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Melody, 39, is a photographer and film maker in Verbier, Switzerland. Susannah Osborne get's the lowdown on her life in the mountains.

2537 melody sky

What brought you to the Alps?

I did a summer season working in a dive school in Greece as their underwater photographer. I wasn’t interested in working in a cold environment, but some of the other divers persuaded me to come to Tignes for the winter. I took a job as an Ice Dive guide and quickly got a taste for snowsports. The rest is history.

What are your first memories of the mountains?
The amount of snow! I couldn’t believe how deep and white it was. I was working in a bar in the evenings and taking people ice diving during the day. I had to dig my way into my house every night and dig out of the house. At night I would dig a path to the entrance of the bar!

Ski or board, why?
Ski. I did ski, board and telemark for my first three or four seasons, but I have to constantly get my camera bag on and off and change position on a 10p piece, so skis are much more practical. It’s easier and safer to have two feet to balance on when you’re hiking, or traversing, off piste to get the shot.

What’s a typical day for you during winter?
On a typical shooting day I get the camera kit ready, jump in the car to the lift station, meet up with whomever I’m shooting with and go and find the best snow and light. I don’t generally get much good skiing in because I’m zig zagging around and looking for positions. I always finish the day with a cold beer or a hot chocolate in the Farinet Lounge Bar in Verbier before heading back to my computer to edit the shots.

Describe your path to becoming a photographer...
My mum and dad bought me a Kodak instamatic when I was really young. I used to spend all my pocket money on developing my films into 'Triple Print’ (remember them?). I did a year-long art foundation course and did night classes in photography but it wasn’t until I was 26 that I finally decided to go to university. Even then I studied film & sport science rather than photography. I worked filming in the Alps before I started working as a photographer and now I do both.

Do you feel like you’re living the dream?
I really feel extremely privileged to be doing what I’m doing. I’m really passionate about the ocean and the mountains, travel and people. I can use my favourite hobby to make a living in places I want to be in and my office is wherever my laptop and camera bag land. The only drawback is missing my family. I wish I could pack them away with me.

Where is your most treasured place in the Alps?
I have to say Verbier. I have been spending most of my time there for the past 10 years. It’s a gorgeous resort with a lot of sunshine, good snow and a massive amount of accessible off-piste skiing. There are some extremely talented photographers and film-makers in Verbier but there’s no competitive vibe. We all try and help each other when we can and we’re all very excited when we see each other’s successes. I think that’s really special.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to move to the Alps?
Stick to a career or study plan. It’s great fun doing seasons but you see too many really talented people coming for one season, staying for the next ten years and then realising they have nothing behind them at the end of it.

Melody Sky Photography (
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