Hotel LA VAL Model couple Brigels Tourism


2021 Photography highlights

After many years of documenting my photography projects on a month-by-month basis, I have decided to change how I update my readers on this website. From now on, I will divide up my travel and hotel photography assignments into an annual round up, hand-picking highlights from spring, summer, autumn and winter to share with you here on my website.

Returning to the Swiss Alps Spring.
Michelle was commissioned to carry out new lifestyle and landscape photography for La Val Hotel and Mountain Spa.
The hotel is known worldwide for the winter season, but not so much the summer.
La Val is a paradise in summer with fields of wildflowers, fast flowing rivers topped up with the melted snow, Alpine air, cows and buttercups and a homely luxurious base at LA VAL.

Hotel LA VAL Models in Brigels Wildflowers and Church

Hotel La Val, Mountain Spa, Brigels, Surselva, Switzerland.
Models in Brigels Wildflowers and Church

The post Covid Narrative just yearns for the great outdoors, space, alfresco dining and immersion in nature. La Val Hotel & Spa ticks all the boxes.

Hotel LA VAL - Brigels - Models on bikes

Hotel La Val, Mountain Spa, Brigels, Surselva, Switzerland. Brigels Models on bikes

Michelle Chaplow Photographer.
Marcos Meider 1st assistant
Andres Lopez 2nd assiatant
Stylist and Wardrobe Sonja Haberstroh
Production Hotel Essence photography
Model Thomas Friede
Model Claudia Szeglat
Advertising agency Trimarca

Hotel La Val, Mountain Spa, Brigels, Surselva, Switzerland.
Models in Hammock in Garden

Moma Photo Club and the New York Metro

One of Michelle’s photographs taken in Switzerland was entered into an Instagram Competition called “Abstractions of Nature”, organised by The Museum of Modern Art in New York. The best 10 images from photographers around the world were selected, including Michelle’s the abstract green foliage to be displayed in the New York Metro.

Moma Photo Club and the New York Metro

Andalucia Auras a collection of NFT´s by Michelle Chaplow

Michelle Chaplow has photographed Andalucia for three decades, relocating from England to Spain in 1991. She is a member of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain and has studied photography at Seville University, The Contemporary Art Museum in Malaga and the MoMA in New York.

As a lens-based artist, she is now minting her first NFT for the Andalucia Auras collection. A series of images inspired by Andalucia, her home for the last 30 years.

Michelle Chaplow´s first collection of NFT´s Andalucia Auras

Michelle Chaplow´s first collection of NFT´s Andalucia Auras

Surselva and Brigels tourist boards

After viewing the photographic collection from Hotel La Val and the quaint mountain town of Brigels, the Surselva tourist board have incorporated a selection of Michelle’s photographs into their archives.

Ustria Miracla fine dining Restaurant - Hotel La Val

La Val Hotel; Brigels Switzerland

Fairmont approved Photographer

Michelle was contacted by the head office for Fairmont Hotels in Paris to say that she is now a Fairmont-approved photographer.

The Fairmont Barcelona pool

The Fairmont Barcelona Pool

Brand approved photographer for Fairmont Hotels and Resorts

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a global luxury hotel group operating 76 properties worldwide, the company originated in North America in the late nineteenth century accommodating luxury travellers first at The Fairmont, San Francisco and later joining with Canada Pacific Hotels to add some grand railway hotels in Canada with “chateau-like” architecture such as Fairmont, Banff Springs which has been described as a “castle in the sky”. Fairmont expanded globally and is now part of the Accor group. The Fairmont collection also includes iconic properties such as The Savoy in London and the magnificent The Plaza in New York.

Michelle has photographed on assignment The Fairmont, Barcelona, including architecture and lifestyle shots and afternoon tea and a lifestyle festive photography portfolio for  The Fairmont San Francisco. She has photographed editorial features at The Fairmont Monte Carlo, The Fairmont Zimbali Resort in South Africa, The Fairmont, Beijing and the Fairmont, The Norfolk in Nairobi.

Exclusive Interview with Julia Hands, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Hand Picked Hotels

It comes as no surprise that in 2007 Julia Hands was awarded an MBE for her services to hospitality. Julia is the founder of Hand Picked Hotels, a collection of former British stately homes and manor houses that have been transformed into what is now a fine collection of unique and extraordinary hotels in beautiful locations. Michelle was lucky enough to interview Julia and discuss their shared love of historic hotels.

Julia Hands, Chairman & CEO Hand Picked Hotels

Julia Hands, Chairman & CEO of Hand Picked Hotels

Hotel bathroom photography is not as easy as it sounds

Many people ask Michelle, “What’s the most challenging hotel in a room to photograph?” Her response is always, without a doubt, the bathroom. Luckily, Michelle loves a challenge. Here, she shares her top tips for capturing these tricky spaces in their best light.

The beautiful bathrooms of Benbow Historic Inn

Benbow Historic Inn Room Bathroom 403

12-week online photography course organised by the Madariaga Foundation, taught by Eduardo D’Acosta

Michelle is a firm believer that we are lifelong learners and has joined 80 other students in an online contemporary photography course, to study what photography means today and how it has changed in the last 10 years. The course is a journey in 12 classes covering experimental photography to today’s documentary photography. A great way to enhance creativity, acquire ongoing visual culture and to share views and opinions with other students.

Remote Photography

When Prince Harry and Meghan released a black-and-white image announcing their second pregnancy, it caused more than a ripple in the photography world. The stunning image was all the more striking for having been captured remotely via an iPad by their friend and long-time photographer Misan Marriman.

Michelle felt inspired to try this remote technique herself, and spent more than a week working closely with models and stylist to perfect the technique. Both models were in England while Michelle captured the images from Spain.


Remote Photography, model Ricard Wood in England. Photographer Michelle Chaplow and Stylist Dennie Pasion in Spain

Remote Photography, model Ricard Wood in England. Photographer Michelle Chaplow and Stylist Dennie Pasion in Spain

Michelle is in awe at this innovation; “That’s the great thing about photography – it is just continually evolving and blowing me away. Whilst we are in a pandemic, you can literally take photos from your location to another location on the world with nothing but a good smart phone and an internet connection.”

Remote Photography,model Isabella Mason in England Photographer Michelle Chaplow in Spain

Remote Photography, model Isabella Mason in England. Photographer Michelle Chaplow in Spain #remotephotography

This opened up a huge door of opportunity, and within a week Michelle had been approached by a corporate tech company with members all around the world to capture the board members

Planning to return to the Swiss Alps

Michelle is working on a proposal for new photography including lifestyle for La Val Hotel and Mountain Spa. Stay tuned!

The Swiss Alps © Michelle Chaplow

The Swiss Alps

December 2021 Environmental portrait and headshots for a leading female entrepreneur, Darlington, UK

Snow Hall in Darlington was chosen as a backdrop for the imagery. The photoshoot used natural light as well as warm silver and gold reflectors. In Michelle´s opinion, lighting should be as natural as possible, and when she does opt for studio lighting, the aim is to recreate the effect of natural light. Michelle worked with two highly-experienced professionals on this portrait shoot, both of whom are based in South Africa. Make-up artist Dennie Pasion has worked with countless glossy fashion magazines and celebrities, while renowned costume designer Neil McClean provides wardrobe for top movies and TV series, covering all genres from fantasy and sci-fi to period drama.

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