The Art of Versatility



An image taken by  Jason Lanier

An image taken by Jason Lanier



The Swiss Alps

On a quiet Sunday morning, Jason and I decided to explore the Swiss Alps. I found a neat abandoned hotel tucked away; however, Jason proposed an ice cave adventure. Without any questions, we gathered the gear, packed up the car, and headed toward the wintery abyss.

The wet, dreary weather really helped set the tone for the ice queen shoot. Following finishing touches of hair and makeup in the car, I wasn’t quite sure who had more - me or the BMW 🙈. Nothing a little elbow grease couldn’t fix.

After about three hours of driving, we suddenly became engulfed in the surrounding mountains. Talk about fun!! The windy roads were full of twists and turns. I felt my heart race as we made our way up to the top. Throughout the drive, we passed what appeared to be a little-abandoned town. We did not stop but were sure to admire in passing. I started to have an inkling that the buildings resembled the abandoned hotel I found online back in the states. My intuition led me to ask, “are we somewhere that starts with a B?”. Jason confirmed and soon enough we stumbled upon the abandoned hotel I originally located. Talk about coincidence, or shall I believe it was mere synchronicity? What are the odds that our destination housed two varying locations approximately 100 km apart? Absolutely fascinating. It’s moments like those that reassure I’m right where I need to be.

Furthermore, Jason and I approached the parking lot; it was packed. We then parked the vehicle and collected the gear. To avoid the notion of commercial activity, we attempted to remain inconspicuous (as inconspicuous as a fedora and high heels in the mountains are, lol). I hid in my hood that covered my shiny hair and white eyebrows! Jason and I joked that he was “stealing my youth”.

Rhone Glacier

We quickly skated through the gift shop and purchased tickets. After exiting the building we realized that we were good to go. The top of the mountain overlooked Rhône Glacier, which housed the ice cave. The view was breathing taking. Jason noticed tiny tents on top of the glacier where hikers would camp. It really brought into perspective how large the glacier was. Interestingly, the cave was covered in a cloth/ tarp like material that we suspected was used to prevent melting. After enjoying the view we decided to make our way down the windy path and face the ice cave itself. We waited outside a moment, got our bearings, and entered what was one of the coolest (no pun intended) pieces of nature that I have ever seen.


We crossed wooden floorboards that were wet and soft. The cave had to at least be 30 degrees cooler than the air (feel free to do the celsius conversion). My jaw dropped; it looked like a frozen aquarium made of glass tunnels. It really was special. Within moments, I ditched my hoodie and it was time to make art. Approximately every 30 km, the cave had lamps that served as ambient light. We found a few barrels full of water that were used to help prop a single neo 2. MacGyver over here, balanced the rotolight with a lens cap and a wallet. Yeah, he has access to light stands and additional equipment; however, Jason is the epitome of being resourceful. This totally highlights what any photographer can do with limited equipment, independently.

About every five minutes we took a short break so I could warm up. Jason really emphasized keeping my hoodie dry; you should have seen him shove his arm through the sleeve of my coat lol. It was comical, especially because he was wearing his leather jacket. Regardless, you gotta do what you gotta do!

Frost Bite

I think my toes were the coldest! I had to bounce around to keep the blood flowing and I promise I enjoyed every moment of it. The ice cave was exciting and the shoot was pretty epic. We concluded with a wrap up video and discussion that is listed below! If you want to keep following our crazy adventures subscribe to Jason’s youtube channel.

A video created by Jason Lanier.

Emily RinaldoComment