In writing these posts about Erin's portrait sessions while we were abroad earlier this month, I went a bit backwards since we actually went to Iceland first. This isn't because I enjoyed London more; on the contrary, if given the choice between photographing a classy engagement session in London and an adventure elopement in Iceland, I would undoubtedly choose the latter. And that is precisely the reason.
Our original plan for this photoshoot had been to bring along an elegant, flowing dress to create an epic ensemble to match the landscape. I still plan to do this in the near future (and am already giddy about how incredible those images are going to be!), but as we realized that this year's Icelandic May may looked much more like our winter, we opted for warmth and adventureware instead. Not to mention, we were trying not to pay for a carry-on. So our shoot took a slightly different turn outfitting Erin in vivid colors to match her hair and contrast the snowy background; an outfit she would wear on any given day so that the portraits would capture her true character.
As with our later plan in London, I wanted to just as often capture Erin in action interacting with this new-to-her country as I did stop to "pose" her for a photo. Most often that meant photographing the photographer, though occasionally I caught her running through snowbanks and jumping from rock to rock in a field. I loved having these candids to add into the mix to more fully tell the story of our adventure.
The most fun part about our whole Icelandic adventure was having no plan. Whereas I always go into a shoot with at least a vague idea of where I'll be photographing, Erin and I decided it would better capture the intrepid spirit of the country if we simply drove around until we saw somewhere we had to photograph. (*Important note: we did not ever pull over to the side of the highway as this is one of the most common causes for tourists' accidents. Always pull into a designated pull-off or at least a driveway.*)
What I love most about the area around Reykjavik that we explored is it's huge variety of colors and scenery just within a two hour radius. We captured images along the coast of Erin soaking up the ocean spray, photos beside a river of her demonstrating her superhero poses, badass shots as she mimicked the strength of the mountains behind her and images to show her intrepid spirit as she stared out over the gushing waterfall. All while documenting her goofy nature, intelligent eye and brilliant smile through candid photos.
This small, 36 hour taste of photographing portrait sessions in Iceland has only whetted my appetite for capturing stories there. As we drove for hours around the city and countryside, I constantly exclaimed how perfect a spot would be for an elopement, how I'd love to do badass branding images in another place, how much fun my couples would have playing in the snow for their engagement sessions. I know I will have to return soon!