Behind the Scenes: Pause

After a good night's rest, we woke up and explored our campground surrounded by mountains. KD, Jessi, and I hiked up the nearby waterfall. I filled my water bottle with water from the stream and it was the most refreshing I'd ever drank. This followed by some time on the swings and a shower, an Icelandic refreezing cold waterfall fueled shower. Literally took my breath away. Brr! 

We hit the road, following back on one of the craziest and deadly looking steep paths out of the camp ground, in RV's no less. Soon enough, we arrived to Fjaðrárgljúfur, one of the most other worldly canyons I've ever seen in my life. Thick blue and green mosses grow scattered across the wild landscape, and the cliffs and rock formations jut out over the river below, hundreds of feet up in the air. 

I rummaged through my suitcase in the RV, trying to figure out what to bring with me. Typical me ended up bringing the entire thing, rolling it up onto the top of the canyon. Turns out, that wasn't as terrible as an idea as I thought. I was awestruck by this place, like I've been with every new landscape we've discovered on this adventure across the country. The sky was beautifully overcast the entire time, offering the amazing defused light I love shooting with.

A few in the group immediately took to the landscape and started shooting concepts. I ran a few ideas on what I wanted to do and eventually went with my first instinct. I set up my gear and got everything locked down and ready to shoot. Rebeca assisted me by pressing the shutter for this self portrait. My heart raced the entire time, it was incredible. 

When I finished my shoot, I packed up my things and explored the rest of the area, finding more of my group scattered along, lost in their element. It was magical and amazing to see so many creative projects being produced in this crazy landscape. 

Behind the Scenes: Innocently Damaged

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The Svartifoss Waterfall, in Skaftafell

We left Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon bright and early. We said goodbye to the glaciers and hit the road to Skaftafell. We reached the campsite, did a little maintenance to the RV's, had hot showers, regrouped and started our hike to the Svartifoss Waterfall. Photo props, outfits, gear, and all, we hiked up the mountain path, with beautiful views of the Icelandic landscape for miles and miles. Snowcapped mountains in the background, budding tress all around, fresh air in our lungs, it was amazing. 

I did happen to, which is totally like me to do, bring way too many things with me in a giant IKEA bag. After first 20 minutes of the hike, that thing weighed me down and I needed a little bit of help. I get indecisive sometimes when I'm shooting spontaneously or without a concrete idea in mind. Sometimes, when you're there in the moment and it's coming together in front of you, you know what works and what's going to tell a story. Funny thing is, I didn't even use one thing I brought up with us to the waterfall. 

When we reached our destination, we were a bit swarmed with other travelers and visitors coming to see the amazing sites of the basalt rock formations in the cliffs of the waterfall. It looks absolutely otherworldly and I love it for that reason. You look at place like this and you immediately see an Impressionist painting right before your eyes. The colors and the bold pastel-like presence of the shapes is one of the most unique things I've ever seen. 

It was misting with a bit of spray from the waterfall above, and Jen (Jen Brook) sneakily changed into one of the outfits Brooke brought up on the hike as well. It seemed like this was going to be a bit of a challenging place for everyone to shoot. There were many other photographers at the waterfall wanting to shoot the location too. We all did the best we could to let everyone finish the shots they needed or were shooting before we got our own shoots going for our visit. Jen stepped into action and literally all eyes were on her. I think it may have been part of the largest shoots I've ever been on with the number of photographers that were there, taking an opportunity to capture the amazingness the spills out of Jens movements when she's in character. 

I had some difficulty finding the right spot to frame my shot. I was looking for a low angle, but I didn't want to be under some of the other people there or blocking someone's perspective. I was really happy I found a spot on the side, which required my left foot to be a bit submerged in the chilly water, but I survived. I couldn't stop drooling over the background and the energy of the shot I captured of Jen. I would absolutely love to revisit this place one day and shoot here again and again. 

The Fromagi's!

The Fromagi's!

Behind the Scenes: A Crack in Reality

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Photo Credit: Tom

A little fun behind the scenes of Marisa's beautiful concept. (Click to see the final image).

A little fun behind the scenes of Marisa's beautiful concept.
(Click to see the final image).

You Haven't Lived Until You're Squishing Your Toes Between the Moss

We were having the trip of a lifetime. Our Icelandic adventure brought us to the south for a few days and took our breath away around every corner. This for sure was a long day, but it was worth every second. 

We woke up this morning surrounded by the sounds of icebergs breaking and falling into the water at the glacial lagoon. We made our way to the Svartifoss waterfall for another shooting location, in Skaftafell. We hiked and explored the campgrounds, and replenished our mobile homes with any necessities needed. As a small rain storm passed and we grouped back together, and we were back on the road. 

At this point in the trip, we were traveling back towards the RV site, so we weren't really on a tight time constraint. Driving through the country we were constantly having fun talking to one another on our walkie-talkies, playing music, making meals, having laughs, and sharing stories. I took a nap on the road and woke up to us parked in the middle of nowhere, but it was a beautiful nowhere. 

My friend Tom woke me up and told me the group wanted to stop on the side of the road for a quick shoot. I looked out the window and jumped to my feet. I gathered my equipment and set out with intentions to create some concepts I was working on earlier. As soon as it was raining again and I jumped back into the RV, I had shot two brand new images in record time for me, which brought my concept count to 3 for the day. That doesn't happen every day! 

We were back on the road and we finally were passing through a landscape I was overjoyed to see, the Eldhraun lava field. I've heard stories of this magical place and it was one of the locations I was extremely excited to see on this trip. It's hard to put into perspective how large this lava field is, but we drove miles through it until we all found a spot that had amazing potential for everyone in the group. 

Instantly, as soon as our RV's parked, we ran out onto the field. Some of us, including me, threw off our shoes and ran over the mossy landscape. Try to imagine stepping on a floor of a 4-inch thick pound cake, that's really the best description of this place I could give. 

The clouds overhead were overcast and the lighting outside was defused and absolutely perfect. As soon as we knew it, camera equipment, dresses, and props were making their way out of the RV's. We scattered the fields, scouting the perfect spots and helping each other bring our concepts to reality. 

A few weeks before the trip, I was prop hunting home in Philadelphia. In an antique shop, I found this oversized syringe, and immediately knew it was something I needed to bring with me. It begged me to use it in a surreal and unique location and inspiration struck. 

It was so fun to run in the field, it was almost like bouncing around. Marisa, Emmanuel, and I circled around this very interesting rock formation. It jutted out from the ground and had cracked in two before hardening. It felt so powerful and really spoke to me. All this force and then over time to be overgrown in an emerald blue moss. It was amazing. 

Marisa was my human remote for this self portrait, while our friend Kelly hid behind me to set off the smoke bombs at the right time for the shot. Even the subtlest wind would've called for a do-over. We soon gave in the last call for shooting, before coming together for a group shot together in the thick mossy landscape. One of my favorite group shots ever with my Fromagi's. I love these people so much!