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Eva and Ray are both avid snowboarders and came all the way from Canada to Austria for their winter engagement photos in Hallstatt. They recently got engaged and are about to get married in spring in their hometown. For their engagement photos they were looking for a mix of traditional Austrian scenery with the insane mountain views they were about to see on their snowboarding trip in Austria. As they picked Hallstatt as their primary location to explore for their winter engagement photo shoot and me as their photographer, I knew exactly were I was gonna take them for some spectacular mountains views close by!
Early sunrise shoot
We met at 6:45am in the morning, the moon was still visible and there were no other visitors around but us. It was a perfectly serene and quiet morning, and for February the temperatures were exceptionally mild. These two were pumped for their engagement photos and we had so much fun – I was just there to capture their joy and wonder of exploring this magical town. Before we set out to their second location on top of a mountain, we took a break to warm up with coffee and typically sweet Austrian pastries for breakfast.
Next, we rented snowshoes at the cable car station and soared up high into the mountains that were covered in heaps on snow. With a beautiful view of Lake Hallstatt and the cute little village we started the day in, this snowshoe hike was the perfect activity to end a day of celebration and joy!
3 best tipps for a photo shoot in Hallstatt:
1) Start early! Hallstatt is one of the most popular tourist locations in Austria – and for a reason. Shops and bakeries usually start to open around 9am – that’s when the first tourist groups and busses start rolling in and thousands of people visit this town every day – depending on the season. In order to experience a peaceful and serene environment, arrive just before sunrise or stay the night in an authentic BnB directly in Hallstatt. Always remember: Hallstatt is not a museum – please respect the locals who live here and be as quiet as possible when you explore around this early.
2) Be prepared for every weather. As Hallstatt is snuggled in between the mountains, this part of Austria often gets moody, foggy or cloudy weather. However, this only adds to the character of this charming little village! Whether it’s either snowing and the weather creating a fairytale winter wonderland, foggy, sunny or even a little rainy – nothing can taint Hallstatt’s magic!
3) Park your car outside of town (P2 Parking) and take your time to walk into town to soak in the beauty from afar before you explore the tiny alleys. Throw away any map on your phone – you can’t get lost even if it looks like you are about to enter a maze. The iconic church tower and the lake shore serve as the main orientation points when navigating around and finding the way back. PS: Don’t leave without trying a piece of Austrian apple strudle in one of the local bakeries. I’m serious, just don’t!
Extra tip: Don’t miss out on great locations nearby! Visit the oldest salt mine in the world right above the village (especially if it’s rainy) or even make a stop at one of my alltime-favorite Austrian bakeries – the Boutique Cafe Anna Plochl in Bad Aussee (which is another picturesque town in Salzkammergut worth a stop) .