’s set up for a RAW night shoot, and there’s a ski class in front of you are saying ‘skiiiiiiis’ and set up in a human pyramid. You got to be quick to change your settings and maintain your breezy demeanor.
skier in andorra


Selling is a big part of my job. It’s fun. Meeting people, seeing them stoked on their pictures. It’s getting them to see the photos that’s the main challenge, but once they’re in they generally buy.

Just beware there will always be people bartering, and trying to get something for nothing. Which can be problematic when you’re only on commission. Magazines are the same, just offering “exposure”.

Don’t let it devalue your work. Your shots are good, it took a lot to get there, believe in your photography! If you’re confident, people have faith in buying your shots. The pay­-off is a sick job and hopefully some beans to buy the beers.

skier making a turn
Other quick tips – always have spare batteries and SD cards on you (inside pockets) as sub zero temperatures can play havoc with your equipment. Watch out for snow canons when shooting (sticky) and I always work with a filter be it UV or CPL to protect my glass from the elements.

You also need to take care of yourself, and last season I had freezing fingers. This season I found Vallerret from a quick ‘photography gloves’ search and they were the first hit. Just what I was looking for.

Despite losing my first pair, and then leaving one of the second pair on a helicopter, they have been invaluable. I’m just really good at losing things. Maybe some wrist straps would be good?

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what equipment you have or don’t have. If you don’t get out there, eager and willing in all conditions, you won’t get those shots. So keep shooting no matter what!”

Charlotte Workman


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