Enchanting lavender fields in Provence
It didn’t take much more than a never-ending field of lavender, a charming couple, a wonderfully romantic and playful dress and stylishly arranged flowers and details to bring these gorgeous inspirations to life.
It is with great enthusiasm that we follow the great fine art photographer Christophe Serrano to Valensole for his workshop to be captivated by the magic of the purple fields.
From Christophe Serrano: “Indeed, my clients was now exclusively American and international, and it is a dream to get married in the lavender of Provence. But few people know that the best period is the very end of June. If you want to have the chance to enjoy the lavender at its peak, when the colors are the most magical. The time when the fields of wheat mingle with gold and the magical colors of the purple fields. This period lasts only 15 days and beware, depending on the sunshine farmers will harvest in early July. Sometimes June 15 is almost too late and the fields are timidly in bloom. Ideally I advise to aim strictly for the last week of June and the first week of July. It’s very short but it’s the insurance to live this incredible experience.
In France, the sun will set around 9pm, you will have to be patient, but the advantage is that the tourists will have disappeared. Beware of bees and insects though. Protect yourself well because otherwise the stay can turn into a drama. And be prepared for the sun because there is no shade, it is very very hot.
Only one place exceeds all the others, it is the plateau of Valensole located near Sisteron. Not very practical because there is no airport or train station nearby, you will often need to rent a car. I advise you to leave from AIX en Provence, which is a modern city with an old Provencal bourgeois district which is superb. An airport is close by, and a train station with an almost direct train to Paris is located there. And the fact that the city is very warm, with small streets full of good addresses, restaurants and beautiful stores. Moreover, a strong international community lives there because there are international universities. This will be a plus because it is one of the few cities in France where people speak relatively good English.
Anyway, back to the Styled Shoot. For the same reasons, I have taken the initiative to organize a workshop composed of 3 styled shoots over 4 days in Provence during the Lavender season. My fine art photographers students come from all over Europe and internationally, and the Workshop allows them to get a lot of quality images in the best places of Provence.
The June 2020 Workshop was organized right after the very first Lockdown. We chose to work in the only castle of Valensole which is located in the heart of the old village of Provence, the Chateau du Grand Jardin. The chateau is a family run business with a typical decoration of the 19th century bourgeois castel. We used the old dining room, one of the bedrooms and the surroundings of the castle with its French garden. It is an exclusivity because nobody had ever come to make photos in the castle.
We were lucky to have an incredible couple, we were all under the charm of their smiles and their personalities. After a boudoir session in one of the rooms, we organized a First Look in the gardens of the chateau. I would especially like to thank the wedding planner Laetitia Caroline and the florist Laetitia Ricci from Ricci Floral Creation who totally created and imagined the decoration such as the table. We then went to the lavender fields. We imagined a scenario, the story of a couple who meet as the sun sets behind them. The reality of the scene was magical and we were all moved. it’s an incredible experience to be at that moment in that dream landscape.
I would like to thank all the people who accompany me during the workshops. My two assistants and second shooters Sylvia Calmet and Matt Kobi, as well as the dozens of service providers who make it possible for us to do all this. ”