Mario Colonel, mountain photographer

Mario Colonel, mountain photographer

Welcome to Mario Colonel's website on which you can find information about Mario Colonel's work, his gallery in Chamonix, a portfolio of mountain photographs, a mountain posters shop and Mont Blanc book shop.

The photographer

For five years now, we have been trying to share with you this love for the mountains and for beautiful images. In five years, what progresses, suprises and evolutions we have made. On our side, the galery has became an essential place in Chamonix and the clients have became our best ambassadors. The original prints in Black and White are a proof that there is a market for quality prints, whatever the prices are...

Talking about price, we can now say that price is a lure. If our pictures sell so well, even if the price is superior to the competition, it is because love at first sight works immediately. When it is beautiful, price does not count... We always keep this criteria of quality in mind and for this fifth years, we are not modifying our prices, except on the filming (optional), which unfortunately is becoming more and more expensive...

About our posters, those five years have seen a clear evolution of images, especially those of the mountains. For years, traditional outlets have seen in it only a souvenir to bring back to their place. Represented randomly next to a marmot and a Savoy chimney sweep, this market seemed on its path to disappear. Other big suprise, the diminution of commands by the do-it-yourself or framing industry which seem to leave this market. This could have made us really upset, but from other outlets, to begin with sport shops where passionates find at once all their products really revived a market far from being dead. It is for all of those that stay loyal to the idea of a beautiful poster that we are starting a new collection. Ten new posters for a sector that is known to be in the middle of a crisis? It is the evident sign that we keep growing... Henceforth, the catalog will go out during the summer and its products will first be tested in Chamonix before being sent throughout France and throughout the world. One year on two, we will send to the outlets, the new catalog with the added images, in order to be on phase with our ideas and to save paper. If the Mont Blanc stays the heart of target, other images will be prepared. Switzerland as well as the Himalaya, where four times a year I stride the highest summits to capture the prettiest images, with in process, several books. Five years of edition did not discourage us, on the contrary, it is henceforth with four employes that we are now answering your demands. Five years, the age of reason for a small edition compagny which placed its ambition at the summit of a passion that we are trying to pass you on...


Mario Colonel is considered as one of the best mountains photographers. Member of the American agency Aurora, old member of the Edition Pêcheurs d'Images ( at the side of Yann Arthus Bertrand et Philipp Plisson), he has published 15 books on the mountains and has received several international prizes, like the prize for the most beautiful image book at Bannf, in Canada (the biggest mountain book festival in the world). It is the first European to receive this distinction. Passionate for the height, he is starting a last-long collaboration with the Editions de la Martinière through different project, especially one on the Himalaya...

The gallery in Chamonix

A passion for the mountains...

This is the philosophy behind the gallery in Chamonix, which opened in 2007.
Devoted to the work of Mario Colonel, here you will find posters, framed prints, original photographs, post cards, calendars, books and the latest products arising from his work as a photographer. There is also a dedicated exhibition space for signed and numbered original prints (maximum 30 copies), for the most part in black and white.

A large screen allows visitors to view the whole collection and to order more personalised digital prints. You will also find an extremely extensive collection of images of the Mont Blanc Massif as well as other areas of the Alpine chain, and the collection will soon include images of the Himalayas…

Mario Colonel, mountain photographer

portrait marioMario Colonel

Professional photographer
47 years old, office and gallery in Chamonix (France)

Mountain photography specialist (skiing, mountaineering, trekking, climbing, mountain biking, landscapes)

Author of more than 500 articles, with features in publications across the world (text and photos):
Montagnes Magazine (France), Les Alpes (Switzerland), Alp (Italy), Alpin (Germany), Desnivel (Spain), Mountain (Great Britain), Summit (USA), Yamato Kemi (Japan), Oppad (Netherlands)...

Photo journalist for France's Montagnes Magazine and Alpi Rando Magazine for over 25 years.

Photos in French magazines:

Géo, Grands Reportages, VSD, l'Equipe Magazine, Figaro Magazine, Terres Sauvages...
* Now represented by Aurora Photos in the USA.

20,000 images available for use:

logo aurora photo

Contact us directly for images used in France
For the USA and the rest of the world, images managed by Aurora Photos

Works with most mountain equipment and clothing manufacturers (Charlet Moser, Eider, Dynastar Skis, Lafuma etc) and Décathlon (more than 10 catalogues).
Publicity campaigns for CPR Gestion, Union des Banques Suisses Privées Genevoises, Salomon.
Mario has numerous contracts in Japan.
He has also worked with Euro RSCG, Sources, Lagon, Snell and Associates, RDB, Jump, Creative Business…

Has collaborated with a number of Tourist Offices including those in Saint-Gervais, Chamonix, Praz-Sur-Arly, Valmorel…


12 books published in French:

  • Courses Neige et Glace dans le Massif du Mont Blanc, Editions Franck Mercier
  • Trekking autour des Grands Sommets du Monde, Editions Glénat
  • Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix : Une Belle Histoire, Editions du Grépon
  • Sentiers de Grandes Randonnées, Editions Glénat
  • Voyage au coeur du Mont Blanc, avec Pierre Tairraz, Editions Franck Mercier – special mention at the Passy mountain literature and photography festival, 1997
  • Le Mont-Blanc, Editions Castor et Pollux, 1999
  • Mont Blanc Eternel, text by Roger Frison Roche, Editions Arthaud, 2000
  • Abécédaire du Mont Blanc, Editions Flammarion, 2001
  • Tour du Cervin, la plus belle Randonnée des Alpes, 2002, Editions Arthaud
  • Chemins du Ciel, les plus belles courses d’arêtes des Alpes, Editions Arthaud
  • Les plus beaux raids à skis, with Jean René Minelli & Frédéric Chevaillot, Editions Arthaud, 2004
  • Cevennes, Editions Alcide, 2006

3 books published in Italian:

  • Monte Bianco Eterno, Rizzoli
  • Tour del Cervino, Rizzoli libri illustrati
  • Vie del Cielo, CDA and Vivalda Editori

1 book published in German:

  • Himmelsleitern, AT verlag

Reproductions and posters:
Director of the ‘Mountain’ collection for Pêcheurs d’Images from 1999 to 2007, a company bringing together some of the best nature photographers in the world including Yann Arthus Bertrand and Philipp Plisson.

Founder and manager of Mario Colonel Editions publishing house in Chamonix

Mountain Experience:
Completed part of Aspirant Guide mountain guide training course in 1986. More than 1,000 ascents to his name including the north face of the Grandes Jorasses.
Has travelled to the four corners of the globe on trekking trips, expeditions to the Himalayas (Tibet, Nepal, Ladakh…) Patagonia, and Canada…


  • Canon 24x36, 17mm to 300mm lenses
  • Switched to digital Canon cameras in 2003
  • Fuji Panoramic 6x17
  • Fuji Medium Format 6x4.5

Mario Colonel Editions, 19 rue Whymper, 74400 Chamonix
Tel/Fax: +33 (0)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.