Morocco, a Photographers Paradise

Morocco is a stunningly beautiful country with an extraordinarily varied terrain, perfect for taking photos. Tiny Berber villages cling to the rock, towering mountains are dazzling in the snow, the desert is magical by day and night and the ancient walled city of Marrakech brings you scenes unchanged by centuries.

To showcase some of what we have to offer our clients here, Epic Morocco hooked up with the talented Swiss photographer, Pascal Gertschen. After the shoot, we asked him to tell us a little bit about himself and his work and also how he found it working in Morocco.

Q: What is your experience as a photographer? What kind of things do you photograph, what other countries have you shot in and how does Morocco compare?

I’m specialized in tourism and lifestyle photography and as I live in the Valais in Switzerland, this is where I find most of my subjects. The Valais is in the south of Switzerland and basically in the heart of the Alps. So most experience I have got includes everything that has rocks, snow and a lot of sunshine to it.

Outside of my country I already travelled quite a few times to northern Norway and could get in touch with fisherman in the Barents Sea, take pictures of the wide snowy landscapes of the Finmark or even the Aurora Borealis.

Another snowy and rocky spot was Terrace in Canada. Taking actions shots of skiers and a lot of powder!

My experience with rather hot locations closer to the equator was quite limited – but that has changed now and I’m extremely happy that I got this opportunity.

Morocco has (in terms of the technical side of photography) quite some similarities with what I know from Switzerland and winter: you do have to take care not to get any sand/snow in your camera during a lens swap. Always keep your gear protected from wind and weather.

Once you get in the Atlas, even the surrounding conditions start to be similar to what I know from Switzerland: cold nights (store your batteries in a safe and warm place), bright star nights and deep blue skies.

What was a big difference for me was the Agafay desert and the cities. The sunset was just … incredible. Living surrounded with mountains I rarely get to see the sun set on the horizon and that is totally different in Morocco. The lights, the mood… the dust in the air that literally starts to glow once the sun is low.

Q: What was the aim of your recent shoot in Morocco for Epic Morocco? What were you trying to get across?

My aim was to show the different experiences a traveler can have being in Morocco. And to show that beautiful, dreamlike sunlight in the evening. I didn’t know Morocco well and I still don’t but what I could see during one week was amazing. Being one evening in the heart of Marrakech, enjoying a tea in the sunset on a terrace and the next day already on 1800 meters above sea level hiking with mules. I didn’t care too much about details and super HiRes Landscape photographs, for me it was more about the feeling being in this landscape.

Q: What is it like shooting in Morocco? Does it provide good locations and backdrops? Are there any particular problems?

Well there are a couple of things to take care of: first of all, don’t take portrait pictures without asking first. Some Moroccans don’t like it (as well due to religious reasons) and I wouldn’t like it either, to have my picture taken, no matter where I am. Being in the desert is heavy on the gear. Dust and sand will get everywhere. Hiking in the Atlas is like the Alps: the air gets thinner, so don’t carry a too heavy bag around or the mules will have to do it for you.

Other than that: You have colorful cities, vast landscapes, high snowy mountains, the sea, stone and sand deserts… If you don’t find the perfect subjects there… then I don’t know where you are going to find it.

Q: Which are your favourite three photos from the shoot and why?

It’s hard to pick three photos. But I might have to go for these ones:

This was the first evening on a terrace in Marrakech. We just arrived, got on top of the building and had this beautiful sunset. Step on a plane in Switzerland and 4 hours later you are in the middle of a different world.

This picture doesn’t need a lot of description: tent, fire, cosy blanket… in the middle of the Agafay desert. What else?

It’s all about tea! Just a moment, nothing particularly special but it’s just something everyone will experience in Morocco.

Q: What advice would you give to anyone (amateur photographers) coming to Morocco on taking photographs here?

Enjoy it! Take photographs, document your travel but don’t forget to put the camera sometimes aside and just be present in that moment. This will give you new impressions and inspiration for further photographs. Morocco has so much to offer and not only through a lens, just have fun!

For more photos from Pascal, check out his social media

Facebook: Pascal Gertschen Photography

Instagram: @Pascal_Gertschen